The Goleta grandmother who was facing deportation can stay in the United States for at least another year.
The request had initially been denied.
“Humanitarian parole is a temporary band-aid fix, which must be regularly renewed,” said retired Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Frank Ochoa, now an arbitrator and mediator, and who has volunteered on Flores’ case.
“Her legal team is working on a permanent solution to this intractable wrong.”
Flores entered the United States from Mexico without a visa in 1988, two years after then-President Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act granting status to illegal immigrants.
Between 1988 and 2019, she married and settled down in California, where she and her husband, Andres — a permanent resident since 2009 and a U.S. citizen since 2015 — bought a home and raised a family, including son Caesar, a U.S. Air Force sergeant.
In 1999, Flores traveled to Mexico to visit her sick mother and attend her funeral. When she returned to the United States, she was stopped by Customs and Border Protection.
Although she received several extensions to be allowed to stay in the United States on humanitarian grounds, those ended on Feb. 26, 2019.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office ordered Flores back to Mexico, and she voluntarily left the country.
In 2021, Flores was granted humanitarian parole for three years.
Flores’ legal team has submitted a petition for a presidential pardon for Flores’ unlawful 1988 entry into the United States.