Family, Supporters Plead For Illegal Immigrant’s Release

DETROIT (WWJ) – A 25-year-old Detroit mother of three, who has lived in the U.S. since age 11, may be deported on Tuesday.

WWJ’s Pat Sweeting reports that Leslie Hernandez obtained her GED and has supported herself and her kids, 3, 5 and 10, with her income from a job at a mobile phone store.  In October, 2011 while driving, she was pulled over by immigration agents and has been in custody since that time.

Thousands have signed a petition calling for Hernandez’s release.

Her sister-in-law, Cecilia Manquera, who’s been watching the kids, said Hernandez is a good citizen and mother.

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Deportation protest, (WWJ Photo/Pat Sweeting)

Speaking with reporters at a rally Monday outside a Detroit immigration office, Manquera said the kids keep asking for their mom.

“They’re asking me when are they going to see their mother, when is she gonna get out, are they gonna let them out, all of those thing,” Manquera said.

Manquera said two of the children require regular medical attention which the limited Power-of-Attorney does not allow her to obtain for them.

“The daughter was in the hospital because she had pneumonia and her left lung is damaged and she needs to see a doctor and I cannot take her because I don’t have the capability of taking her to this doctor,” she said.

Supporters say she’s eligible to stay in the country under the Dream Act, a proposed measure which offers protection to undocumented residents brought to the U.S. prior to age 16.  In 2010, the measure passed the U.S. House, but failed to gain Senate approval.

The children’s father is also undocumented and is also in custody.


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