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Maribel Trujillo Diaz pictured with her daughter (Advocates for Basic Legal Equality).

Broken homes

Mother of 4 separated from her children as Trump targets non-criminal undocumented immigrants

April 28, 2017

President Donald Trump has attempted to assuage critics of his immigration policy by claiming that only dangerous criminals are being targeted for deportation. The reality, however, has proved different from the rhetoric. According to The Washington Post’s Maria Sacchetti, 5,441 undocumented immigrants with no criminal record were apprehended by ICE between January and mid-March — including one 42-year-old Ohio mother who was sent back to Mexico alone, separated from her husband and children.

Maribel Trujillo Diaz said that she illegally crossed the border in 2002 with her husband, but that she had done so in order to escape retribution from gangs who had kidnapped her brother, her father, and extorted her mother.

“I know it wasn’t right to enter the country like I did without documents,” she told the Post, “But I have not committed any crimes. I was working to get ahead for my kids.”

Her deportation came in spite of campaigns from politicians, Catholic archdioceses in multiple states, and petitions signed by people across the country. Even Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, singled her out as undeserving of deportation in comments made to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

None of it made a difference. On April 19, Trujillo was deported to Mexico with no belongings, clothing, passport, or any other documents whatsoever. Speaking with the Post, Diaz was careful to conceal details about her exact location out of fear that drug cartels had tapped the phone line. But she said her greatest concern was for her four children, including her epileptic 3-year-old daughter, who now must live without her.

“He says he is taking care of citizens, of Americans,” Trujillo said of Trump. “My kids are Americans. And just like he’s hurt my kids, he has hurt many citizens who have been left without a parent.”

Trujillo said that 3-year-old Daniella had yet to really understand the situation. Speaking with her mother on the phone a day before, Daniella told Trujillo that she had made her bed for her. “When are you going to get home to go to sleep?” Daniella asked. Barring a miracle, the answer is likely to be never.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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