COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus woman at the center of the battle for immigration reform has been fined nearly $500,000 by Department of Homeland Security.
According to a notice from the department, Edith Espinal, 42, has been fined $497,777 because she “willfully failed or refused to depart the United States within the time period specified.”
Espinal has been in a Clintonville church sanctuary since October 2, 2017, as she continues to fight to stay in the United States with her three children, two of whom are American citizens.
Espinal said there is no way she can pay the fine.
“They know where I am,” she said. “They know I am here in the church taking sanctuary. I don’t know why they send to me this letter.”
Espinal was brought to the United States by her father when she was 16.
She is hoping Ohio politicians will intervene on her behalf to help stay in this country.
A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said they are committed to using all available enforcement methods.
NBC 4 will update this story as more information becomes available.