Immigration won’t deport Sacramento’s ‘tamale lady’

Yes, tamales.

Yes, tamales.

Many know Reyes as “the tamale lady,” who was cited by a sheriff’s deputy with misdemeanor trespassing and taken into custody on June 28, after Walmart security asked her three times to stop selling her eats in the mega-chain’s parking lot.

Reyes spent nearly two weeks in Sacramento County jail waiting on her trespass charge—without access to an attorney and with her two elementary-school-age children in foster care—before her two-day ICE hold commenced.

Outrage over Reyes’ case went national: Critics argued that she shouldn’t have been cited in the first place, let alone locked up in downtown’s jail for a misdemeanor.

The community rallied in Reyes’ defense, including local attorney Julia Vera, who took on Reyes’ case pro bono. Vera argued that Reyes—who has been in the country nearly 16 years, has had no prior run-ins with law enforcement and boasts strong ties to the local community—was eligible to have her case dropped. And last week, it was.