Maribel Trujillo Diaz, an Ohio mother of four American-born children who had lived in the U.S. for 15 years and has no criminal record, was deported to Mexico on Wednesday morning, according to her lawyers.
“We are disappointed and outraged that ICE has chosen not to exercise prosecutorial discretion despite the thousands of calls and nationwide advocacy from community members, elected officials, and faith leaders,” Kathleen Kersh, an attorney with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, said in a statement about her client.
Trujillo sought asylum in the U.S. after her family was threatened by a Mexican drug cartel, her lawyers said in another statement sent to reporters. Trujillo’s four children are U.S. citizens, and her three-year-old daughter suffers from seizures. Trujillo, who had a permit to work legally in the U.S., was reportedly the main breadwinner for the family.
Before she was deported, her supporters rallied to her defense with protests, vigils, and calls to action in an effort to keep her in the country with her children. Over 700 clergy from around the country also signed a letter calling on Department of Homeland Security secretary John Kelly to halt her deportation.
The number of undocumented immigrants arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers jumped in the first months of the Trump administration after the president signed two executive orders to ramp up deportations and border security. In the first few months of this year, ICE arrests of undocumented immigrants with no criminal history–residents like Trujillo–have more than doubled compared to the same time period last year under former President Obama, according to The Washington Post.
In a statement posted online by the immigration advocacy group America’s Voice, Lynn Tramonte, the director of Ohio’s Voice and deputy director of the America’s Voice Education Fund, criticized the Trump administration for this latest deportation:
Just a month ago, Maribel had a U.S. government-issued work permit and a life here in Ohio. A family had their mom. Now, she’s on a one-way flight back to Mexico without her family, including her three-year-old daughter who desperately needs her mother’s care. What changed? Trump. His Deportation Force is going after anybody and everybody, including people who are walking into their offices for regularly scheduled appointments, just as they have done for years. When Secretary Kelly and President Trump claim to target only bad people, they are lying. Maribel and many others are sad proof of that.
As Fusion reported earlier this month, Trujillo was unable to say goodbye to her children before she was unexpectedly arrested by ICE outside her home near Cincinnati.
“It just feels horrible when anyone takes away someone you really love, close to your heart, and just takes them away and says you won’t see them anymore,” Trujillo’s son Oswaldo told Fusion.