After 30 years in the U.S., where she raised three children, worked and paid taxes in Sterling Heights, Zahrija Purovic, 50, was put on a plane and sent to Montenegro on Thursday.
Despite no criminal record and a pending motion for a stay of removal in federal appeals court, immigration authorities ordered her to pack her belongings, purchase a plane ticket and appear at Detroit Metro Airport.
Her lawyer called the deportation nonsensical, and said Purovic has few ties to her native country, having never gone back since moving to the U.S. at age 19.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson declined to discuss her case.
“This is a good example of the nonsensical deportations that we are seeing,” said Purovic’s attorney, Carrie Pastor. “She has no criminal record… she was denied asylum many years ago, but we have no idea why since the court records have been damaged.