An Ohio woman deported to Mexico in 2017 is suing the federal government. Attorneys say she may not have answers until the government re-opens.
An Ohio woman who was deported to Mexico is suing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, saying its decision to send her south of the border was morally bankrupt.
According to the News Herald, the lawsuit is being led by Esperanza Pacheco Padilla.
Padilla, a mother of four, claims that ICE’s deportation order “led to a public, humanitarian, and bioethical crisis.”
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, the suit charges that ICE didn’t respond to a public records request. That request, recounts the News Herald, sought to clarify how the federal government handles stay of deportation petitions.
The Herald reports that attorney David Malik filed a Freedom of Information Act request in November, seeking insight into ICE’s procedure for adjudicating stays for removal, ‘the level of suspicion needed to make an arrest, as well as the nationalities of those deported.’
The federal government has yet to respond to Malik and Padilla.
Padilla, says the Herald, illegally entered the United States in 1995. Crossing the border with her husband, the couple had four children, now aged 14, 17, 19 and 21.
While most of Padilla’s relatives are U.S. citizens, she was ordered deported in 2002. A subsequent ruling made the next year affirmed her removal.
However, Padilla’s deportation was put on hold by ICE’s Enforcement Operations and Removal Office in 2011.
Padilla petitioned to stay in the United States several times thereafter, with extensions granted in 2012 and 2017.
But in November of 2017, Padilla was arrested at a Brooklyn Heights ICE office during a routine check-in. She was deported within days.
An ICE statement, sent to News 5 Cleveland in 2017, outlined the agency’s case against Padilla.
“On Nov. 14, deportation officers arrested Esperanza Pacheco Padilla, an unlawfully present citizen of Mexico. Ms Pacheco Padilla was granted an order of voluntary departure by a federal immigration judge in 2003, but failed to depart the country as instructed, automatically changing that order to a final order of removal. She has a criminal record that includes misdemeanor convictions,” ICE said.
Her emergency stay of deportation, filed in mid-November, was unsuccessful.
Padilla’s family and attorneys say the deportation has taken a serious toll.
“The oldest child now provides for the family,” attorney Anna Markovich said. “She goes to school full time, works full time. She’s taking care of all the siblings. The father works as well but it is very hard on all of them, emotionally and mentally.”
Regardless of what Markovich and Padilla may claim, relief isn’t likely to come soon. Immigration courts across the country are lagging behind as a partial government shutdown persists.
“If you file a complaint with the courts, the opposing party has a certain date of time to respond,” Markovich said. “If they don’t meet those deadlines, then the courts can proceed on the allegations in the complaint. The government, right now, is in a position not to worry about the response because of the shutdown.”
Padilla, notes the News Herald, lives alone in Leon, Mexico. The entirety of her immediate family remains in the United States.