The Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati intervened on behalf of one of its members Thursday by asking politicians and law enforcement to halt the impending deportation of Maribel Trujillo Diaz.
Trujillo is scheduled to be deported next Tuesday, according to The Guardian.
Trujillo is a mother of four who came to the U.S. in 2002 because her family had been targeted by Mexican cartels. She previously feared deportation, but was granted “prosecutorial discretion,” according to the church’s statement. As part of an agreement, the Archdiocese explained, Trujillo was required to go to regular check-ins with ICE and was told she could remain in the U.S. as her case for asylum is still pending.
ICE arrived at Trujillo’s brother’s home unexpectedly on Wednesday and took her into custody for deportation, according to the Archdiocese. In its statement, the Archdiocese said she was unable to say goodbye to all of her children:
We urge that prosecutorial discretion for Maribel be extended. We fully respect the Department of Homeland Security’s duty to enforce our immigration laws, and we recognize that this is not an easy task. At the same time, it is clear that the common good cannot be served at this stage by separating this wife and mother from her family. Our community gains nothing by being left with a single-parent household when such a responsible and well respected family can be kept together.
Trujillo’s four children are U.S. citizens. One of the children, a 3-year-old, has recurring seizures; another is pre-diabetic. Both require special attention from her mother, who is also the family’s main source of income.
“I don’t understand the reason to separate my family. I have no criminal record, I’m here working to support my family, so that my kids can study and have a better life for themselves,” Trujillo told The Guardian before she was detained. “Why does President Trump want to divide my family and make me leave my kids behind – what are they going to do without their mama?”
Trujillo told The Guardian that she would not want to leave her children behind in America, but also would not want to expose them to danger in Mexico, where members of her family have been kidnapped and received death threats.
In a statement published by public radio station WVSU, ICE said that, in 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed Trujillo’s appeals, making her “subject to a final order of deportation.”
“In an exercise of discretion, the agency has allowed Ms. Trujillo to remain free from custody with periodic reporting, while her immigration case was pending,” ICE explained in the statement WVSU reported.
The Archdiocese is asking supporters to contact Ohio governor John Kasich’s office and ask him to intervene in order to keep the family together.