This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and while families across America will be celebrating with their moms, there are countless immigrant families who won’t be able to, thanks to Donald Trump’s mass deportation policies.
The Trump Administration is now separating mothers from their children at the border, detaining more pregnant mothers even though detention centers have a horrible health care record, and deporting mothers and fathers who have lived in the U.S. for decades through “silent raids”.
This Mothers’ Day, here are just some of the mothers that the Trump Administration has separated from their children and their families:
Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos was reportedly the first person deported under Donald Trump’s deportation force last year. She was driven to Nogales, Arizona, and sent across the border in the middle of the night, despite hundreds of protesters and her two children trying to block the vehicle that contained her from leaving Phoenix. Now, she runs a tortilla shop but struggles with depression, knowing that she may never be allowed to legally reunite with her family in the U.S.
Maribel Trujillo Diaz, the mother of four U.S.-born citizen children and a candy factory worker, was the main breadwinner of her family. Her husband’s medical condition prevents him from working, her youngest daughter suffers from epileptic seizures, and her son has high blood sugar and early signs of diabetes. Maribel was deported to a dangerous drug cartel region in Mexico, despite no criminal history and pleas by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), and Ohio’s Republican Gov. John Kasich. Her case is being appealed.
Beatriz Morelos Casillas, was stopped last July for a routine traffic citation. Just over a week later, she was deported to Mexico with only her jeans and the shirt on her back. She did not have a criminal record, worked at a factory, paid taxes, and was on her way home from work when she was pulled over by police. She is now apart from her husband and three U.S. citizen children, and living in Nuevo Laredo, a violent city that the U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning for due to the risk of carjacking, kidnapping, robbery, and homicide.
Edith Espinal hasn’t been deported, but neither is she allowed to go home. Edith has been living in sanctuary in a Columbus, Ohio church since last October, when she was denied asylum. She is protected from ICE as long as she stays at the church, but that means she hasn’t been back to the home she shared with her husband and three children in all that time. (Watch this video of Edith here.)
Leonor Garcia is also in sanctuary, and has been living in a Cleveland Heights church since last September. In 2011, Leonor’s husband was deported, and immigration agents picked her up as well. She had been allowed to stay in the U.S. for years as long as she checked in with ICE regularly, but that changed last year with the beginning of the Trump Administration. Without her at home, Leonor’s eldest daughter Margaret has been taking care of her siblings instead of going to college.
Maribel Rivera Martinez was deported to Honduras in April, leaving behind her husband of 28 years, four children, and the life that she built over fifteen years in Michigan. One of her daughters has had a serious medical condition since birth, which has required multiple surgeries and regular care at local hospitals, and her recovery will be complicated without her mother’s presence and care.
Martha Lozano, 52, a breast and thyroid cancer survivor and a single mother of three U.S. citizens with no criminal history, was deported in March 2018. Her husband was deported in 2009 after being arrested in front of the family as they drove to the hospital for a surgery related to Martha’s breast cancer. Their three sons were left in the U.S. without their parents. Martha was deported despite support from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and despite doctors writing a letter to ICE saying her health could be at risk without consistent medical follow-up.
Cile Precetaj, as of this writing, is being detained in Battle Creek, Michigan, after being denied asylum in April. She has no criminal record and has been seeking asylum since 2000, saying that her life would be in danger in her native Albania due to criminal groups that seek to kidnap her and make her a prostitute. During her last check-in with ICE, she passed out from an anxiety attack after officials ordered her to remove her jewelry; she was hospitalized briefly, then taken to jail. If deported, she would be separated from her three children, ages 8, 10, and 16.
Alejandra Juarez is a Florida mom of two whose husband is a former Marine and Florida National Guardsman, who has been in the U.S. since she was 18. In April, a bill was introduced which would prevent the deportation of military spouses like her. It’s an issue that even Vice President Mike Pence, when he was a member of Congress, championed, saying that DHS should “use all of their power to protect military families from deportation.” Without a reprieve from ICE, Alejandra will have to turn herself into immigration officials in June for deportation.