Is the presidential adminstration ignoring its own guidelines in this case? This mother and her daughters are clearly non-violent citizens.
Maria Esmeralda Cornejo has lived in the United States for 14 years and is the mom of three U.S. born children under the age of 10. She is a loving mother who’s kids are at the top of their classes in school. Yet, the Obama Administration has pegged her a “criminal” and high priority target for deportation because she was deported once, 14 years ago.
Esmeralda’s children will suffer most if the family is deported on April 28, as local ICE Director, Rebecca Adducci, has ordered. Joseline, 9, and Ariana, 7, are both excellent students at Columbus Bilingual Academy and have received numerous awards for good grades and behavior. They would like to stay, finish their education and have the opportunities that the US offers. However, if their mother, Esmeralda, is deported later this month, she will have no choice but to uproot her children from the only country they know and start over in a Michoacán, Mexico, a region that is rife with drug cartel violence.
According to a 2011 memo from former ICE Director John Morton, Esmeralda has numerous equities that would qualify her for “prosecutorial discretion” under the agencies own policies; however, ICE field offices have notoriously ignored these policies. Esmeralda would also likely qualify for citizenship under the Senate immigration bill supported by the Obama Administration, but instead they have slated her for deportation by the end of the month. Esmeralda and her children are asking the Obama Administration to let them stay and grant her a one-year stay of removal.
According to the New York Times, nearly 2/3 of the 2 million deportations carried out by the Obama Administration were of “people who had committed minor infractions, including traffic violations, or had no criminal record at all. Twenty percent — or about 394,000 — of the cases involved people convicted of serious crimes, including drug-related offenses, the records show.” A new report from TRAC shows a similar trend. For Fiscal Year 2013, for example, 42% of deportees had no convictions whatsoever. Twenty-seven percent had been convicted of a traffic or immigration offense and only 12% met the government’s highest priority (Level 1 crimes).