(HAMILTON)- The Butler County Democratic Party joins community faith leaders in calling for the federal government to change course and release Maribel Trujillo of Fairfield so she can stay with her family where she is needed. Last week, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested Trujillo on her way to work after sending her kids off to school. Trujillo fled gang violence in Mexico 15 years ago and has an active asylum case pending. She is scheduled to be deported tomorrow back to Mexico.
Hundreds of community members gathered Sunday to express their support for a woman who has not been convicted of a crime, raised a family and became a pillar of the community but is being targeted for deportation. Trujillo, who has four children and is the main breadwinner for her family, was issued a work permit by immigration authorities last year. She is involved in her church as a lector and religious educator and has become a vital member of her community.
Law enforcement officials have justified her arrest and pending deportation by saying “laws are laws.” In response to this argument, Butler County Democratic Party Chair Jocelyn Bucaro said: “Folks on both sides of the immigration debate agree on one thing: our immigration system is broken. Maribel’s case is a perfect example of this as we’re absurdly targeting individuals who are not a threat to our society but contribute to it. Worst yet, we are removing someone as they have been working the proper channels to be here legally while starting a family and contributing vitally to the community. Deporting Maribel will place an enormous hardship on her family and will do nothing to benefit society. No one wins, and a family loses everything.”
The arrest and pending deportation of Trujillo is seemingly indicative of a shift in President Trump’s policy on who will be targeted for deportation. Originally, Trump’s policy said any undocumented immigrant convicted or simply charged with a crime could be deported.
Other new priorities for deportation under Trump also include any undocumented immigrants who abuse public benefits, or simply those considered "a risk to public safety or national security... in the judgment of an immigration officer" -- an entirely open-ended premise.
Maribel Trujillo doesn’t meet any of these criteria.