Church on deported mom: 'Our pleas for mercy have run into a brick wall'

Posted at 11:04 AM, Apr 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-20 06:34:24-04

CINCINNATI -- Maribel Trujillo Diaz, a mother of four who'd been living in Fairfield, has been deported back to Mexico.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement carried out the deportation Wednesday as planned. She was on a plane Wednesday morning, according to Troy Jackson with The AMOS Project.

ICE took her to a Louisiana detention facility last week as it prepared for her final days in the United States.

Trujillo, who came to the country illegally in 2002, said she'd fled Mexico because drug cartels targeted her family.

RELATED: What you're saying about her deportation

ICE officials first came into contact with her in 2007, when she was among dozens arrested during a federal raid of a Fairfield Koch Foods plant.


ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls said Trujillo's case had been reviewed at multiple levels of the legal system and "the courts uniformly held that she had no legal basis to remain in the United States."

Trujillo had been facing deportation since her legal appeals were dismissed in 2014, according to Walls.

"In an exercise of discretion and prior to her removal, the agency had allowed Ms. Trujillo to remain free from custody with periodic reporting, while her immigration case was pending," he said.

When immigration officials again moved to deport her, religious leaders' pleas on her behalf earned Trujillo a work permit meant to last until this July.

That permit was still valid when ICE arrested her again earlier this month, according to the Rev. Mike Pucke. He was Trujillo's pastor at St. Julie Billiart Church in Hamilton.

Some religious leaders, including Pucke, had pleaded for the federal government to stop her removal from the United States.

"We expect there will be a service at Maribel's parish in Hamilton on Sunday afternoon," Jackson wrote Wednesday.

The Catholic Telegraph released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying they were grateful to everyone who took action to try to help Trujillo.

"The outpouring of so many people illustrates the limitless value of one human family and a resolve to see our immigration laws work better for all migrants who wish to contribute to the common good," the Telegraph wrote. "Yet despite everyone’s concerted efforts, our pleas for mercy have run into a brick wall.

"We affirm the rule of law, and all of us seek to live in a land of justice. However, none of us wants to live in a society that also does not practice mercy at the appropriate time and for someone who poses no threat to public safety. When the practice of justice harms a family and contradicts the will and well-being of a community, then justice can rightly be tempered with mercy."

A three-judge panel at Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Trujillo's petition for an emergency stay of removal last week.


MORE: Son says he didn't get to say 'goodbye'

Trujillo's attorney, Emily Brown, said they decided not to appeal the full Sixth Circuit; rather, Brown said she "(hoped) ICE will use its discretion to do the right thing and not deport (Trujillo)."

Brown said she hoped statements by Sen. Sherrod Brown, Sen. Rob Portman and Gov. John Kasich on Trujillo's behalf would motivate ICE to halt the deportation.

She also said she was working with the Mexican Consulate to provide support for Trujillo, because "she basically has nothing" with her or waiting for her in Mexico.

On last week's "Hear Cincinnati" podcast, host Maxim Alter talked with a leader of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, who has been working closely with Trujillo's family. He breaks down what happened before she was detained, what her options were to obtain citizenship and what happens next. Listen below (starts at 15:40):