Fairfield mother’s immigration case re-opened

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Mexican Mom of four may be deported Tuesday

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Mexican mother of four who was deported to Mexico 14 months ago hopes to see her three children and husband who are still living in Fairfield in coming months.

Maribel Trujillo Diaz and her lawyers hold that hope because she won a legal appeal in January, when a three-judge panel from the Sixth U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals had “abused its discretion” and should reconsider her case.

ExploreRELATED: Maribel’s case: What options do immigrants have to become legal?

The appellate court found the immigration panel had failed to sufficiently consider evidence it was provided about dangers she and her family in Mexico face from a drug cartel in that country, including kidnappings of family members.

The immigration court “last week did tell us that they will reopen Maribel’s case in mid-September,” Father Mike Pucke, her former pastor at St. Julie Billiart Church in Hamilton, told the Journal-News.

“This is good news, especially considering we weren’t quite sure this was ever going to happen,” Pucke said. “What we’re hoping is that the government allows Maribel to re-enter the United States so as to be able to participate in her own defense in Cleveland.”

The woman, who goes by the last name Trujillo, was deported April 19, 2017. She has spoken with her family by phone and video computer apps in the meantime. Her oldest son Oswaldo, then 14, told the Journal-News last year that authorities hadn’t allowed him to hug his mother the last time he was with her in person.

Her youngest daughter will turn 5 Thursday.

Kathleen Kersh, one of Trujillo’s lawyers, told the Journal-News in January that if the matter were to return for reconsideration, “we would absolutely make that argument, that she cannot possibly have her day in court, if she’s not even here (in the courtroom).”

Pucke said Maribel “is not doing well. The kids have had difficult times. Their father, in order to put food on the table, has to work, and his extended family is limited in what they can do. It does mean that the kids just don’t have as much time with their parents as they’d like to have, which worries Maribel.”

News also arrived Wednesday nationally that President Donald Trump had signed an executive order ending the practice of separating young children from their parents who sought to cross Mexican border into this country.

“As much as it’s really good that President Trump has decided to reverse his decision to separate families, the long-term question is what kind of bill will emerge from Congress concerning migration?” Pucke said.

“What I’m hoping for is legislation that, while protecting our borders, is couched in the spirit of this great poem on the Stature of Liberty,” Pucke said.

That’s Emma Lazarus’ work that says, “Give me your tired, your poor, our huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”