Skipping School Gets 2 Sisters Deported
By KENNETH DEAN
WINONA - Skipping school is usually met with fines and the threat of jail time; but, for two sisters, the punishment was much worse - they were deported.
Smith County Justice of the Peace Mitch Shamburger said he presided over truancy court last month when Brisa and Lluva Amante, both 17, snickered in his courtroom.
The John Tyler High School students were before him for skipping school and Shamburger said he fined them each for the action and told them to go to school every day and not to come back to his courtroom.
"I thought they would take it seriously and I wouldn't see them again," he said Friday.
However, the twins and a younger sister were brought before him on Feb. 14 for another charge of truancy.
"I asked them if they didn't understand and they just kind of snickered," he said.
Shamburger said he instructed the bailiff to handcuff the two sisters and hoped that would sober up their mood.
"It cut down on the giggling, but they stood against the wall and still kind of laughed," he said.
Shamburger said he called the two teens in front of his bench and told them they were both adults in the eyes of the law and he was sending them to the Smith County Jail to do time for skipping school.
"I told the deputy constable that if the twins had a come to Jesus meeting then he could turn around, but they didn't so he proceeded to the jail to book them in," he said.
What happened next took Shamburger by surprise.
"The officer called me and said I wouldn't have to worry about them skipping school anymore because ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) placed a hold on them and was deporting them back to El Salvador," he said.
Shamburger said he hoped the girls would learn a lesson from visiting the jail, but was not prepared for the news.
"In all of my years on the bench I have never had someone deported for truancy," he said.