MIAMI – Activists and domestic workers gathered on Monday in front of the immigration headquarters in South Florida to support undocumented Honduran Reyna Gomez, who is facing deportation.
Gomez, a domestic worker, attended her regular monthly interview with authorities at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in Miramar, in Broward County, north of Miami.
After appearing with her attorney before a judge, Gomez – who suffers from a rare blood disorder, a form of leukemia – left the federal offices and told reporters that she had been treated well by the officials and asked to return in two weeks to give authorities time to continue considering her asylum request.
Activists and community associations have warned about the increase in the number of migrants in irregular circumstances who are being detained when they come to their regular court hearings, a tactic they are referring to as “silent raids.”
“They’re making fun of us. The immigrants come to their hearings following the law and many are ending up detained,” Maria Bilbao, an activist with the United We Dream group, who came to Miramar on Monday to support Gomez, told EFE.
Bilbao recommended that all undocumented migrants or immigrants who are in the process of regularizing their status consult with a lawyer before showing up in court at the ICE facilities.
Gomez, Bilbao said, continually has her status monitored by authorities at the different hearings she attends, but “now they’ve asked her for more proof” of her medical condition to support her request to remain in the US.
Authorities have given her 30 days to produce such documentation, but she is worried that it might not be enough time for her to receive the required government documents from Honduras.
Gomez, 49, came to the US 15 years ago illegally, but now her doctor tells her that if she were deported back to Honduras it would be a death sentence because there is no treatment for her blood condition – known as thrombocythemia – there.
That is why she came to her interview on Monday with a lawyer, for the first time ever.
Under President Donald Trump’s administration, “we’re all a priority and they arrest you simply because you don’t have a driver’s license,” said Bilbao, who emphasized that Gomez had been contributing to the country’s economy by working here.
Gomez, who fled her homeland to escape domestic violence, said she had never committed a crime in the US, except to come here without documents.