ORLANDO, Fla. - It was three years ago that Central Florida mother Alejandra Juarez was deported to Mexico. On Saturday, she was reunited with her family after being granted Humanitarian Parole.
FOX 35 was there for the emotional reunion Juarez had with her two daughters and husband.
"Alejandra’s unjust deportation under the previous administration’s zero-tolerance policy shook our Central Florida community to the core, but we never stopped fighting for her return," Congressman Darren Soto said in a statement. "Now, under the Biden Administration, she was granted humanitarian parole and will have the opportunity to be present in Estela and Pamela’s lives. However, our fight is not over until Alejandra is granted permanent stay and all separated families are brought back together."
You remember her dramatic departure, Juarez and her children crying at the Orlando International Airport the day she was forced to fly back to Mexico.
"I would say for the first week I fell into a deep depression because I kept thinking, 'Today is the day they're going to call and say you can go back now," Juarez told FOX 35 News back in late 2018.
That day she’s been dreaming of is finally here three years later. Just in time for Mother's Day, Juarez is back with her Iraqi combat veteran husband, Temo Juarez, and their two daughters, Pamela and Estela.
Juarez admits she came to this country illegally as a young woman and lived here undocumented for nearly 20 years. During that time she fell in love, married a U.S. Marine and together they have two daughters.
Juarez’s American dream hit a major bump when a traffic stop in 2013 put her on ICE’s radar.
She was allowed to stay under Humanitarian Parole until 2018 when President Trump's zero-tolerance policy on immigration forced her back to Mexico.
Congressman Soto helped Juarez fight to stay here. He continued fighting to get her back home to her family in Central Florida after she was deported.
"We helped amplify a letter that she sent to the very top levels of White House, Department of Homeland Security and ICE. This is after years of pushing for protecting [the] Patriot Spouses Act, that would allow judges to consider the fact that an immigrant is the spouse of an active U.S. service member or veteran as part of immigration cases," Congressman Soto said.
Through her own persistence, the help of her attorney and Congressman Soto and his staff, Juarez was again granted Humanitarian Parole.
This will allow her to return home to her husband and children here.
"It’s a temporary but indefinite immigration status. She’ll have to check in every couple of months, abide by our laws and be a productive citizen," the congressman said.
Soto is now pushing for the passing of H.R. 163, the Protect Patriot Spouses Act and other key bills "to fix our immigration system and prioritize families."
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