Since Donald Trump announced his plan to deport millions of immigrants to their native countries, many U.S. residents have been living in fear of their families being separated. That became a reality for Lourdes Salazar Bautista, who was deported to Mexico on Tuesday (Aug. 1). Bautista, who’s built a home in Michigan with her husband and three children for the last 20 years, said she was detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) without notice.
Bautista immigrated to the United States in 1997, but one year after her arrival, a judge ordered that she be deported, ThinkProgress reports. The mother of three says that despite a judge’s order, she never received a notice for her court date. She was later detained in 2010 but released on the condition that her undocumented husband be deported to Mexico, where he currently lives.
For the past seven years, Bautista has reportedly been checking in to the ICE office to prolong her stay. Under the Trump administration however, in March 2017 she was informed that she would be removed from the country as early as August 2017. “According to new policies, what [the ICE agency] told me was that they had to clear all their open cases — all their archives — and that my case was a priority for deportation,” Bautista told ThinkProgress.
Now she must say goodbye to her children and home of 20 years. Their final farewells were captured on a Facebook video. “I’m not a threat to this country,” Bautista said. “I want to have a chance to continue guiding [my children] and educating them so they can reach the future, since I come from a very humble environment, I wasn’t able to reach.”
Bautista’s 13-year-old and 15-year-old will reportedly be left in the care of her eldest daughter, who is currently enrolled at Michigan State University. Christopher Taylor, mayor of Ann Arbor, noted the horrors of deportation in a recent statement. “All it will achieve is to devastate a family and impoverish a community that values her,” Taylor said. “It’s not a wise use of government resources. We should be doing better.”
Despite nationwide opposition and Supreme Court disapproval, Trump continues to push for travel bans and extreme vetting of immigrants. Meanwhile, thousands of families just like the Bautistas continue to be destroyed. For information on how to help the Bautista family, visit their Facebook page, or donate to their cause here.