HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — A grandmother of four is in danger of being deported back to Mexico after living in Hagerstown for the last six years. Now her family is rallying.

Gigi Barnett has their story.

Six years ago, Josefina Rodriguez-Vega, 59, came to Maryland from Mexico. She wanted to help raise her four grandchildren. Wednesday, her family and friends rallied to keep her in the U.S.

“The only thing that she wants to do is be with her family and not cause any problems,” said family friend Luis Pena.

In the coming months, Rodriguez-Vega faces deportation back to Mexico. In June, she was arrested in Hagerstown for driving without a license.

Her family thought a new pilot program approved by the Obama administration would keep Rodriguez-Vega in Maryland. The policy temporarily freezes deportation for illegal immigrants like Rodriguez-Vega who have no criminal records.

“If the pilot program had been implemented effectively, this case should not be happening. This case should be closed,” said Elizabeth Alex, Casa de Maryland.

Alex organized the rally. She’s with Casa de Maryland, a civil rights group for illegal immigrants. She says Rodriguez-Vega has no other family in Mexico.

“She has really dug roots in Hagerstown. She got very involved in the Catholic church there and that’s why so many people are here today. They saw her every Sunday,” Alex said.

Rodriguez-Vega’s son David says his family pleaded with immigration officials.

“Sometimes I feel sad and sometimes I feel angry because I don’t think it’s fair that someone of that age is in jail right now,” he said.

Immigration officials would not comment specifically on Rodriguez-Vega’s case but they did confirm that she has a criminal record. They also would not say when she would be deported.

Comments (6)
  1. Ali says:

    The “policy” of the Obama administration is for ICE to exercise “discretion”. But it’s not a free pass on remaining here and it sure shouldn’t be for someone who has a criminal record as this grandmother has.

    And just how did she get here? IF her , the parent of her grandchildren is here legally, then he could and should have sponsored her to come here legally. It speaks volumes that he brought her here illegally. He’s likely here illegally himself, or, if here legally, thinks that our laws still don’t apply to him.

    Good bye, Granny. Your grandkids can come visit you in Mexico.

    1. Geralynn says:

      Well said

  2. Ali says:

    Alex organized the rally. She’s with Casa de Maryland, a civil rights group for illegal immigrants
    By the way, illegal aliens have no civil rights. CIVIL rights, by definition, belong to CITIZENS of a country. Granny isn’t even a legal resident.

  3. Liberal Soldier says:

    Why did she not file a legal petition to enter the United States? Instead she broke the law and now she wants pity? Sorry Grandma but you should be deported. You are in this country illegally.

  4. Lisa Renee Zizame Brown says:

    Driving illegally, with out a license….hmmmm…..If you want to live here, live by the rule drive with a license!!!!! the rest of US CITIZENS DO! A PREVIOUS CRIMINAL RECORD, IS THE REST OF HER FAMILY HER ILLEGALLY?

  5. Winona Smith-Ogunlana says:

    Word of advice you will not be given a date when they send her back you just need to make sure she got a place to go to in Mexico.

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