UPDATE: Bridge Magazine was at the airport with Juarez when she left the United States. Click here to read the account.
Maria Garcia Juarez is getting ready to leave for Mexico this week as she faces deportation. That’s despite the fact that she’s caring for a baby and her leukemia-stricken husband. She has to leave them behind to avoid being detained.
Juarez faces deportation because she stole two cars as a youth. She’s never been to Mexico, at least not since she was a baby. In a recent article in Bridge Magazine, reporter Chastity Pratt Dawsey writes that Juarez “has no real destination and no idea when she will be able to get back home to her family in Detroit.”
Juarez and Pratt Dawsey join Stephen Henderson on Detroit Today to discuss the current deportation system.
Juarez says she was brought to the U.S. when she was eight-months-old and grew up essentially without a parental figure in her life. Juarez describes her life story, having stolen two cars in her youth, being jailed, and dealing with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at a young age. She talks about then moving to Michigan, getting married, having a child, and now being forced to leave.
“I’m taking a really big chance leaving to Mexico of ever coming back,” Juarez says. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to come back… This is the only place that I know that is home.”
Pratt Dawsey discusses how layered the laws are when dealing with ICE and how this was one of the aspects that drew her into Juarez’ story.
“Her case definitely illustrates just how complex these cases are,” Pratt Dawsey says. “She has a husband also who has leukemia and a child here.”
Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.