PARMA, MO (KFVS) – Original Post
A Parma, Missouri woman has been in the custody of ICE officials since November, and her children say they need her to come home.
However, an immigration lawyer believes it won’t be easy.
“They said that they had came and got my mom… They came with paperwork, and said that she’s going to be taken,” said Tonya Diaz.
Last November, Diaz says her mother, Lorena Esquivel Santos, was detained by immigration officials. However, her daughter says, she came here illegally at the age of three.
“She grew up here. She’s been here all her life,” said Diaz.
However, to make things more difficult, Santos’s family says she did have a criminal conviction nearly ten years ago related to drugs, and court documents show she’s passed a couple bad checks.
Immigration lawyer Javad Khazaeli says that even if Santos didn’t commit a crime recently, ICE can detain you just for being here illegally.
“You’ve got people who care about you, and depend on you? That isn’t as relevant anymore. It’s just – if you have status or not – you have to go,” said Khazaeli.
Regardless, Khazali says it’s important to always talk to an immigration lawyer.
“Even if that immigration attorney is in St. Louis, or Kansas City, [it’s important] to work with that immigration attorney to make sure that a fair and judicious outcome happens.”
Now, Diaz is left to take care of her two younger sisters at twenty years old.
“My little sister, she cries for my mom,” said Diaz.
“If we could roll back time, especially for people that are in communities that are rural communities, we need to make sure that anybody who is an immigrant who has a law enforcement interaction, needs to have their criminal defense attorney contact an immigration attorney,” said Khazaeli.
Santos’ daughters say if you want to help bring their mother home – you can write a letter to ICE in their mother’s favor.