Ann Arbor mother of three deported despite community support

- Lourdes Salazar Bautista came to this country 20 years ago, in 1997, on a travel visa from Mexico and stayed illegally.

She has lived in Ann Arbor since raising three U.S. born children.  Bautista has no criminal record, and on Tuesday she was deported back to Mexico.

"I just want people to know that this is what a deportation looks like.  It's violent, painful and tearing people apart," says supporter  Maria Ibarra. 

"It keeps happening and no one is paying attention."

Her three children went with her to Mexico. 

Her oldest daughter, Pamela, will come back for her sophomore year at Michigan State University but there is no finalized plan on whether Lourdes's other two children will stay in Mexico or come back to live with family and friends to continue their education.

Lourdes's husband was deported years ago.

"We're crying here for her and her family," says supporter Aresha Martinez.  "We're crying for our country and hoping that somebody is listening and thinks about the consequences of these actions and policies."

"It's more than just laws.  It's people.  It's families."

The support from the community has been loud and constant. 

Also, a number of officials at local and even state levels have pleaded with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office, better known as ICE, in Detroit to grant Lourdes a stay of removal.

An ICE spokesman said the agency already granted several stays of removal in the past.

"This is a broken system that this family was caught in," says Martinez.  "It did not make any sense to detain and deport this family.  In a couple of years she could have applied for a visa through her daughter."

Supporter Luz Meza says, "We fought a very strong, very peaceful campaign for Lourdes and it's clear to us that with this administration we won't be able to appeal to their humanity because there is none."

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