Cleveland, OH – Jesus Lara Lopez, an Ohio taxpayer, homeowner, and father of four U.S. citizen children, was deported today. He purchased his own plane ticket, put on a suit, and said tearful goodbyes to his family. He does not know when he will see any of them again. His three oldest children, Eric, Edwin, and Anuar, were inconsolable. His youngest daughter and constant companion, Elsiy, wore a confused smile on her face and clung to her mother. She is six.
The campaign to stop Jesus’ deportation garnered local,national, and now international attention as he returns to Mexico for the first time in nearly two decades. Through meetings, videos, a petition, and other appeals, Lara’s children asked their Congressman, Rep. Bob Gibbs, to do everything he can to keep their father at home. The petition started by Jesus’ oldest son, Eric, was signed by over 600 of Rep. Gibbs’ constituents, and 35,000 other Americans. Hundreds of calls were also made to Rep. Gibbs’ office and the office of Senator Rob Portman, urging them to intervene.
Following is a statement from Lynn Tramonte, Director of Ohio’s Voice:
Congressman Bob Gibbs and Senator Rob Portman failed their constituents, the Lara family. Neither of them stood up for these four American children, and now Eric, Edwin, Anuar, and Elsiy no longer have a father at home to care for them, guide them, and support them. They will still have his love, from afar, but they have lost their constant companion, caregiver, and best friend. This is a tragedy for these American kids and this American family.
Of course, President Trump, DHS Secretary John Kelly, and Detroit ICE Field Office Director Rebecca Adducci also failed these children. Deportation is a huge decision, and it should be based on common sense. We are not safer today because Jesus Lara was deported, but four little children now have broken hearts and face much more difficult futures without their dad.
Detroit ICE Field Office Director Rebecca Adducci approved a stay of deportation for Jesus in 2012, and renewed his Order of Supervision every year since. In March 2017, when Jesus dutifully attended his annual ‘check-in’ meeting with ICE, she could have done what she had always done, approved the stay, and sent him on his way back to Willard. Instead, she decided to ruin Jesus’ and his children’s lives.
Not only has Adducci fractured the Lara family at a time when the kids needs their parents the most, but she deported a taxpaying homeowner with a legal work permit. The bottom line is, Trump/Kelly’s DHS is implementing a policy of mass deportation, not prioritization. Unfortunately, the Lara kids will bear the brunt of this inhumane and completely avoidable decision.
The family has set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to help with expenses during this difficult time.