A baby's family of Morton (Mississippi) He is doing everything possible to bring together Jakeline, a four-month-old girl, with her mother, María, an undocumented Mexican migrant who was arrested on Wednesday last week while working at one of the chicken processing plants that were targeted by the large operation of the Immigration and Customs Office (ICE).
The woman, who is also the mother of two other children, Alan, 3, and Henry, 11, was one of the 680 people arrested last August 7, when Migration visited five food companies that operate in six small cities of Mississippi.
"My kids need her, especially the little one, because she breastfeeds her," Univision News tells his father Mario (fictitious name to protect his identity). "She starts crying at the time she sucks. I hug her and comfort her," he says.
According to this Guatemalan who has been in the US for 17 years and who also has a pending deportation process, the oldest of his children understands the situation a little better, while the median, 3 years old, asks if his mother is not going back and if he has stopped loving them. "I tell him that his mother is working to buy them sweet and ice cream," he says.
And while he relies on his faith to trust that his wife will return home, the man receives help from his church, in addition to a promising organization and a lawyer pro bono They are working for the liberation of Mary.
"She cried and told me to take care of the children"
The last time Mario saw his wife was last Wednesday when he was preparing to go to work at the Koch Foods chicken processing plant, where he worked for more than three years despite having no documents.
According to his account, the couple had the same routine every day: as his wife went to work at 6 in the morning, he was in charge of taking his eldest son to school and the two little ones to the place where they take care of them before starting his workday in the yards (as a gardener) about 8 in the morning.
But that Wednesday, he says, will remain marked on the calendar forever. He learned of the raid by the call of an aunt of his and the first thing he thought was his wife and children.
But he didn't hear from his wife until Saturday afternoon when Maria called him from a detention center in Louisiana. "She cried and told me to take care of the children," he recalls. "I just told him: 'You and I are going to fight together. We're in this together."
Although he did not tell his wife, Mario is also very concerned about how the family is going to get ahead now that she is being held and that he has had to reduce his work schedule in order to take care of his children.
In addition, he also has a pending deportation process after two years ago he was arrested by local police for driving without a license and sent to the same detention center where his wife is now. On that occasion, he managed to leave after the questioned Free company by Nexus cover your immigration bond.
"I'm just getting out of the big debt with the Nexus company now and I said: 'What am I going to do if I'm still paying my thing and now she?' The little we earn is for children, "says the man.
Maria "you can't believe what's happening"
Mario promised his wife that he would do his best to get her out of the detention center. And although he knows that this decision depends on the immigration authorities, he is already in contact with a lawyer who is helping him.
"We are trying to get her out on bail because it is not a risk to the community, does not present a risk of escape and has no criminal record," says Juliana Manzanárez, the lawyer of the Arizona firm Ybarra Maldonado & Associates who helps the family of free way.
"Maria has three children who are American citizens who are going to suffer if they do not leave her free," explains Manzanárez . "The younger one especially needs her mother because she was still breastfeeding."
According to the lawyer, ICE said she did not know that the woman had such a small baby, something that she attributes to the fact that sometimes migrants are afraid and nervous when talking to the authorities.
Manzanárez is helping the family after hearing about the case from his friend Dalila Reynoso, from the Justice for Our Neighbors organization, who traveled from Texas to Mississippi the day after the raids, met María's family and last Sunday she went to visit her to the detention center where she was transferred.
"When we visited her she didn't look very good. We asked her questions and it took a while to answer. She seemed depressed. It looked like he couldn't believe what was happening, "Reynoso says, remembering that the woman had her eyes lost and asked about her daughter.
While the lawyer intercedes for the liberation of Mary, the father of the children is overturned in their care and in trying to make them resent as little as possible by the sudden absence of the mother.
Father Roberto Mena, Reverend of the St. Michael Catholic Church in Forest, says that the family is relying heavily on faith to overcome this moment and the members of the congregation who help Mario take care of the children.
"The Lord is very stressed by this situation. He works six hours a day and the rest of the time is dedicated to caring for children," says Mena who says he is overwhelmed after the raids that affected half the population of the churches that It serves in the cities of Morton and Forest.
For his part, Mario hopes his wife can leave the detention center in order to fulfill the plan they both had for their three children: "We hope they study and achieve something in life," he says. "With effort, what we gain we give to our children so that they do not have to suffer what we suffer in our countries."