CINCINNATI -- A coalition of religious leaders gave Senator Rob Portman a petition Monday, urging him to get involved in preventing the deportation of Maribel Trujillo.
Trujillo, a Fairfield mother of four, came to U.S. 15 years ago after drug cartels targeted her family. She was arrested last week, and officials moved her from the Butler County Jail to the Morrow County Jail near an airport in Columbus Friday morning.
Religious leaders gave Portman’s staff assistant petitions with over 1,000 signatures. His assistant, Robert Braggs, said Portman is doing what he can to help.
Unless federal immigration officials change their minds, Trujillo could be deported Tuesday, a move that has sparked outrage from many in the Tri-State.
“To send Maribel back home - to destroy her family - is the most un-American thing we could possibly do. It's the most unreligious thing we could do to take a mother away from her children,” said Clifton Mosque Iman Ismaeel Chartier.
Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp, president of the Amos Project, echoed the same sentiment.
“As faith leaders, we believe that family should stay together and that Maribel should be able to stay here,” he said.
Others argued that Trujillo shouldn’t be deported because she has complied with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“Everything that ICE has asked of her, she has been in line with and even has a valid work permit through July. Despite all that, she was still picked up,” said Rev. Alan Dicken.
ICE has discretion in cases like this, and Pastor Damon Lynch III urged that it be used, saying Trujillo doesn’t fit deportation guidelines.
“She's not the priority,” Lynch said. “She's a priority to her family, to her husband, to her kids, to her community, to her church.”
Daniel Hughes from United Methodist Church said laws are not always infallible.
“Sometimes we as humans have laws on the books that actually injure, and this is one of those cases where it's clearly injuring a family,” Hughes said.