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KUNC is among the founding partners of the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration of public media stations that serve the Western states of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

USPS Employee Charged With Throwing Out Key Immigration Documents

A U.S. Postal Service employee faces jail time after allegedly throwing out critical immigration documents.

Diana Molyneux is being prosecuted in a federal court in Utah for discarding or delaying mail at a Salt Lake City post office. Those mail pieces went missing starting in 2017. And the consequences were dire for the expected recipients, affecting people in Nevada who were waiting on green cards and other important immigration documents.

The Nevada Independent, which first reported this story, found that some lost jobs, others paid up to $1000 to get new applications. Some individuals who had applied to become part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program also lost paperwork or applications, leaving these DREAMers in legal limbo. That DACA program could help them get jobs and pauses their undocumented legal status.

Timing was critical because in late 2017, new applications were halted by the Trump administration.

Malou Chávez is deputy director for the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project. She says if applicants didn’t meet that critical 2017 deadline, they’re likely still waiting. That’s even after a recent U.S. Supreme Court win for the DACA program because she said that only granted renewals, not new applications.

“Those are the people now who are hurting the most,” she said.

She cautioned those who were unable to get DACA status, and even those who were, to seek legal advice from attorneys who know immigration law to seek more permanent solutions.

Employees found guilty of stealing, opening or destroying mail face up to a $2,000 fine and/or up to five years in prison.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Copyright 2020 Boise State Public Radio News. To see more, visit Boise State Public Radio News.

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