SAN DIEGO — A San Diego mother, who lived and worked in the United Sates for more than three decades, was deported to Mexico by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Thursday morning.
Rocio Rebollar-Gomez, 52, raised her three children in the United States, including her Army Lieutenant son – who had hoped his service to the United States would allow his mother to remain despite her undocumented status.
Rocio's attorney said after she checked in with authorities on Thursday, she was immediately taken away while her family still thought they would have a chance to state their case to ICE.
“For the last 30 days it’s been very difficult for my family. I pray to God for a miracle,” is what Rocio said outside a federal courthouse early Thursday morning.
During the news conference Rocio said that someone spray painted a message of racism, seen in the photo below, on her home Wednesday night attacking Mexicans.
“Not all of us are bad people – I just want an opportunity to work and care for my family,” she said.
Rocio’s son Gilbram Cruz, who is now a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, had assured his mother that despite her status she would be able to remain in the United States because of his military service.
“I serve my country proudly and ask for the policies set in place to keep my family safe. We’ve given up so much for this country, we’ve sacrificed blood, sweat and tears and now I have to hand my mom off to ICE - everything she's done is for us,” Lt. Cruz said outside the courthouse.
In an interview with News 8, Rocio became emotional as she asked for forgiveness for being in the country without papers – saying that for as long as she has been here, she has worked hard, always paid her taxes, and put her children through college.
Lt. Cruz and his mother met with immigration authorities last month – which is when they informed her that she would not be allowed to remain in the country.
"What is a mother supposed to do when she's deported and her children are underage in another country -- she made a decision to cross over so that she could continue providing for us," Lt. Cruz said.
In 2008, when Lt. Cruz was only 17, federal authorities deported his mom – leaving her school-age kids to fend for themselves. At one point, as they waited for their mom to return, they became homeless.
We're told that Rocio is spending Thursday night in Tijuana. Some family has traveled down there to help her get settled in Mexico.