Duran Ortega was a TV reporter in El Salvador who became a respected journalist in Memphis, TN, writing for the Spanish-language publication Memphis Noticias.
While wearing a press badge and reporting at a peaceful demonstration, he was unlawfully arrested for disorderly conduct by Memphis police last April 3. After the charges were dropped, local officials handed him over to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which swiftly moved him to an ICE detention center in Jena, LA, and began efforts to deport him.
On November 29, the Southern Poverty Law Center won a temporary stay of deportation for Duran Ortega. The following statement is from Kristi Graunke, senior supervising attorney for the SPLC:
“We are grateful and pleased that the court acted to stay Mr. Duran Ortega’s deportation so that his appeal may be fully heard. As a journalist who has dedicated his career to reporting on government misconduct, Mr. Duran Ortega faces serious danger if he is deported to El Salvador. We will continue to fight to ensure he receives a fair hearing on his asylum claims. We will continue to fight for his freedom and to ensure he receives a fair hearing on his asylum claims.”
View the court ruling granting the stay here.
More information on the case and other documents can be found here.