Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Injured Undocumented 15-year-old Sole Brazilian Survivor Won't Face Deportation After Florida Deadly Pile-up

Lidiane Carmo

Photo: Family

Marietta church members plan to take the victim's bodies to Georgia for services and then transport them to Brazil for burial.

By H. Nelson Goodson
February 1, 2012

Gainsville, FL - On Wednesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokeswoman, Barbara Gonzalez confirmed in a released statement, that Lidiane Carmo, 15, an illegal immigrant sole family survivor won't be deported to Brazil. She lost both her parents and a sister in the deadly Florida's pile-up on Sunday. Gonzalez offered her condolences to Lidiane and the Carmo family. She wrote "Our thoughts and prayers are with Miss Lidiane Carmo as she deals with the tragic loss of her family," ICE spokeswoman Gonzalez said. "Reports of her facing deportation are completely false...ICE’s stated priorities (for deportation) include convicted criminals, immigration fugitives, repeat immigration law violators and recent border crossers."
The family, Jose Carmo Jr., his wife Adriana, their daughter Leticia, Jose's brother Edson, including his girlfriend Rosa DaSilva were reported killed in the deadly pileup on Interstate 75. All of the victims were undocumented residing in Marietta, Georgia and were originally from Brazil. When their visas expired 12 years ago, they decided to remain in the U.S. without authorization.
Nine others travelling in a second van with the group were injured, but survived.
Carmo was the pastor and one of the founders for the Marietta Church for Restoration in Cobb County. Fifteen church members were attending a church religious conference in Orlando and were returning home in two vans when the accident happened.
At least 11 people were confirmed dead in the Florida I-75 pile-up. Many of the drivers were travelling on early Sunday through I-75 when fog and smoke from a field covered the highway making it impossible to see and vehicles just crashed into each other in a chain reaction. More than 20 vehicles were involved, 11 people died and at least 21 were reported injured.
Lidiane attends the Sprayberry High School in Marietta and came to the U.S. when was only 2.
She is still recovering from the accident at a local hospital in Gainsville, Florida.
Church members are trying to raise funds to move the bodies of those killed to Marietta for funeral services and then would transport the bodies to Barzil for burial, according to news reports.
Lidiane's family members told CNN, that on Sunday, Florida Governor Rick Scott visited Lidiane at the hospital and assured her that the state would take case of expenses, including costs to transport the bodies of those killed from her church back to Georgia. She has no insurance. The Governor's office would not confirm the humanitarian good will offer by Scott.
On Wednesday, Governor Scott canceled an interview with CNN after his staff learned that questions about paying medical expenses and transportation costs for Lidiane's family were going to be asked, in the upcoming primary elections segment that was scheduled.

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