DENVER – An undocumented mother of three U.S.-citizen children who was arrested Wednesday by immigration officials in Denver and then taken to Arizona has been deported to Mexico, Denver7 has learned.
Ilse Cristina Rodriguez-Sagarnaga, 30, was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents when she went to check in with the local ICE field office Wednesday.
ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok says that Rodriguez-Sagarnaga, a Mexican national, has three misdemeanor convictions in Colorado.
Colorado court records show she pleaded guilty to false reporting in 2010, and harassment.
He says it’s unclear when she first illegally entered the United States, but a federal immigration judge granted her a voluntary departure, and then a final order of removal, in October 2012.
Rusnok says ICE granted Rodriguez-Sagarnaga a one-year stay of removal in June 2016, and that she had requested another stay of removal, which was denied on Tuesday.
Jennifer Piper, with the American Friends Service Committee, which advocates for people living in the U.S. illegally and targeted for removal by ICE, says that Rodriguez-Sagarnaga has been in the U.S. since she was 5 years old.
She and her husband, Alberto, have three young daughters, aged 9 months, 22 months and 3 years, according to Piper.
Piper says that one of Rodriguez-Sagarnaga’s convictions came when she was “trying to leave an abusive ex-husband,” and that she wasn’t able to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) because of the charge.
The DACA programs allows children of undocumented parents to work or study in the U.S. without being targeted for deportation.
Rodriguez-Sagarnaga was able to reunite with an aun in the border town of Juarez, and the family has greated a GoFundMe account to support her daughters after her deportation, according to Piper.
Her eldest daughter, 4-and-a-half-year-old Dariana, sent the following message to President Donald Trump, following her mother’s deportation:
“I want to see my mom. Yesterday, my dad came home in his truck and I ran to the window to see if he brought my mama, but he couldn’t. I don’t sleep because I miss mama. I love her. I belong to her and my papa and we need her.”
Rodriguez-Sagarnaga’s attorney, James Lamb, also released a statement Saturday, saying her deportation is part of a broken immigration system.
“I, and my entire law firm, are deeply saddened to hear that ICE has deported Cristina. Our sympathies go out to her and her family, in particular her three U.S. citizen children. Cristina’s case is yet another tragedy wrought by our inhumane, broken immigration system.”
Her case is the latest in a host of cases involving ICE agents arresting people in the Denver area and deporting them for minor convictions, even if they have children who are U.S. citizens.