As the Trump administration reckons with the effects of their zero tolerance immigration policy on migrant children and their parents, on Friday, the policy struck even closer to home as the government deported 38-year-old Alejandra Juarez, the wife of a US Marine. Juarez has lived in the US for almost two decades, regularly kept up with immigration officials, and is a mother of two.
Deportations like these represent a stark departure from President Trump’s previous focus on deporting dangerous criminals as well as his categorical support of veterans. Cuauhtemoc Juarez, Juarez’s husband, is a US citizen and served a two-year deployment in Iraq. Cuauhtemoc even voted for Trump in the 2016 election.
“Mr. President, you deporting me is not going to hurt just me; you’re making a veteran suffer,” she said, according to Reuters. “You always say you love veterans. If you really love veterans, why didn’t you pardon me?”
Per a Splinter News report, Juarez first attempted to enter the US in 1998 by pretending to be a US citizen. When she was sent back to Mexico, she was made to sign documents that she didn’t know would prohibit her from ever returning legally. She returned to America in 2000 and married her husband soon after. In 2013 she was pulled over and found to be undocumented, so Juarez has followed up with ICE twice a year after being placed in their supervision. It wasn’t until the Trump administration came into power that she was even considered a target for deportation.
“It’s an absolute disgrace by the Trump administration to be deporting a patriotic spouse,” Juarez’s Florida congressman Darren Soto said, according to The Guardian. “Her husband, Temo, served in the marines while she was on the home front, raising two young women. What justice does this serve?”
As one Air Force Veteran pointed out on Twitter, there are still appeals for Juarez to make.
Alejandra Juarez is entitled to have a military dependent ID card regardless of her citizenship status. She is still a military dependent! @ICEgov has no right to deport military dependents whose deportation can result in military members being blackmailed by foreign governments!
— Mary Rose Adler (@TikiRose) August 4, 2018
Juarez will have legal representation from the firm of Maney, Gordon, Zeller P.A. They’ve also agreed to take on the case pro bono as well, maintaining the belief that there is still a solution to the problem.
“The United States has a lot of policies in place to protect veterans and active duty and their families, and it is absolutely, incredibly, frustrating that these are not being made available to the wife of a decorated veteran who has served overseas multiple times,” said attorney Chelsea Nowel.
Congressman Soto, who was “utterly disappointed in the decision,” has also vowed to continue fighting to have Juarez reunited with her family.