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Utah Man Worries Missing Immigration Documents May Have Been Destroyed By USPS Worker

Mailboxes along a road
Daria Nepriakhina
Wikimedia Commons
Julio Castro said he and his family never received their renewed green cards in the mail. He said the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told him to re-apply.

A Salt Lake City postal worker has recently been indicted on two counts of delaying or destroying mail. According to reporting by The Nevada Independent, Diana Molyneux allegedly threw out immigration documents, like work permits, starting as early as 2017. 

One Utah family is an example of what happens when important immigration documents go missing in the mail.

Julio Castro and his family have lived in Utah for five years. In 2017, they applied to renew their green cards, but Castro said the documents never came. He believes his paperwork was among the mail allegedly stolen by Molyneux.

He said his employer allowed him to keep his job at a hotel, but in March, his hours were cut due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, Castro said he can’t get a new job because he still doesn’t have the proper documentation.

“I have applied to some places, to some companies,” Castro said. “But when it is time to present the documents, I can’t advance. So it has been me who has been most affected because I can’t find work.”

Antonella Packard, the past director of the Utah Chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said she hasn’t heard from many Utahns whose livelihoods have been hurt by this issue, but she suspects Castro isn’t the only one.

“Fear makes it difficult for people to actually come forward and say I am, too, in this situation,” Packard said. “It could be because they have a mixed-status family or, by this point, they’re so frightened, they don’t want to cause waves.”

The U.S. Attorney for Utah is prosecuting Molyneux. According to Melodie Rydalch, a spokesperson for the office, they’ve contacted 181 potential victims associated with the case. Rydalch said the trial has been delayed because of the pandemic.

For now, Castro said a representative from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told him they need to re-apply for their documents. The renewal process could take months and cost more than $500. 

Ivana Martinez contributed to this report.

Emily Means covers politics for KUER. Follow Emily on Twitter @Em_Means13.

Emily Means is a government and politics reporter at KUER.
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