Maribel Trujillo Diaz was deported in April of 2017, leaving four children behind, including a three-year-old girl. She flew from Alexandria, Louisiana, to Mexico City on an arranged flight from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency while her family stayed in Ohio.
Many people showed support towards her situation by signing petition letters and making calls to immigration to stop her deportation. Nine months later, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati ordered U.S. immigration officials to review the case of Trujillo Diaz again, as she showed credible evidence about safety threats from a drug cartel.
A conservative judge said that the Board of Immigration Appeals “abused its discretion” when it rejected a motion from Maribel Trujillo Diaz to reopen her removal proceedings. Judge John K. Bush, a President Donald Trump appointee known for being conservative, ruled in favor of Trujillo Diaz on Wednesday.
Trujillo Diaz, who has no criminal record, had been living peacefully in the United States since 2002 with her husband and four children. Trujillo Diaz’s brother refused to join a drug cartel called ‘La Familia,’ and in revenge, the Knights Templar, a branch of the major cartel, kidnapped their father and threatened the family.
According to Trujillo Diaz’s father, the captor said, he “knew that Maribel had gone to the United States.” In a statement, Tony Stieritz, director of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Social Action Office, said, “It gives us a glimmer of hope that, someday soon, this family could be made whole again.”
Trujillo’s family lives in Michoacán, which is one of the most dangerous Mexican states due to drug cartels. Immigration officials picked up Trujillo at her workplace, Koch Foods, a chicken-processing plant. She applied for asylum in 2012, but it got denied.
She worries about her husband, who is also undocumented, and her children. Gustavo, 10, has high blood sugar and early sign of diabetes while three-year-old Daniella suffers from epileptic seizures.
“The pain of leaving my kids. I can’t explain what it’s like to be away from them,” said Trujillo.
This article was inspired by Cincinnati.com // Court: Immigration officials erred in deporting Maribel Trujillo-Diaz