Court: Immigration officials didn't give deported mom of 4 a chance
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The immigration fight in our nation’s capital is about to reach a tipping point. Congress has less than two days to pass a bill funding the government.
As protests erupt all over the country the debate is reignited in Cincinnati after an appeals court says immigration officials messed up in the case of Maribel Trujillo Diaz. Trujillo Diaz has deported nine months ago after living in Butler County illegally for 15 years.
The United States Court of Appeals Sixth District ruled the United States Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) must reopen the case and look at the evidence filed by Trujillo Diaz weeks before she was deported. Attorneys for Trujillo Diaz say the BIA failed to consider the evidence during the appeal process nearly a year ago.
“They ignored much of the compelling evidence that she had submitted about the harm being done to her family and what would be done to her in Mexico and that she’s in danger,” said Attorney Emily Brown.
In the filling of February of 2017, court records show:
Trujillo Diaz learned that her father had been kidnapped by the
Knights Templar, a Mexican cartel. According to Trujillo Diaz’s father, during his kidnapping,
his captors told him they were looking for “Omar Daniel,” Trujillo Diaz’s brother, who had
previously refused to join the La Familia cartel. “The men” told him that they “wanted to find
Omar Daniel because they were upset that he would not work for the gang” and that “[t]hey
were very angry that they could not find Omar Daniel because he had fled to the United States.”
They mentioned Trujillo Diaz by name, telling her father that they “knew [he] was the father of
Omar Daniel and Maribel,” and that they “knew that Maribel had gone to the United States too.”
They threatened to “hurt the rest of [his] family if they could not get their hands on Omar Daniel
After the three-judge panel made the decision, Brown called her client in Mexico with the good news.
“She’s very happy to hear this, she’s hoping that 4.52she knows that this brings her one step closer to being reunited with her family,” said Brown.
For those who’ve been fighting for Maribel since the beginning of this ordeal, they are quick to point out it’s a family she hasn’t seen in nine months.
"In nine months a child could learn to tie their shoes, in nine months a child could learn to ride a bicycle, in nine months a child can learn to read. If any of that happened in Maribel's family, she missed it,” said Reverend David Meredith.
Rev. Meredith is new Chairman of the AMOS Project, a federation of congregations in Greater Cincinnati dedicated to promoting justice & improving the quality of life for all residents. They’ve been involved in the fight for Trujillo Diaz from day one.
“I’m relieved that someone stepped in and said no, that really was an injustice. We can’t fix it completely but we can perhaps change the future trajectory of that story,” said Rev. Meredith.
Trujillo Diaz’s attorneys point out this decision by the appeals sends a clear message to The White House.
“Just because the Trump Administration has incredibly hurt immigration policies and made its intent known to deport as many people as possible at the same time the courts are pushing back on what is legally permitted and saying no,” said Brown. “Immigrants do have due process rights, immigrants do have the right to challenge the evidence against them and present their own evidence and have stories be heard.”
The case now moves from the Sixth Circuit back to the BIA, a process could take up to two months.
Best case scenario, The BIA remands the case back to an immigration judge to consider the new evidence. Trujillo Diaz would be allowed to return to testify if a new hearing is granted before a judge.