Durham woman deported after public fight to stay in US

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A young Durham woman was deported Friday morning following a long fight to stay in the U.S.

Wendy Noemi Miranda-Fernandez came into the country in 2008 at the age of 14 from El Salvador. Family and friends say she came out of fear for her life. They say she witnessed a murder committed by a gang in El Salvador before escaping the country.

ICE took her into custody in March.

Miranda was arrested when she went to a Charlotte ICE office for a check-in, her fiance, Robert Paulino said.

RELATED: Family says if young Durham woman is deported she’ll be killed by gang

She was deported Friday morning, according to U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield’s office.

“I’m deeply saddened by the news of Wendy Miranda-Fernandez’s removal from the country this morning. Ms. Miranda-Fernandez did not have a criminal record and did not pose a threat to national security or the Durham community that she called home,” U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield said in a statement.

The couple met in 2010 at Riverside High School in Durham. They were supposed to get married Thursday, but instead of the planned ceremony, Paulino and his step-father were traveling nearly 400 miles to Georgia to try to save his betrothed.

Paulino still wanted to marry her May 4, but instead Miranda was transferred to Louisiana.


“I don’t know how safe she is going to be,” he said.

Nardine Guirguis, an immigration attorney, got the Miranda case last week.

She said Miranda has no criminal history, and she has filed an emergency stay, as well as a new asylum filing with an immigration court.

U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield sent a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement asking them not to deport Miranda until a motion she has filed in a U.S. court is heard.

You can read the full letter here.

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