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Archdiocese Denounces Butler County Mother's Deportation

Wikimedia Commons user Nheyob
Maribel Trujillo Diaz is a parishoner at St. Julie Billiart in Hamilton.

The Cincinnati Archdiocese is calling on the Trump administration and political and law enforcement leaders to offer leniency to a mother of four from Butler County.

The church says Maribel Trujillo Diaz fled Mexico in 2002 and has an asylum case that is pending "based on the situation that her family has been targeted by Mexican cartels because they have refused to work for them."

This isn't the first time the Archdiocese has rallied support for Diaz. Last year, under threat of deportation, the church says thousands of supporters in Butler County and Cincinnati sent letters to their political leaders urging that she be allowed to stay. The Archdiocese says Diaz has no criminal history and is a lay leader in her parish, St. Julie Billiart in Hamilton.

From the archdiocese:

Immigration officials then responded by granting her prosecutorial discretion, considering her too low of a priority and no threat to public safety. Maribel has been reporting regularly since then to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as instructed. At her check-in appointment on Monday, she was told that she could remain at home as her asylum case was further reviewed.

The release goes on to say Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took Diaz into custody Wednesday for "imminent deportation without having the chance to say goodbye to all her children."

In a statement, ICE says:

Mirabel Trujillo’s immigration case has undergone review at multiple levels of our nation’s legal system and the courts have uniformly held that she has no legal basis to remain in the United States. In 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed her legal appeals and she became subject to a final order of deportation.
In an exercise of discretion, the agency has allowed Ms. Trujillo to remain free from custody with periodic reporting, while her immigration case was pending.
For parents who are ordered removed, it is their decision whether or not to relocate their children with them. If parents choose to have their U.S. citizen child(ren) accompany them, ICE accommodates, to the extent practicable, the parents’ efforts to make provisions for their child(ren). As practicable, ICE will coordinate to afford detained parents or legal guardians access to counsel, consulates and consular officials, courts, and/or family members in the weeks preceding removal in order to execute documents (e.g., powers of attorney, passport applications), purchase airline tickets, and make other necessary arrangements prior to travel.

Diaz's four children are all U.S. citizens. The Archdiocese's release says the youngest, a three-year-old daughter, has seizures and requires special care.

We urge that prosecutorial discretion for Maribel be extended. We fully respect the Department of Homeland Security’s duty to enforce our immigration laws, and we recognize that this is not an easy task. At the same time, it is clear that the common good cannot be served at this stage by separating this wife and mother from her family. Our community gains nothing by being left with a single-parent household when such a responsible and well respected family can be kept together. We urge that our elected and administrative officials exercise mercy for Maribel.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.