Teen in I-75 pileup not facing deportation

Feb. 2, 2012 at 4:17 PM
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GAINESVILLE, Fla., Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Immigration officials said they will not deport an illegal immigrant teenager who was injured and lost much of her family in a multi-vehicle wreck in Florida.

Lidiane Carmo, 15, moved to the United States with her family from Brazil when she was 2-years-old, CNN reported.

"She is like any regular American girl. [But] she wasn't born here," Rev. Aron Amazonas, a pastor at International Church of the Restoration in Marietta, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, said Wednesday. "She acts like an American girl. She almost can't speak the Portuguese language. She doesn't know the people there."

On Sunday, Carmo and five members of her family were returning to Georgia from a religious conference in Orlando when they were involved in the massive crash on Interstate 75 that claimed the lives of 10 people and left 21 people injured.

The teenager's father, Jose Carmo, another pastor at the Church of the Restoration, mother, Adriana, and sister Leticia were killed in the crash, as well as Jose Carmo's brother, Edsom Carmo.

"The Carmo family was in the United States illegally," said Alonso Oliveira, a family friend and pastor. "The family wanted to obtain legal status but had no laws to help them do so."

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said the teenager is not facing deportation.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Miss Lidiane Carmo as she deals with the tragic loss of her family," ICE spokeswoman Barbara Gonzalez said. "Reports of her facing deportation are completely false."

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