Columbus resident says she’s in constant fear of being deported, separated from her children

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A special service for immigrant families focused on prayer and politics in downtown Columbus Thursday evening.

A woman who spoke with NBC4 on the condition that we would not reveal her name, shared her thoughts on the efforts of advocates and the fears she lives with every day.

The 28-year-old mother of 2 was born in Mexico and has lived in Columbus for 3 years.

She said the images of children being detained hit too close to home because she and her 7-year-old daughter were held in similar detention facilities when they crossed into the United States in 2015. She spoke to us with assistance from an interpreter.

“There’s times when I can’t even sleep. While looking at the news I just get really nervous and it starts again,” she said.

The woman said she sought asylum but she was denied so she’s been required to check in regularly with immigration since she came to the U.S. She said it’s about the only time she and her kids even leave her house.

“My biggest fear is that they separate me from my daughter and that I’m deported back to Mexico just because I still fear for my life,” she said.

She has 2 children now, including a 1-year-old US citizen, and she’s afraid ICE agents will send her and her Mexican-born daughter back across the border, splitting up her family.

“My biggest fear is that they separate me from my daughter and that I’m deported back to Mexico just because I still fear for my life,” she said.

Jerry Freewalt with the Catholic Diocese of Columbus said it’s stories like this that motivated the Diocese to hold a special prayer service for Immigrants at Saint Joseph Cathedral in downtown Collumbus.

“We want to help fix our broken immigration system and show our solidarity with immigrant families,” said Freewalt.

The 28-year-old mother said the service was a good reminder that she’s not battling alone in her fight to stay in the United States.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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