A mother of four children living in Ohio for nearly 20 years has been deported to Mexico after a traffic stop revealed she was an undocumented immigrant, authorities said.
Beatriz Morelos Casillas, 37, was arrested outside Cleveland on July 24 for driving without a license. On Tuesday she arrived in Nuevo Laredo, a violent Mexican border town controlled by the deadly Zetas cartel.
Her husband, David DeJesus Casillas, traveled to the dangerous town to meet his wife and found her late that night, the Hispanic immigration group HOLA told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
The couple will now try to figure out what to do next, according to a spokesperson for the organization. David Casillas was legally living in the U.S. under a work visa.
He said his wife knows no one in the town across the border from Laredo, Texas.
They have lived in Painesville, just north of Cleveland, for the past 17 years. The couple has four children, ages 4 through 12, who are all American citizens.
“She’s scared; I believe she’s more scared for her children than for her right now,” nephew Christian Morelos told CBS News.
She was headed home from her factory job, where she works seven days a week, when she was pulled over, her family said.
“What happened to Beatriz was the direct result of the new [Trump] administration and the policies that have been given to ICE,” immigrant attorney Elizabeth Ford told CBS. “People with no criminal history are being told they have to leave the country in a very short amount of time, when they’ve built an entire life here with children and houses and families and jobs,” Ford said.
Thomas Horman, the acting director of ICE, has said his agency is simply doing its job in arresting immigrants who lack documentation.
Another Painesville deportee, Francisco Narciso, was kidnapped by cartel members when he arrived in Nuevo Laredo and was held for ransom six days until his girlfriend wired nearly $4,000, his friends and immigration advocacy groups said.
He was grabbed at gunpoint at a bus station and locked in a room with others who had been deported, his family said.
After being beaten and denied food, he was finally released Sunday night, his girlfriend told the Plain Dealer reported.
Kidnapping is a common money-making scheme for cartel members.
ICE has faced criticism for depositing deportees in the state of Tamaulipas. The U.S. State Department considers it one of the most dangerous areas of Mexico and advises American tourists to avoid the area.