On Tuesday, Lourdes Salazar Bautista is set to board a plane from Michigan, her home of 20 years, back to her native Mexico.
The Ann Arbor local moved to the U.S. in 1997 and, since then, established a family with her husband and three children. According to Think Progress, a year after Salazar Bautista arrived, an immigration judge ordered that she be deported but she says she never received the notice. In 2010, she was detained by ICE but was later released on the condition that her husband be deported to Mexico instead. Since then, the Mexico native has frequently checked-in at her local ICE office in order to recieve a stay of removal, which temporarily defers her from deportation.
In her most recent check-in however, she was told that under the Trump administration, she had until August to return to her home country. Now, Salazar Bautista is to say her last goodbyes to the children she worked so hard for.
"I’m not a threat to this country,” cries Salazar Bautista. "I want to have a chance to continue guiding [my children] and educating them so they can reach the future, since I come from a very humble environment, I wasn’t able to reach." she continued during a vigil held by community members.
Despite the Ann Arbor City Council's efforts to persuade the federal government to grant her a stay, Salazar Bautista is still set for deportation—leaving her 13 and 15-year old children in the hands of her oldest daughter, who is currently enrolled at Michigan State University.
"All it will achieve is to devastate a family and impoverish a community that values her." says Christopher Taylor, Mayor of Ann Arbor. "It's not a wise use of government resources. We should be doing better." he continues, according to Ann Arbor News.
The cherished community member will definitely be missed and her story, along with others, proves that these days no one is safe.