Undocumented Mother of 4 to Be Deported After Losing Court Battle
A mother of four U.S.-born children in Ohio will likely soon be deported after failing to get the backing of a court of appeals.
Maribel Trujillo Diaz faces imminent deportation to her native Mexico following the Sixth Court of Appeals' decision to deny her request to stay in the country Tuesday.
Diaz, whose youngest child is 3 and has special needs, is likely to be barred from re-entering her children's native country for the next 10 years.
As she awaits deportation in a Louisiana ICE facility, Diaz's supporters, including the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and even the state's Republican governor and presidential also-ran John Kasich, have come to her defense.
In a statement, the archdiocese wrote:
"Maribel has made a life in Ohio based on positive contributions to her church and her community. She has no criminal history. She is a lay leader at her parish, whose members are surrounding her with prayers that she be permitted to remain with them and her family.
"Maribel’s children, ages 14, 12, 10 and 3, are all U.S. citizens. Her 3-year-old daughter has recurring seizures and requires the attention and care of her mother."
The archdiocese called it "cruel and unacceptable" when Diaz was taken into custody last week.
A spokesman for Sen. Brown said the lawmaker has personally called immigration authorities urging them to reconsider Diaz's case.
"We have enough broken families in the country," Gov. Kasich told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "And now what we’re going to do is go hunt them down and ship them out and break up the family and scare the kids?”
However, the former opponent of Donald Trump lamented that he personally was powerless to help. "In case you didn’t know, I’m not president," he said.
In its decision, the court said Diaz wasn't timely in filing her appeal after becoming subject to a final order of removal since 2014.
Immigration officials contend Trujillo Diaz entered the United States illegally in 2002 and has exhausted her appeals.
Nonetheless, her supporters stress that a family will be torn apart should Diaz be sent to Mexico.
"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," the archdiocese wrote.