MEMPHIS, Tenn. – An appeals board has ordered a stay of deportation for a Spanish-language news reporter who was arrested during a demonstration in Tennessee.
The Commercial Appeal reported that a lawyer for 42-year-old Manuel Duran said he won the stay but still faces months in immigration detention while an appeal is pending.
Attorney Jeremy Jong said federal authorities had planned to deport Duran to El Salvador on Wednesday, but the Board of Immigration Appeals in Falls Church, Virginia, ordered a stay Tuesday. Jong said he spoke with Duran, who is excited and happy.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan D. Cox confirmed the stay but said the underlying immigration case wasn't addressed.
Duran was reporting on a protest of immigration policies in Memphis in April when he was arrested. The protest coincided with days of remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis.
Disorderly conduct and obstruction of a highway charges were dropped, but he was picked up by immigration agents after his release.
Duran is from El Salvador and he has lived in Memphis for years. He runs the Memphis Noticias online news outlet. Duran's lawyers have said he came to the U.S. after receiving death threats related to reporting on corruption in El Salvador.
Duran was issued a deportation order in 2007. The order to leave the country came after Duran failed to show up for court.
One of Duran's attorneys has said he had been critical of law enforcement in his reporting and was targeted and retaliated against for it. Memphis police have denied those allegations.
Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com