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Veteran's Wife Calls Out Trump as Family Is Torn Apart

Alejandra Juarez, 39, says goodbye to one of her daughters
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2018 9:30 AM CDT
Alejandra Juarez,38, center, passes through TSA screening at the Orlando International Airport on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018 in Orlando, Fla.   (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
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(Newser) – Alejandra Juarez spent a few last moments with her daughters Friday before their family was torn apart, MSN reports. Self-deporting after losing her legal battles against deportation, the wife of a US Marine spoke to the press at Orlando International Airport about President Trump: "He thinks he's punishing me, and maybe I deserve it for having come the way I did," she says. "You're not making me suffer more, you're making a veteran suffer, and you always say you love veterans." Her 16-year-old daughter Pamela was less measured, cursing US Immigration and Customs before her sister Estela, 9, boarded the plane with Alejandra for Mexico, the AP reports. In Pamela's words: "My mom is a good person and she's not a criminal so f*** ICE."

Alejandra, 39, sought asylum in 1998 and tried to become a citizen in 2001 but was denied for apparently telling border officers she had studied briefly in Memphis, Tennessee; officials called this a false claim of US citizenship. Yet she stayed in Davenport, Fla., running a roofing business with husband Temo Juarez—a naturalized citizen who served in Iraq—until her legal status was exposed during a 2013 traffic stop. Her legal bill trying to stay in the country: $20,000 (a GoFundMe campaign has raised another $25,000 as of this writing). "What justice does this serve," says Florida Rep. Darren Soto, who tried to pass legislation to help the couple. "We couldn't even get the Trump administration to work on this particular case with a military spouse who has done everything helping her husband's service to this country." (Read more deportation stories.)

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