Community reacts to Fairfield mother's deportation
CINCINNATI (WKRC ) - A Fairfield mother was deported to Mexico on April 19. That's according to officials with the AMOS Project.
Maribel Trujillo Diaz had been living in Fairfield with her husband and four children, the youngest of which is 3-years-old. There was an effort to send her back with her mother, but ICE denied that request.
All reports indicate she had been a productive member of the community and of her church, despite her illegal status.
Trujillo's attorney, Emily Brown out of Columbus, said her client was holding up well under the circumstances. She is very concerned about her children and scared for her safety in Mexico. They had been working to secure a stay through a legal protection request but it was a long shot.
Now, there is no legal way for Trujillo to return to the United States. It will be up to her family to visit.
ICE agents detained Trujillo earlier this month. Since then, the community has been fighting for asylum. There were prayer vigils and rallies, petition drives and calls for governors and senators to intervene on her behalf.
There is sadness at St. Julie Billiart Church in Hamilton where Trujillo was a parishioner.
Father Mike Pucke spent the day with Trujillo's family on the day they prayed would never come--the day she would be deported back to Mexico.
“Maribel’s husband called me and told me she had called him from the airport in Mexico City to say that she had arrived safe and sound, but not very happy,” Pucke said.
Trujillo's immigration troubles began in 2007 when she was caught up in an immigration raid at Koch Foods. She was able to stay in the country while seeking asylum, but it was denied.
Her 14-year-old son says the family never had a chance to say goodbye.
“It was just a goodbye like she was going to work…it wasn’t like a hug or a kiss like we usually do,” he said.
While there is disappointment over the move to deport Trujillo, others support tough immigration laws. Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones weighed in on Trujillo's deportation.
"My thoughts are, as I've always said, the law is the law. I have compassion for her and her four children. I have compassion for anybody that is separated from their family," he said.
Attorneys for Trujillo fear there are others like her who could face the same fate.
“I mean, I think if they would deport Maribel, who’s a tax-payer, works full-time, has U.S. citizen children, no criminal convictions, I bet we can expect more Maribels and other people as well," said Kathleen Kersh of Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, or ABLE.
Trujillo's husband will now act as a single parent, but he will have support and there is still hope.
Kersh says there is no lawful way for Trujillo to return to this country. Her 14-year-old son would have to wait until he is 21 in order to petition for her return, but there is an outside chance that the Board of Immigration Appeals could still reopen her request for asylum based on her claims Mexican cartels have threatened members of her family.
Trujillo had been held at the LaSalle Detention Facility in Jena, Louisiana.
Sadly, we have just learned that Maribel Trujillo Diaz is on a plane to Mexico. Despite the prayers, calls, emails, tweets, and efforts from so many, our nation and its leaders have decided to separate Maribel from her four children.
Last evening, we held a service of lament and resolve, and many of our hearts are broken with and for Maribel and her family, and the thousands of Maribels who are going through similar experiences right now.
We expect there will be a service at Maribel's parish in Hamilton on Sunday afternoon--details to come.
In the meantime, please continue to PRAY & ACT. Let us resolve not to forget Maribel, her story, her family, and the grief and anger so many of us are experiencing right now.
In the Struggle for Justice,
Troy Jackson, AMOS