Utah Mother of Four To Be Deported By The End of October

Twitter/ @sltrib

The fate of a Utah woman's residence lies in the hands of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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Maria Santiago Garcia came to the United States 14 years ago not only in search for a better life but for an escape from violence and abuse. Over a decade later, she is now faced with deportation to Guatemala and may be forced to leave her children behind. 

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Santiago Garcia is a single mother of 4 and supports her family by selling tamales. Her children, ages 11, 9, 5 and 3 depend on their hard-working mother to support them in everything they do – as any child should. Despite her family, the Utah resident received orders to pack her bags and book a flight back to her country of origin by the end of this month. When she first made the move to the U.S., she was allowed a temporary stay through a special visa assigned for victims such as herself. She was a victim of violence and sexual abuse throughout her youth in Guatemala. 

“I know they say that people who cross the border are criminals, but that‘s not who I am,” said Santiago Garcia in an interview. “I’m a mother who’s fighting for my family.”

It was highlighted that her record has a minor misdemeanor from 2015. She was convicted of a class A misdemeanor for the obtaining or assisting in obtaining an identifying document of another person. This pales in comparison to a fraction crimes that have been highlighted in today's news.

She and her family were accompanied by about 30 protesters who stood outside of the ICE office – a place she often frequently checked into. While fighting back tears, the mother-of-4 asked her company to contact government officials and support her stay in the states.

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It is up to them to decide if she will be able to stay in the comfort of her home in America or be forced to live with nothing in Guatemala.