Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has little desire to keep families together, as evidenced by their history of aggressive deportation. Perhaps even more egregious is their failure to assist foreign nationals here legally when they have problems. In a case currently being handled by ICIE, the failure by government officials to act has literally destroyed a local family.
The problems for the family began earlier this year when a mother of four, who was here legally on Temporary Protected Status (TPS), had to return to her home country when her mother had a heart attack. She thought her TPS allowed for short trips out of the country, but airline officials failed to notify her that her travel documents would not allow her to return to America. When she tried, her entry was denied, and even different government immigration officials could not agree on whether her travel documents allowed her to reenter. Her return was ultimately denied, leaving four children, all U.S. citizens, without their only parent. They are currently in the care of their godparents.
Complicating matters, since the mother was not allowed to return to the United States, she missed an appointment with ICE officials to renew her TPS, who now refuse to work with her to bring her back to her children.
While the mother suffers in a foreign country, her children have suffered the most. Her six year old, so traumatized by the separation from his mother, has stopped talking completely. The oldest child, 16 years old, has had to drop out of school to help support the family.
A third child, only 12 years old, has had perhaps the hardest struggle. After being constantly teased by schoolmates that her mother was a criminal and an illegal alien, and blaming herself for her mother’s situation, she attempted suicide.
“We just had all four kids in our offices, and they are all completely devastated over the separation from their mother,” ICIE founder Ralph Isenberg said. “This situation should never have happened. This mother should be here in America with her children, but our government isn’t willing to do anything about it. They could very easily resolve this situation.”
Isenberg remains in contact with the mother as they attempt to bring her home, and is ensuring the children receive proper assistance and treatment.