50-year-old Rocio Rebollar Gomez faces deportation on January 2, despite everything she and her family have given to the United States.
In Trump's America, no one is spared. Second Lt. Gibram Cruz, 30, recently traveled back home to San Diego from his post in Arizona in order to visit his mother, 50-year-old Rocio Rebollar Gomez. He is spending the holidays at his family home as, when the new year arrives, she sadly faces deportation. The family matriarch has exhausted all her legal avenues, leaving her with the option of deportation as her last resort. Now, Immigration and Customs Enforcement requires her to leave the United States before January 2, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Rebollar Gomez said in Spanish in an interview, "The only gift that we want this year is for grandma to be here." She will get a total of three days to spend with her son before he has to leave. This means she will not be able to spend her birthday, which takes place on December 29, with him. The army officer sadly noted, "I’m here essentially to say goodbye to my mom." Because Cruz is an intelligence officer, he will need to get special permission to travel outside the United States, which can be a "long and complicated" process. Therefore, it is unlikely that he will get to see his mother after she is deported.
Though Rebollar Gomez tried to apply for a special program that protects family members of United States military personnel while they serve, her request was denied by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. While USCIS has refused to comment on the issue, ICE affirmed in a statement, "The immigration laws of the United States allow an alien to pursue relief from removal; however, once they have exhausted all due process and appeals, they remain subject to a final order of removal from an immigration judge and that order must be carried out." Therefore, her case is completely in ICE's hands, as Rebollar Gomez's attorney Tessa Cabrera explained.
"Right now the case is in ICE’s hands," the attorney said. "We’re waiting for a miracle. There’s not more that I can do as an attorney to help her." The family is terrified about what her life back home in Mexico will look like. Her hometown of Acapulco in Mexico has been taken over by cartel violence; her brother was even abducted by a cartel (and though the family paid thousands of dollars in extortion money, his body is yet to be found). The family is especially worried that Rebollar Gomez's ties to the United States, especially to the country's army, will make her an easy target. Cruz asked, "She would be an easy paycheck for them. How am I supposed to keep her safe?" Despite this, she remains headstrong. Watching her family, she stated about her decision to migrate to the United States, "It’s worth it. The life of our children is worth it. All the sacrifices are worth it. When you see your children here, well, studying, and you look back, you see it was worth it." Hopefully, ICE will recognize her family's contributions to the country and act in her favor.