- Department of Homeland Security
- United States of America
Rosalba M. is a Mexican citizen who has been living and working as a housekeeper in the SF Bay Area for approximately the past thirteen years. Her two sons, G.(13) and L.(11) are U.S. citizens who have lived here their entire lives and attend public school in the Bay Area. Rosalba divorced their father some years ago due to his repeated physical abuse. Rosalba was awarded custody of the children and they live with her most of the time. She has sole responsibility for their up bringing. Rosalba is a law-abiding, hard-working, loving mother who is a tremendous role model for her children. She has invested all of her spare time and scarce resources in giving them a better opportunity than she has had in life, including a quality education. G. and L. are good, well-behaved children who are deeply attached to their mother. G. is an honor student. L. has some learning disabilities that require special attention from the school and his mother. Their father takes little interest in the children and has shown little concern for their welfare. He is unemployed, has a criminal record and he and his current wife have refused to pay court-ordered child support for two years.
Following a bureaucratic process, Rosalba has been notified by Homeland Security that she will be deported as an illegal alien on May 3, and that she may not re-enter the country for at least five years. She has consistently cooperated with the immigration authorities and has repeatedly appealed to them to consider the impact of their proposed actions on her children. Section 240A of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides eligibility for relief in cases of hardship to children such as this one. However, her appeals to the immigration service and the courts have been rejected, and the children are now facing the terrifying prospect of having their mother permanently taken away from them by their own Government.
They face an impossible choice:
· Stay in the United States without their mother, dependent on a violent father who has shown little concern for their education or general welfare, or
· Go with their mother to live in one of the poorest regions of Mexico, a country whose language they do not speak, without access to education or financial support
In either case, the impact on their lives will be devastating.