Mass Shooting Survivor Swiftly Deported to Mexico

Rosa gave a statement to FBI, El Paso police after 2019 Walmart attack
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2021 3:22 PM CST
Mass Shooting Survivor Swiftly Deported to Mexico
This Nov. 16, 2018, file photo shows immigrants who entered the United States illegally.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

A woman thus far identified only as Rosa was pulled over in El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday for a faulty brake light. It turns out she had two outstanding misdemeanor traffic citations from 2015, reports KVIA. She was arrested and taken to the El Paso county jail annex, and by Friday she had been deported by ICE to Cuidad Juárez, Mexico. That deportation has sparked an uproar among some locals because of who Rosa is—a survivor of the 2019 Walmart mass shooting in that city that killed 23 people. She told KTSM in a Friday night interview that she and her sister saw the shooter claim his first victim outside the store and worked with El Paso police and the FBI to provide a statement. Anna Hey, the attorney at law for Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, said "the information [Rosa] has was sufficient for the District Attorney's office to issue a certification that she has been helpful in the investigation."

BuzzFeed adds that certification can be used to apply for a U Visa; were Rosa to secure one she would be able to stay in the US for 4 years. Hey says that visa application process is underway but is moving slowly due to the pandemic. She went with Rosa to her appointment to speak with the El Paso PD and FBI, and says "I distinctly remember one of the agents that was there mentioning the information she had provided had not yet been previously corroborated." KVIA reports Rosa is listed as a witness for the district attorney when the alleged shooter goes on trial. The Guardian notes Democratic congresswoman Veronica Escobar of Texas tweeted in support of Rosa on Saturday, writing, "[I] will do everything I can to bring Rosa home and fight to protect victims and witnesses from deportation." (More mass shootings stories.)

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