Lidiane Carmo, the 15-year-old illegal immigrant and sole survivor of a deadly crash in Florida on Sunday has been reassured that she will not be deported.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Miss Lidiane Carmo as she deals with the tragic loss of her family,” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Barbara Gonzalez said according to CNN. “Reports of her facing deportation are completely false.” In a written statement Gonzalez wrote, “ICE’s stated priorities include convicted criminals, immigration fugitives, repeat immigration law violators and recent border crossers.”
Carmo and her family were returning to their home in Georgia from a conference in Orlando when the vehicle she was riding in caught fire on I-75. The crash cost her the lives of everyone in her immediate family including both of her parents and her sister.
Carmo arrived in the United States from Brazil when she was only 2-years-old according to a pastor at International Church of the Restoration in Marietta, Georgia. After their visas expired, she and her family remained in the U.S. when they were not able to lawfully gain legal status. “She is like any American girl. (But) she wasn't born here," said Rev. Aron Amazonas, a pastor at the Church where Carmo’s father was also a pastor. “She acts like an American girl. She almost can't speak the Portuguese language. She doesn't know the people there."
According to Carmo’s extended family, Florida Governor Rick Scott visited the teen in the hospital promising that Florida would foot Carmo’s medical bill, as she has no health insurance, as well as the cost of returning the bodies of her family to Georgia.
Since the visit, however, little support has been displayed on Scott’s end as he has dodged any conversation relating to the hospital visit. “The governor gave the family members a phone number to call. They have called the number a few times, with no answer or returned call," a close to the family source told CNN. The governor has asked the state Department of Law Enforcement to further investigate the conditions around the crash.