TUCSON – A local DACA recipient is concerned as she could face deportation because of the latest policy changes from the Trump administration.
The latest change could mean immigration courts could get a heavy increase of cases just like hers.
Zoila Pelayo is a mother of four. She moved to Tucson from Mexico when she was six years old.
Pelayo attended Flowing Wells High School and is now a special education teacher there.
“In the morning, I get one kid and then the second hour, I get two,” said Pelayo.
Despite the challenges that come with being a full-time teacher and mother, Pelayo said she had to overcome her disability. She is legally blind and has trouble reading and writing.
“I feel like I’ve been here long enough to be an American citizen,” said Pelayo. “I came here so I don’t. I don’t know I’m scared to go back to Mexico because like I said I don’t know nobody.”
In 2012, Pelayo faced deportation because of a traffic violation. The case was dismissed and she became a DACA recipient.
Now with the latest U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement policies, she is facing deportation again.
ICE notified Pelayo that they plan to re-calendar her case.
“Any case that got administratively closed under Barack Obama and his presidency are now being, what they cal, l re-calendared,” said Mo Goldman, an immigration attorney. “Or their filing requests to the court to re-calendar them and that’s because we’ve had a drastic shift in policy.”
Pelayo’s biggest fear is leaving her family.
“If they stop me, I think I’m going to be scared,” Pelayo said. “I just want to stay here and everything like that because it’s scary.”
Pelayo is not alone. Goldman said he is starting to see more cases like Pelayo’s.
“We still have a Supreme Court case about the constitutionality about the program the DACA program and that’s still pending,” said Goldman. “We have people who actually have this legitimately authorized documents that say they’re allowed to be here in the United States and allow them to work in the U.S. Now, another prong of the Department of Homeland Security is telling these individuals no your not supposed to be here we want to deport you.”
News 4 Tucson reached out to ICE about Pelayo’s case and the current policies, but have not yet received a statement back.
Pelayo is still waiting for a court date to be set in her immigration case.
For more information, go to: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com