On February 22nd, Blanca Cardenas, a 37-year-old mother of a 19-month-old girl, was arrested by Los Angeles Police Department officers for trespassing during a foreclosure protest at the home she used to live in.
Despite posting bail, Cardenas was held in LAPD custody for one week before Immigration and Customs Enforcement picked her up Wednesday and deported her “within hours,” according to the LA Weekly.
Simone Wilson at the LA Weekly describes the sequence of events:
According to Quinones, he and his wife were “in a fight” with Bank of America over their home. The couple filed for bankruptcy, believing that would protect them from the foreclosure. But he claims then Bank of America resold the home, and the new owner reported Cardenas and Quinones for trespassing.
“She tried to show [the police] paperwork that shows she is the legal owner of the property,” says Quinones. “And she refused to leave the house.”
In a statement provided to the LA Weekly, ICE confirmed Cardenas’ deportation yesterday: Ms. Cardenas Flores was removed to Mexico at approximately 5:15 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 29) after coming into ICE’s custody earlier in the day. Cardenas Flores was previously removed from the United States in 2002. ICE reinstated her prior order of removal, paving the way for her repatriation Wednesday afternoon. ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens, recent border crossers and egregious immigration law violators, such as those who have been previously removed from the United States.
Cardenas’ husband explained to the LA Weekly that 10 years ago, his wife “had to go to Mexico for a problem with the family” and when she tried to re-enter the U.S. she was detained and sent her back to Mexico. “Quinones says she eventually made it home to her family in L.A. (illegally), but never went to court.”
Cardenas’ 19-month old daughter isn’t sleeping well at night since her mother was deported. “She was waking up every hour because she’s used to sleeping with her mother,” a member of the family told Estrella-TV.
A recent Colorlines.com investigation found families are more likely to be separated when local police aggressively participate in immigration enforcement. There are at least 5,100 children currently living in foster care who are prevented from uniting with their detained or deported parents.