What would you do if you were separated from not one but three of your children? Would you try your hardest to return to them or begin a new life without them? If you’re a loving and caring mom, chances are you would do everything in your power to be with them no matter what. For years, Rocio Rebollar Gomez was put in that terrible position due to her undocumented status. The mother of three was deported three times, and each time she returned from Mexico to be with her U.S. born children.
There was an understanding that immigration came with threats of deportation but some hope this time that things would be different. Her second son, 30-year-old Gibram Cruz, is a Second Lt. in the Army and has been serving our country for the past five years. The New York Times reports that Gomez could have remained in the country through the “deferred action under the discretionary option for military families through Citizen and Immigration Services.” In other words, her son’s military status could have helped his mother remain in the U.S.; however, because she had returned so many times after being deported, that benefit could not be applied. It’s not confirmed what the judge’s reasoning was for deporting the mother of three. Regardless, she’s gone now. She was deported to Mexico and wasn’t even able to say goodbye.
“I feel betrayed, to be honest,” 2nd Lt. Gibram Cruz told KSWB News. “A country that I’m serving, which I’ve served proudly… These policies that are put in place to keep my family safe have let me severely down.”
Right before Christmas, Cruz was informed that his mother was facing deportation and left his post to be with her and his family, possibly for the last time. The family celebrated the holidays together, and then just last week, she was scheduled for another ICE check-in. She went in, her family waited outside, and soon-there-after, she was deported and called her family until she had access to a phone in Tijuana, Mexico.
For a woman who’s lived in the U.S. for the past thirty years, her life in Mexico is dire. According to the Times, she is living with her half-sister, who she hasn’t seen in more than ten years and is sleeping on her couch. Her son is back reporting for duty where his military contract remains intact for the next three years. And as U.S. military personnel, going to Mexico is virtually out of the question.