GOLETA, Calif. - --UPDATE--
Juana Maria Flores, the Goleta Grandmother who was asked to turn herself in to immigration agents, said her deportation has been extended for another two weeks.
"We went to L.A. yesterday to bring a file for her and they said we had to be here [Wednesday] at 8:30 a.m. to see the officers and now they postpone it for another two weeks," said Andres Flores, husband to Juana.
When asked to why the deportation had been postponed, Flores said immigration had to check up on their files again, and that Juana may need to complete some more papers.
A Goleta Grandmother has been asked to turn herself in to immigration agents on Wednesday.
Juana Maria Flores fled Mexico to get away from the violence and create a better opportunity for her family, which she achieved. Now the Trump administration is forcing her to leave a place she’s called home for over 30 years.
As Juana Maria packs her belongings, she’s also fighting back tears.
“I have hope in God that everything will be ok,” Flores said in Spanish.
Hope, even though she is being forced to leave 30 years of life in Goleta. Juana Maria is here illegally, just like one of many forced to turn themselves in.
“I feel a little afraid and nervous, but I don’t have a criminal record in California,” said Flores.
Juana and her husband Andres came here illegally back in 1988. But Andres got citizenship. They had 10 children, and are now blessed with 15 grandchildren. Every other member of the family is American, except for Juana Maria.
“In 1999 my client went to go see her sick mother in Mexico and she returned to the U-S, and when she did she created this technical violation,” said Kraig Rice, who is representing the Flores family.
ICE demanded Juana Maria to turn herself in back in May, even though she has no criminal record. She asked to postpone the date because her youngest son, serving in the Air Force, was getting married in July. ICE granted her that wish.
“I know we have other problems, but we try to enjoy this time,” said Andres Flores, Juana Maria’s husband. “We enjoy the family together.”
Juana Maria now has until August 1st to turn herself in.
“Just not having her here is really scary,” said an emotional Elizabeth Flores, Juana’s daughter. “Growing up with my mom we have gone through a lot together. We need her more than anything.”
“There is definitely no way to prepare,” said Caesar Flores, the youngest son in the Flores family. “Just taking it day by day and trying to go through all the avenues as possible to prevent her from leaving.”
Kraig Rice represents the Flores family. One of Juana's sons has mental disabilities, so the lawyer filed what's called a Stay of Removal, hoping to delay the process.
“They have indicated that they are willing to look at her case,” said Rice. “They were not aware of the son with the mental illness and so we are going to give them as much information as possible.”
As Juana Maria continues to pack her things, she's praying for a miracle from a county that gave her so much.
Juana Maria plans to make the trip to ICE in Santa Maria on Wednesday to turn herself in. She along with her family is hoping they accept the Stay of Removal.