CIUDAD JUAREZ, Chihuahua — Ana Isela Martinez Amaya, the Mexican teacher who was wrongfully accused of smuggling over 100 pounds of marijuana across the border from Juarez in 2011, is on the verge of having her visa status revoked.
Amaya’s attorney, Pamela Munoz, held a press conference in front of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services building in El Paso on Tuesday in response to the agency’s intention to revoke her immigration status.
Amaya has a U-Visa which is set aside for people who are the victims of certain crimes.
Back in 2011, Amaya was arrested when Mexican immigration officials found two suitcases filled with over 100 pounds of marijuana inside. Amaya had pleaded with law enforcement that she did not know how the suitcases got in her trunk.
She spent 45 days in a Juarez prison as her family and friends protested her release. It was later discovered that she was the victim of a drug smuggling scheme that targeted people who regularly crossed the border in the express lane. Smugglers would plant the drugs in her trunk in Mexico at night, and then pick up the drugs the next morning in Texas when she got to work without her knowing.
Amaya was a well-known and loved teacher at a bilingual charter school in El Paso.