Dallas Woman Caught In Middle Of Immigration Debate

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s hard for Anatolia Garcia to hide the monitor that’s been strapped to her ankle for four weeks.  “I feel humiliated. Every time I go to my children’s school, I have to cover it up. I don’t want to embarrass my children.”

She’s not a criminal and not on parole.  But she is caught in the middle of the nation’s immigration debate.  The government is in the process of deporting her.

“If they take my wife away from me, it will be like dropping a bomb on our house. That’s how we’re feeling,” says Anatolia’s husband, Abel Garcia.

He fled El Salvador, gaining political asylum in 1983.

Anatolia came from Mexico and stayed in the U.S. on work permits.

But their status changed seven years ago.  They were told to seek temporary protective status to remain in the country.

He got it, but she didn’t.  The Garcias say it’s because she is from Mexico.

Their three children were all born in the united states.

“My hope is for my mom to stay with us because without her i don’t want were going to do,” says Anatolia’s young daughter Jennifer.

The garcias and their supporters are hoping new guidelines will prevent their family from being torn apart.

Known as prosecutorial discretion.  It could reverse some deportations.  Hundreds of thousands of cases will be reviewed.  If a person meets certain guidelines, they may have their deportation cancelled.

Though the kids are too young to understand it all, they hope this new discretion will help their mother stay in the United States.

“It’s not a good thing to separate a family.  It’s like you mess it up. You also break the children’s hearts when you do that.”

CBS 11 contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement for a comment.  As of Thursday evening they have not responded.  Community activists and friends of the Garcias will hold a candlelight vigil for her on Monday at the ICE offices in Dallas.


One Comment

  1. Ali Alexander says:

    Prosecutorial discretion won’t make her “legal”–it will just stall deportation until the next administration. This story doesn’t say if her husband is now a US citizen (and if he got asylum in 1983, he’s had plenty of time to become one) but even then, if she entered without inspection, there’s no way for her to adjust status by remaining in the U.S. She’ll need to return to Mexico and have her husband apply for a waiver of excludability which may or may not be granted.

  2. tony b says:

    Where are the people of God on this mother being possibly ripped away from her Children?

  3. Alicia says:

    “”It’s not a good thing to separate a family. It’s like you mess it up. You also break the children’s hearts when you do that.”””

    They do that daily by leaving their country and coming into ours!! The children need to realize it’s not the US fault their parents are irresponsible and using them to try and gain citizenship! This article makes it sound like SHE is the victim when in reality it’s the American tax payers that have been the victim of people like her & her family for years! What gets me is most of them claim they love their country even fly their flag proudly, well I say if you love your country so much STAY AND FIGHT FOR IT!!! Freedom comes at a price and many many good men and women gave their life so we could have the great country we now have, but are losing quickly, very soon many more will have to make that sacrifice to get it back.

  4. Rick McDaniel says:

    That sounds like an unfair deal, but it has been exacerbated by the totally out-of-control, illegal immigrant problem.

    This country has to stop illegal immigration, and there is no way around that. We can no longer afford to lose jobs for our citizens, because of illegal immigrants.

  5. darrell says:

    what? she is still here? bad enough we have to tolerate those anchor babies. get her out of here. enforce the law.

  6. U.S. Citizen says:

    Why is the immigration service always the bad guys? They didn’t order her removed to Mexico, a federal judge did. The immigration service just enforces the law. Why don’t they do a story on someone that got convicted by a judge to serve 10 years in jail? It’s basically the same thing. A federal judge has ordered her removed to Mexico which usually comes with a bar of 10 years before she can apply to come back. Both scenarios take time away from family. Breaking federal law is a criminal act.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE