AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A Colorado mother is being held at a facility in El Paso, Texas, and she could be deported anytime.
Maria de Jesus Jimenez-Sanchez lives in Aurora and three of her four children are American citizens.
Her attorney works in the Denver metro area and has been checking her status around the clock, hoping to secure her release through the courts.
Jimenez-Sanchez, 40, walked into an immigration office last week after days of deliberating with her attorney Jennifer Kain-Rios. Moments after entering the office, she was slated for deportation.
“Considering where you are at right now, would you have advised her to go to that ICE check-in?” CBS4’s Stan Bush asked Kain-Rios.
“That’s my job, I have to. That’s the only legal advice that I can give her,” Kain-Rios said.
Jimenez-Sanchez’s 2012 conviction for driving without a license is now grounds for deportation under a new Homeland Security policy. It’s a policy that doesn’t differentiate between violent crime and traffic offenses.
“She’s not a threat to the communty. She hasn’t committed any crimes,” Kain-Rios said.
Kain-Rios is trying to file a writ of habeas corpus in her last-ditch effort to keep Jimenez-Sanchez’s case in American courts. She’s arguing for asylum out of fear for Jimenez-Sanchez’s safety in Mexico. It’s a fight Jimenez-Sanchez has lost before.
“She wasn’t represented. She didn’t have an attorney at all for the … interview in 2012,” Kain-Rios said.
The offices of Rep. Mike Coffman, who represents Aurora, and Sen. Michael Bennet have been notified but there’s little they can do.
Jimenez-Sanchez’s family now faces uncertainty about her status.
“We’re fighting an uphill battle,” Kain-Rios said. “Maria has to decide if she wants to keep fighting.”
Homeland Security officials released a statement Friday calling Jimenez-Sanchez an “egregious immigration violator.”