Cancer patient may be deported over traffic stop

by: Tony Thomas Updated:

Vega was taken to Grady Hospital for her injuries. While she recovered, police took out arrest warrants on her for misdemeanor charges of failure to yield and driving without a license.

MARIETTA, Ga. - A Cobb County Cancer patient is out of jail and facing possible deportation.

Her attorney is accusing the Cobb County police of aggressive tactics and no compassion after forcing her to report to jail instead of writing her a citation.

Police said it's the policy they have had since 1947.

Carolina Vega's legal troubles began when police said she failed to yield to oncoming traffic while crossing Veterans Memorial at Buckner Road earlier this month.

The police report said she wound up in a crash with two other vehicles. She gave the officer a Mexican ID because she is undocumented.

Vega was taken to Grady Hospital for her injuries. While she recovered, police took out arrest warrants on her for misdemeanor charges of failure to yield and driving without a license.

Her attorney, Douglas Rohan, said most Georgia counties would have simply written her a citation and not forced her to report to jail.

Her family said she is being treated for an aggressive form of Stage 2 breast cancer and anytime in jail or deportation could worsen her condition.

"I am worried and I'm preoccupied about having to go back. My whole family is here but I'm hopeful and more than anything I'm hoping we can work something out here," Vega said after walking out of jail, released on a signature bond as she waits to here if she will be deported.

Rohan said he understands police and federal authorities are following the law, but he accuses the Cobb County officer of being overly aggressive. He believes compassion should have come into play.

"To ask a cancer patient to turn herself into jail after being explained the circumstances is just an example of the overly aggressive nature that Cobb County seeks to enforce these matters," Rohan said. "Cobb County treats this in a different manner than other county's treat it."

A Cobb County police spokesperson said the officer followed procedures.

"Law enforcement upon coming upon somebody who does not have a license in Cobb County, will make an arrest." said Sgt. Dana Pierce.

Vega's daughter worries for her mother. She says Caroline has been in the United States for 20 years.

"You can't just throw someone out that's fought for their life, you know, someone who has been here for more than 20 years. Basically this is her home," said Crystal Mungua. "If she goes and leaves the country, where is her home at? Where is she going to go now? Who is going to take care of her and her cancer? It's not just cancer it's aggressive stage two, she can't' just be thrown out of here without any medical help."

Vega must report to immigration authorities on a weekly basis while her case is being decided.



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