A mother of three young girls is in the process of being deported back to Mexico, according to her lawyer. It's a country she doesn't know because she's lived in America since she was 5.
But ICE says her latest request to stay in the U.S. was denied and explained why exactly she was being deported.
Despite the calls for change and the pleas from her family, two days after she was taken into custody, Christina Ilse Rodriguez-Sagarnaga's lawyer says she is in the process of being deported to Mexico.
"She wouldn't even know who to go to out there. She doesn't know anyone," says her sister-in-law Janet Aguilar.
The 30-year-old mother has lived in the U.S. since she was 5 and has three girls, who are 4 and younger - all citizens.
"This is a story of many people in the same situation," said Rodriguez-Sagarnaga through a Facebook video message. Rodriguez-Sagarnaga knew she could be taken into custody during an ICE check-in Wednesday and released the video ahead of time.
"I adapted to a country I call mine because I don't know any other," she said.
Rodriguez-Sagarnaga has multiple misdemeanor convictions, including a guilty plea for harassment and making a false report in connection with a domestic violence case. Her ex was ultimately convicted of child abuse and deported, according to her lawyer.
"She will suffer the consequence of a choice that was not hers to come to this country at a young age," says James Lamb, her attorney.
After the last guilty plea ICE gave her a voluntary deportation order she didn't comply with four and a half years ago. She was granted a stay of deportation even though ICE knew her criminal history last year. Her latest request was denied this week.
ICE says stays of deportation are not a permanent way to stay in the country. The immigration agency released the following statement:
"On June 21, 2017, officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested Isle Christina Rodriguez-Sagarnaga, 30, from Mexico, for immigration violations.
Rodriguez-Sagarnaga illegally entered the United States at an unknown location and date.
She has three misdemeanor criminal convictions in Colorado. On Oct. 2, 2012, a federal immigration judge in Denver, Colorado, granted her voluntary departure to Mexico.
However, after she failed to depart the United States, the judge’s order became a final order of removal on Oct. 10, 2012. ICE granted Rodriguez-Sagarnaga a one-year stay of removal on June, 20, 2016. Her request for another stay of removal a year later was denied June 20, 2017.
Rodriguez-Sagarnaga is currently in ICE custody pending her removal to Mexico. She has had a final order of removal from a federal immigration judge for more than four years."
Her lawyer says that at least one of the stays was granted out of humanitarian reasons because she was pregnant at the time.
Rodriguez-Sagarnaga says being deported means she is leaving behind her husband and three children, who for the time being will remain in the U.S. with relatives.
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