Press Release

Community plans party to celebrate her release

CRYSTAL LAKE – Meydi Guzman Rivas was released from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody this morning and will move in with her high school counselor, Sara Huser. Huser is an Illinois Education Association (IEA) member and met Meydi through her work as a counselor at Crystal Lake Central High School, where Meydi is a senior.

“This is about doing what’s right. Meydi came here fleeing violence in her home country. I strongly believe every child, every student, deserves a safe environment to learn and grow in.  She’s an outstanding student, and she deserves a loving home,” Huser said.

Guzman Rivas is a senior at Crystal Lake High School and was on track to graduate in May of 2020. However, she was taken into custody on Oct. 16, and was held in a detention center until she was released today.

Guzman Rivas came to America with her father in June of 2018. The U.S. government claims that Guzman Rivas and her father missed a court appearance in February of 2019. When they appeared for a scheduled court date in October, they were both immediately taken into custody by ICE agents for allegedly missing the February court date.

Since she was detained, several members of the community have mobilized to provide assistance, including several IEA members who work at Crystal Lake Central High School. Huser also immediately began working to free Guzman Rivas. She started a GoFundMe page for Meydi and is now her power of attorney.

“Because her father was taken into ICE custody, too, my family and I felt very strongly that we needed to make sure Meydi had somewhere safe to live upon her release. Being her power of attorney means I can truly look out for her. My husband, four children and I are ready to welcome her into our home with open arms,” Huser said. “For me, this is not about politics, this is about making sure my students are loved and cared for. The entire Crystal Lake community is behind her. We all love her and are so glad she’s come home.”

A judge still needs to decide if Guzman Rivas will be granted asylum and be allowed to stay in the United States permanently. However, there are currently no scheduled court dates. Guzman Rivas is being represented pro bono by Bruning and Associates.

This evening, there will be a community party to welcome Guzman Rivas home. It will be held at the Huser home in Crystal Lake. If you are interested in attending, please contact IEA Media Relations Director Bridget Shanahan at bridget.shanahan@ieanea.org, or by phone at 708.341.4361.

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The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.