CASA’s statement on the case of Liliana Cruz Mendez, who was deported by the Department of Homeland Security and arrived in El Salvador last Thursday.
“We are heartbroken at the way Liliana Cruz Mendez has been ripped from her family after walking in to an ICE check-in out of her own free will. She had no criminal record, except for a minor traffic violation. She received a pardon for that traffic violation from Virginia’s governor Terry McAuliffe and had two Democratic senators tried to intercede on her behalf. Still, the Trump Administration would not listen. It confirms the inhumane and egregious intent of separating families that President Trump and Homeland Security Director John Kelly continue to pursue. Now her future, the future of her two U.S. citizen children, and the future of millions of law-abiding immigrants like Liliana is uncertain,” said George Escobar, Senior Director of Human Services.
Cruz Mendez would have been eligible for deportation relief under President Barack Obama’s DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) memos but the Trump Administration officially reversed those 2014 guidelines last week saying that they had seen their day in court.
As her family recovers from the shock, they will try to pick up the pieces and evaluate where they go from here.
This case highlights the heavy human toll that these draconian immigration decisions, handed down by the Trump Administration, have on U.S. Citizens and society at large. CASA and all its allies will continue fighting to ensure the millions like Liliana finally attain justice.