Orlando, Florida, Aug 3 (EFE).- Before boarding a plane to Mexico as required by a deportation order, the wife of a US Marine veteran and mother of two daughters born in the USA said Friday that she did “everything humanly possible” to keep her family together in a country that for more than 20 years has been her home.
Alejandra Juarez, 39, arrived early Friday at Orlando International Airport accompanied by her husband, Cuauhtemoc “Temo” Juarez, 41, and her daughters ages 16 and 8, as well as by close friends of the family from Davenport, Florida. They all came to say goodbye.
Her nightmare began in 2013 in a traffic jam. Local police stopped her and handed her over to federal immigration authorities because she was undocumented.
“”I’ve done everything humanly possible that I could have done to stay,” she said before getting on the plane.
The couple had decided that the younger daughter will go live with her mother in Mexico once she has a home there, while the elder will stay with her father.
Alejandra, who entered the country illegally in 1998, exhausted all legal resources so she could stay with her family.
On Friday she saw the “American dream” she has lived for 20 years shattered, as she became one of the bleak faces on spy cameras of those being separated from their families by immigration laws made tougher by the Donald Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.
As required by that policy, her legal case went from being one of low priority to a constant struggle in which she had to appear twice a year before the local office of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The US representative for Florida’s 9th Congressional District, Darren Soto, in whose district the Juarez family lives, wrote an urgent letter to US Defense Secretary James Mattis, asking for his intervention so the family of the veteran, who served two years in the Marines, would not be separated.
“Alejandra deserves to stay in the country she has called home for over 20 years, the country her husband patriotically served as a Marine and Florida National Guardsman. The only country her two American-born daughters have known,” Soto wrote.
He did not, however, manage to stop Alejandra’s deportation, who this Friday flew to Mexico with no hope of being able to reopen her case nor to apply for a visa during the next 10 years.