Despite efforts by church leaders and community members in Fairfield, Ohio, and even a plea by Governor John Kasich, imminent deportation is expected for Maribel Trujillo, an undocumented mother of four American-born children. Trujillo, who is Mexican, has been in the United States for 15 years and has no criminal record.
The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati issued its ruling Tuesday afternoon, while Trujillo was en route to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Oakdale, Louisiana.
Father Michael Pucke, pastor of the St. Julie Billiart church, where Trujillo was an active member, told Univision on Wednesday that he had met with Trujillo’s husband, Gustavo Gonzalez.
The family is “physically and emotionally exhausted,” Pucke told Univision. “We are hoping that the three school-aged children can resume their normal school routine. That’s what we always suggest for children dealing with loss and grief.”
Trujillo’s children are aged 14, 12, 10 and three.
Here is Gonzalez’s statement, printed in full:
When Maribel’s lawyer called yesterday evening to tell me that the appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court had been denied, I say that as another failure to stop the injustice that is being done to us as a family. My pain is greater because I am powerless to help her. There is no reason why the government should separate a family for not having documents. She has no criminal record. She just wants to struggle for a better life for her family.
People ask, “What do you tell your children?” I tell them that their mother is okay and that she will return. We need to have faith and strength. My younger daughter, Daniela [age three], wakes up during the night asking for her mother. She is simply too young to understand that one day her mother was with her and that she has not returned. I can take care of this little one physically and I am grateful to family and friends who are surrounding us, but she needs her mother. This little girl’s life has completely changed.
My hope is that, going forward, we can make the necessary sacrifices together, that the kids will continue to do well in school with their studies and activities.
I am grateful to everyone for their support and prayers. I had no idea that Maribel’s case would take on such importance. I thought it was just one of countless others. May it serve as an example of why there should be no more.
People have been asking what, in addition to calling Senator Portman and ICE, can they do. A “Go Fund Me” page has been set up: Gofundme.com/help-support-maribels-children.