Undocumented immigrant in Harrisonburg granted stay of removal


Image of Cesar Lara Rios from WHSV video in 2013

A stay of removal has been granted in the case, pending consideration by the Board of Immigration Appeals of a motion to reopen.

According to the family attorney, ICE must halt any enforcement action against Cesar in compliance with the BIAs order.


Cesar Lara Rios, an undocumented immigrant living in Harrisonburg, is facing deportation back to Mexico. But a new motion filed Tuesday could be his last chance at staying in the United States.

On Tuesday, May 30, attorney Zarana Robinson with Leyrute PLLC in Herndon filed a motion to re-open Rio’s case, a move she says can usually only be done once. Robinson and her firm have tried unsuccessfully in the past to re-open his case, but, she says, the exception this time is “changed circumstances.” According to Robinson, three of Rio’s family members have been murdered in Mexico, leading him to be fearful of returning.

“So what I’m arguing is that this recent killing or murders, it’s a triple homicide of his family members comes under that exception that the law allows,” said Robinson.

Rios was first detained in Rockingham County in 2012 after being arresting for chopping a piece of wood in Shenandoah National Park. After the arrest, he was convicted of “unauthorized use of wood” and fined $50 with no jail time. However, after running an immigration check on him, he was placed into removal proceedings in 2012 and scheduled to be deported to Mexico in June.

Then, Immigration and Customs Enforcement granted him a “stay of removal,” allowing him to stay in the country for one year. That “stay of removal” was renewed until…

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