HAMILTON, Ohio – A Fairfield mother of four took the final step before deportation to Mexico Friday while her attorney and church leaders made last-minute pleas on her behalf.
Federal officials moved Maribel Trujillo from the Butler County Jail to the Morrow County Jail near Columbus early Friday morning, according to her priest, Rev. Mike Pucke of St. Julie Billiart Church in Hamilton.
"The reason for that is that's the jail from which they put people on airplanes from Columbus," Pucke said.
Trujillo is scheduled to be deported on Tuesday, her priest said.
Trujillo came to the attention of ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) when agents raided Koch Foods in Fairfield in 2007. It has taken 10 years for her case to move through the courts.
In a statement, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is asking ICE to exercise prosecutorial discretion, calling the government's treatment of Trujillo "cruel and unacceptable."
Federal agents picked up Trujillo near her mobile home on Wednesday. Pucke says her detention has devastated her family, especially her children.
"The fact is the children never had a chance to say goodbye to her," he said.
But Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones, who merely housed her for a day, said the law should not be selectively enforced.
"Lady Justice is supposed to be blind. It's not supposed to pick who they enforce the law on or who they don't," Jones said.
However, Pucke said prosecutorial discretion happens all the time. Besides, he said, Trujillo was given a work permit last summer that is valid until July.
"If the administration says they are only deporting dangerous people, I want somebody to tell me how Maribel Trujillo is a dangerous person,” Pucke said. “She wasn’t a dangerous person last summer. She isn’t a dangerous person now.”
According to Pucke, there are legal efforts to try to secure an emergency stay. Her non-profit lawyer is seeking amnesty because Trujillo said her brother and father have been kidnapped by drug cartels in Mexico.
Meanwhile, the archdiocese announced a march and "Mercy for Maribel" prayer service at 2 p.m. Sunday in Hamilton. The event begins at St. Joseph Church, 171 Washington Street. From there, marchers will pray the rosary in a procession from the church to the Butler County Jail, about a 10-minute walk. Police will accompany the procession.