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Dallas Woman Caught In Middle Of Immigration Debate

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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.

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