Alejandra Juarez was deported to Mexico on Friday after her efforts to stay in the U.S. with her military veteran husband and two children failed.
Juarez came to the U.S. illegally two decades ago, and her illegal status was discovered by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2013 during a traffic stop, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
She was released by ICE and required to check in at the local office twice a year, but deportation did not seem likely until President Donald Trump's administration adopted a zero-tolerance immigration policy and stopped exempting some undocumented immigrants from enforcement, the Sentinel reported.
Without knowing what she was doing, Juarez signed paperwork in 1998 during an unsuccessful attempt to enter the U.S. that gave away her future rights to come to the country legally, the Sentinel reported. She tried again to enter the U.S. illegally and succeeded, marrying Temo Juarez in 2000.
Her husband is a former Marine and naturalized U.S. citizen who served in Iraq and several other overseas deployments, according to the Sentinel. He says he is conservative and voted for Trump, not thinking it would affect his family this way. The couple have two daughters, Pamela, 16, and Estela, 8.
Temo Juarez now runs a roofing business and will remain in the U.S. with Pamela. Estela will join her mother in Mexico in the near future because of her father’s travel for work, Fox News reported.
Juarez left Florida voluntarily to avoid being detained and plans to reside in Merida, a town that has a small community of deported military spouses that may be able to support her as she gets settled, Fox News reported. She no longer has any family or friends in Mexico.
“My husband fought for this country three times,” Juarez said before she left the U.S., Fox News reported. “You’re not just punishing me.”
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.