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The case of Maribel Trujillo-Diaz, an Ohio mother, has garnered national attention this week as she faces imminent deportation by ICE. She fled Mexico in 2000, where both her father and brother were kidnapped by a drug cartel. She settled in Fairfield, Ohio just outside of Cincinnati, married and had four U.S. citizen children. She is a lay worker at her Catholic church. Maribel’s youngest daughter, a 3-year-old, suffers from recurring seizures, but stays alive because her mother has been specially trained to identify and treat the seizures. Maribel has no criminal record, and she has reported to ICE faithfully to extend the deferred action that her family situation warranted.
Nevertheless, under Trump, AG Sessions and DHS Secretary Kelly, there seems to be no room for prosecutorial discretion, balancing tests, or ‘best interests of the child’ evaluations. Despite requests for mercy from the Catholic Church, Gov. Kasich, Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, as well as from thousands of friends and people of conscience, it seems only a matter of days before Maribel is sent back to the violent community she fled 17 years ago. Her continued detention and threat of deportation is evidence that there’s no Trump pivot on immigration.
…Daniela [the 3-year-old] and her mom are just inseparable. Or they were. Last week, Daniela’s mom, Maribel, was snatched off the street… and now they’ve flown her to a detention center in Louisiana.
Her deportation has been temporarily delayed amidst reports that ICE is trying to figure out if they can somehow send her 3-year old U.S. citizen daughter with her Mom as she is sent back to Mexico — as if deporting a U.S. citizen and breaking up the rest of the family is the solution.
A new editorial from the New York Times has a searing takedown of the Sessions reign of terror and this Administration’s obsession with demonizing immigrants as threats:
It denies the existence of millions of people who are a force for good, economic mainstays and community assets, less prone to crime than the native-born — workers, parents, children, neighbors and, above all, human beings deserving of dignity and fair treatment under the law.
Mr. Kelly recently told a Senate committee that all unauthorized immigrants are now potential targets for arrest and deportation. And so an administration that talks about machete-waving narco killers is also busily trying to deport people like Maribel Trujillo-Diaz, of Fairfield, Ohio, the mother of four citizen children, who has no criminal record.
“Be forewarned,” Mr. Sessions said in Arizona. “This is a new era. This is the Trump era.”
Everyone in Washington is struggling to make sense of Donald Trump’s reversals on multiple issues…But please…for all the talk about how Trump is backing off of Stephen K. Bannon’s ‘economic nationalism,’ Trump remains fully committed to the policies that embody the nativist and xenophobic side of his nationalism.
Wall Street and GOP elites may be glad to see Trump reverting to form on the issues that matter to them. But — while these elites would perhaps like to see immigration reform — how much do they really care about the ugly nativist stuff that’s proceeding under the radar? Meanwhile, the trips to Mar-a-Lago (which use the White House to enrich the Trump family) and the refusal to release Trump’s tax returns and show transparency about his finances (which allows untold other conflicts of interest to remain undetected) doesn’t appear to concern them too much, either. The “economic” nationalism is no longer operative (if it ever was), but the ethno-nationalism and the corruption are running as strong as ever.
If you watch some cable news, you’ll hear people suggesting in effect that well, during the campaign, Trump had X position as a candidate, and now that he’s president, he’s seeing that things are more complicated than he thought and he’s adopting Y position. He’s growing.
This is propaganda, either witting or unwitting, depending on who’s talking.
While too many in the chattering classes credit Trump for ‘learning on the job,’ perhaps they should take a look at what Trump, Sessions and Kelly are doing to immigrant families. Calling them criminals and then taking mothers who are no such thing away from their U.S. citizen kids is simply wrong. It’s un-American, and it’s cruel. So, as we steel ourselves for another weekend of punditry on the so-called growth curve of our man-baby President, let’s not forget that Maribel sits in a detention center in Louisiana, far away from her family, home and church. Her four children, including the 3-year-old with special needs, have every right to ask why their rights as U.S. citizens don’t matter enough to keep their loving mother at home where she belongs. And the rest of us are left to ask, implore, beg this Administration to stop a tragedy of its own making.