CINCINNATI, OH (AP) — An immigration official says a Mexican mother of four U.S.-born children living in southwest Ohio has been returned to Mexico.
Attorney Kathleen Kersh of Advocates for Basic Legal Equality says they are “disappointed and outraged” about the Wednesday deportation of Maribel Trujillo Diaz.
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement statement says courts have “uniformly held” that she had no legal basis to remain. Immigration officials say she entered the country illegally in 2002.
She had been moved to an immigration detention center near Jena, Louisiana, after a federal appeals court on April 11 dismissed her bid for an emergency order. Faith leaders and community supporters had called for her to be reunited with her family in Butler County.
The Donald Trump administration has pledged stepped-up immigration enforcement.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati had called for mercy, saying she has made positive contributions to her church and community in Butler County, just north of Cincinnati. Her attorneys say her family has been targeted by drug cartels in her homeland.
The archdiocese has said deporting Trujillo Diaz wouldn’t serve the Donald Trump administration’s immigration goals of public safety and removing criminal elements because she has no criminal history and cares for children ranging in age from 3 to 14, the youngest with special needs. It called the action to take her into custody last week “cruel and unacceptable.”
Ohio’s Republican governor also spoke out against the immigration action.
“We have enough broken families in the country,” Gov. John Kasich told The Cincinnati Enquirer’s editorial board Monday. “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?”
But Kasich said the state doesn’t have jurisdiction in the immigration matter.
“There’s nothing I can do about it,” said Kasich, who ran against Trump in the presidential primary race. “In case you didn’t know, I’m not president.”