I want to note quickly up top that the title of this piece isn’t meant to imply that one kind of undocumented immigrant is inherently more valuable than another kind, or that anyone is entitled to “more” fairness based on his or her spouse serving in the military.
That said, this story feels relevant just for the way it highlights the sheer breadth and cruelty of ICE’s deportation structure—carried out, of course, at the behest of the Trump administration. On Aug. 3, Alejandra Juarez will be deported back to Mexico. It doesn’t matter that she’s been here for 20 years with not a single blemish on her record besides her original crossing. It doesn’t matter that she’s been married to Marine Sgt. Temo Juarez since 2000. It doesn’t matter that her husband served the country in both the Marines and the Army National Guard, and that he was deployed in Albania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and finally Iraq. It doesn’t matter that she has two daughters, Pamela and Estela, ages 16 and 8.
Nor does it seem to matter that Alejandra Juarez was allowed to remain in the U.S. under previous administrations, or that House rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) has filed a “Patriot Spouses Act” in an attempt to gain bipartisan support to protect Juarez and others like her. In fact, Juarez’s attorneys think the presence of these bills might be the reason ICE is moving so quickly—as in, get her out quick before the laws change.
All that really matters in this case is that the Trump administration has demonized immigrants, and seem hellbent on separating families at any cost. It’s hard to imagine this level of cruelty sweeping American from the governmental level, but here we are.
A legal team has taken on Juarez’s case on a pro bono basis. If they fail and the deportation goes through, she’ll likely take her youngest daughter to Mexico, disrupting both lives and splitting the family in half.