On April 19th, despite the tireless efforts of the faith community, lawyers at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), and her family, Maribel Trujillo-Diaz, an Ohio mother of four U.S. citizen children and no criminal record, was deported to México.
Trujillo-Diaz received support from thousands of Ohioans and other Americans during her bid to remain in this country with her children, including her three year-old daughter who has a severe medical condition resulting in unpredictable seizures. The faith community has been at the forefront of this campaign. Maribel had the entire weight of the Catholic Church behind her, with the Archdioceses of Cincinnati and New Orleans calling for the federal government to halt her deportation. Sadly, it was to no avail.
According to a press release from ABLE: “Maribel’s motion to reopen her asylum case remains pending at the Board of Immigration Appeals, and ABLE is committed to continue representation of Maribel and her family until the case is resolved.”
The fact that Maribel was deported to potential danger despite this motion pending is just one deeply disturbing element of this case. Maribel had been living in Ohio under an Order of Supervision and complying with all of the government’s requirements. Despite this, the Trump Administration picked her up off the street, arrested her, detained her, and deported her.
Maribel’s ABLE attorney Kathleen Kersh said: “Maribel’s deportation shows that the Trump Administration is not focused on deporting criminals, but rather on separating peaceful mothers from their American children. It is horrific that American children will be the ones to pay the price for these heartless policies.”
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, “Recently, Secretary Kelly falsely claimed that his agents are only targeting criminals and ‘bad hombres.’ Maribel Trujillo is a crystal clear example of the reality: Trump and Kelly’s Deportation Force is targeting anyone and everyone they come across. Unfortunately, this will not be the last ‘Maribel’ case. But, just as we saw with the nationwide support for Maribel, Americans are standing united against deportations that target ordinary mothers and fathers, workers, and students, who now call America their home. We will continue to fight for an America that prizes united families and humane policies over the arbitrary and cruel deportation push by DHS.”
According to Lynn Tramonte, Director of Ohio’s Voice and Deputy Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, “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 México 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.”