BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Maryland mother who claims she was racially profiled is now facing deportation, and fighting to stay in the country.
Roxana Santos claims sheriff’s deputies targeted her simply for being Latina, and the immigrant community is paying close attention to this case.
Santos continues to embrace her four children and husband, as a federal judge has allowed her to stay in the country for now. Santos claims she was racially profiled by sheriff’s deputies in Frederick County.
“We were concerned that she was stopped simply for being Latina,” said Joanna E. Cuevas Ingram, associate counsel for Latino Justice. “It didn’t appear that there was any other reason.”
In 2008, Santos was eating lunch on a park bench, when she says the deputies questioned her about her immigration status.
She’s seeking asylum from her native country, El Salvador, which she fled because of domestic violence at the hands of her father. Her children all have a legal right to be here.
Her lawyers say Santos has not committed any crime in the 12 years she’s been here.
On Monday, faith and immigrant groups rallied outside of the U.S. Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement’s Baltimore office.
(Translated from Spanish) “I feel very grateful for everyone supporting me and the truth is that I came here looking for a better life for me, my children, and my family,” said Santos.
A 4th Circuit Court Judge agreed that deputies were wrong to stop her in the first place, and Santos is hoping for the same outcome in the federal case.
On a national level, ICE is stepping up enforcement, while President Trump still plans to build a wall on the U.S./Mexico border, and his recent travel ban is creating uncertainty for immigrants everywhere.
Immigrant advocacy groups tell WJZ’s Amy Yensi, they’re getting lots of calls about the new policies. Many families are worried they’ll be torn apart.
“With this new administration, we really don’t know,” said George Escobar, senior director of services for Casa De Maryland