Rocio Rebollar Gomez, whose immigration case has attracted international attention partly because her son is a 2nd. Lt in the US Army, sat at the curb at the El Chapparal port of entry in Mexico after being deported with only her passport, cell phone and the clothes on her back.on Thursday January 2, 2020. (San Diego Union-Tribune/John Gibbins)
She prayed for a miracle for the past 30 days as media attention around her case escalated. But in the end, the mother of a U.S. Army intelligence officer was deported on Thursday to Tijuana.
The removal, based on previous deportations, had been scheduled for about a month, when her requests to be allowed to stay in the United States were denied. Despite that, Rocio Rebollar Gomez, 51, held out hope until the very last moment that the federal government would show her mercy and allow her to remain with her family.
A Soldier holds an American flag prior to the start of an oath of citizenship ceremony in the General George Patton Museum's Abrams Auditorium at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Sept. 19, 2018. (U.S. Army/ Eric Pilgrim)
A five-year review of how the government deals with veterans with immigration issues shows that laws designed to give more protection to those who served in the military are spottily enforced.
The report from the Government Accountability Office found that veterans who never gained U.S. citizenship didn't consistently get consideration for their service in the face of possible deportation. The agency called on Immigration and Customs Enforcement to "ensure that veterans receive appropriate levels of review before they are placed in removal proceedings."
A Mexican immigrant couple living in Brooklyn attempted to visit a family member stationed at Fort Drum, New York, on the Fourth of July before his upcoming deployment — but instead, they were detained at the base gate, questioned by Border Protection agents, and taken to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility miles away, according to a local NBC news affiliate.
To take a migrant child from her parents at a U.S. point of entry, place her in a just-erected government tent city, and keep her separated from family costs the federal government a whopping $775 per child per night, according to the Department of Health and Human Services — more than twice what it would cost to house the children in detention with their families, and nearly six times more than a brigadier general's or rear admiral's housing allowance for New York City.