Mother faces deportation hearing after trying to get cable service

Cable request led to immigration issues

ablythe@newsobserver.comDecember 13, 2012 

A 26-year-old mother who used a phony Social Security number in Alamance County this summer to try to get Time Warner cable services now faces deportation because of that attempt.

Lorena Yanez-Mata, a native of Mexico who moved to the U.S. illegally eight years ago, could find out Thursday whether she will be forced to leave.

A deportation hearing is scheduled in federal immigration court in Charlotte on Thursday, two days after the Alamance County district attorney dropped the felony charge that launched the procedure.

Yanez-Mata has become a rallying force for advocates of immigration policy reform and a target for critics who argue that she should be penalized for not having proper documentation to live in this country.

Her case has been talked about widely on social media sites.

Yanez-Marta has a 7-year-old daughter who was born in this country and is a United States citizen.

She has an older son in Mexico. She had no criminal record before her July arrest. Once the charges were dropped, her supporters contend the deportation procedures should be halted.

Yanez-Marta’s case has raised questions about how her request for cable service brought her legal troubles.

Fake Social Security card

Her problems go back to July 30, when she walked into Time Warner offices in Burlington and presented a fraudulent Social Security card she had used before for employment opportunities.

The cable company employee had questions about the card and showed it to an off-duty police officer working security there.

That led to further questions, criminal charges and the deportation procedures that are expected to draw a crowd of opposition and a cascade of questions about the cable company’s involvement.

Time Warner response

Scott Pryzwansky, a Time Warner spokesman, said it was not the company’s policy to share that kind of information with law enforcement.

“[T]his action was not following any Time Warner Cable procedure or direction given from any Time Warner Cable employee,” he said in a statement. “TWC did not refer Ms. Yanez-Mata to either the county prosecutor or Homeland Security and did not request prosecution. We had reached out to the prosecutor and were working closely with Ms. Yanez-Mata’s criminal attorney, as TWC never had any interest in charges being brought against her.”

Blythe: 919-836-4948

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