Deported Mother Of Army Officer Allowed Return To US – NBC 7 San Diego


An undocumented mother of a US Army officer who was deported to Mexico last year after exhausting all legal options to stay in the United States at the time has been allowed to return this week, said his lawyer.

Rocio Rebollar Gomez entered the United States on Thursday after lawyers for immigrant rights group Border Angels petitioned for her to return under an exemption to a current pandemic-related admission ruling adult asylum seekers.

Until Thursday, Rebollar Gomez had not seen his family since January 2, 2020, when ICE rejected his request to stay in the United States via the “Parole in place” policy, which allows undocumented military family members to remain in the country.

It was his last attempt to gain legal status to stay in the United States.

Previously, she and her lawyer had attempted to file a specific type of asylum claim to prove that there was a reasonable threat to her safety in Mexico (she says her brother was kidnapped and held for ransom, and didn’t never returned). When that failed, she requested deferred action. It also failed.

Since her deportation, Rebollar Gomez has lived in an unknown Tijuana, Mexico, and was alone until she met Robert Vivar of the Unified US Deported Veterans Resource Center. He helped connect Gomez with the immigrant rights group, Border Angels.

“Despite all our appeals, the community behind her and the national and international awareness of her case, despite all the calls for delayed action, the government has kicked her out,” said Border Angels lawyer Dulce Garcia.

According to Garcia, Rebollar Gomez had shared “horror” stories about his time in Mexico. And, Garcia believed his experiences would be enough to bring Rebollar Gomez to the United States under a Title 42 exemption.

A local immigration attorney says she is starting to see an increase in the number of asylum seekers trying to cross the border, NBC 7’s Melissa Adan reports.

Title 42 is a section of an obscure public health law that puts an end to the asylum process during a public health crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic. It was invoked under the Trump administration and relaxed under the Biden administration to allow children and adults in very rare circumstances to be allowed into the United States while their asylum claims are being processed.

The request was granted and, on Thursday, Rebollar Gomez was allowed to return to the United States – this time legally.

Now, Rebollar Gomez will have to go through the same asylum process that denied her once before, appearing in court if necessary until a judge grants or denies her the right to stay in the United States in as an asylum.

Rebollar Garcia admitted that she had illegally entered the United States three times since 1988, once while pregnant and wanting to reunite with her other two children who were still in the United States.

“I had to get back to them; they were there and I could not leave them, ”she said in tears in an interview with Telemundo 20 as she went to court on the day of her deportation.

She moved to San Diego County to give her children what she considers the “American Dream” and lived here for 31 years – longer than her life in Mexico – until her deportation.

While in the United States, she bought a house in Lincoln Park, paid taxes, and started a business. She has held a number of jobs including cleaning offices, hotels, delivering newspapers and selling clothing.

She has had no clashes with the law – other than her legal status, her lawyer said.

The first time she interacted with US immigration and customs services was in 1995. She was deported from the country. After that, she returned illegally to the country two more times before a lawyer advised her to fix her papers and push for legal status so that she could continue working.

In 2018, she was detained by ICE after opposing a deportation order filed in 2009. In March 2019, she was arrested and detained for a month and a half.

ICE told NBC 7 that the agency’s decision to deport Rebollar Gomez was based on his background with the agency, including his past detentions and deportations.

Rebollar Gomez’s son Gibram Cruz, proud US Army First Lieutenant, believes military failed to protect his family by denying his parole in Place request for deferred action .

“I guess what I’m hoping for from this situation is that some light is shed on the current climate with regard to the military and the immigration status of their families,” said Cruz. “My mother’s case is one of many cases of military personnel serving their country at home and abroad who still face the struggle to care for the safety and well-being of their parents.”

In addition to seeking asylum, Rebollar Gomez said she plans to file for the same deferred action program that helps family members of the military postpone deportation for periods of two years.


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