Crystal Lake high school senior held in ICE detention center for more than 4 months to be released

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After more than four months in an ICE detention center, a northwest suburban high school senior is being released.

"She wants to be with her friends, with her support system, with the Husers, and she wants to be back in school working towards getting her high school diploma," said Illinois Education Association spokesperson Bridget Shanahan.

And soon, 18-year-old Meydi Guzman Rivas will be. It's an unimaginable relief.

"She's been terrified this entire time and she misses the people that she's come to know, so being able to assist her and get her out of there, it's been fantastic," said Nate Reyes, attorney with Bruning and Associates, P.C.

After nearly four and a half months at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center downstate, Guzman Rivas, a senior at Crystal Lake Central High School, will be headed back to the community that's rallied to help her.

"When she found out that her case had been reopened and she was going to get a bond hearing, she was the happiest I had seen her literally since the moment I saw her in October," Reyes said.

Guzman Rivas was granted $2,000 bond Wednesday after being arrested by deportation officers in October of 2019. Immigration officials said she missed a court date.

Her high school counselor Sara Huser, her husband John and family stepped in to help.

"People need to help other people," John Huser said.

The Husers will be hosting Guzman Rivas in their home indefinitely as her case works through the asylum process.

"We've redone my daughter's room, she's going to share with her," Huser said.

The Husers said Guzman Rivas came to the US with her father as the two fled violence in their home country of Honduras.

When Guzman Rivas gets back to Crystal Lake, the family is ready to celebrate.

"Everyone in the community, people have donated money, clothes, whatever she needs. It's just really nice to see there's still good people out there," Huser said.

ICE needs a 24-hour notification of bond before they will release a detainee. They also have to transport her from Pulaski County in far southern Illinois.

The 18-year-old high school senior may be back in Crystal Lake Thursday night.
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