We are sad to report that despite our efforts, LUPE member Isabel Barbosa was deported Tuesday. She had a previous order of removal from 1998, which was reinstated. It was impossible to fight.
Isabel was deported away from her five children, husband and community she has called home for the last 18 years.
This is the harsh truth of our broken immigration system: immigration officials can reinstate a removal order from so long ago and shatter the life Isabel has built since.
Isabel is now staying with family in Reynosa. Her family is struggling without her. Isabel’s husband has been left with the full weight of the family’s expenses. Her children just started school and barely had enough to buy shoes. They’re not sure how they are going to afford all their school supplies.
Isabel’s oldest daughter must now take up the responsibilities of the house: cooking, cleaning and making sure her brothers and sister get to school on time. Though she has little time on top of household duties, she still wants to work to bring in extra income. As she is six months pregnant, however, she is doubtful anyone will hire her.
The ones who will be impacted the most by Isabel’s deportation are her youngest children. “They look for their mom,” Isabel’s husband told us. “They ask for her, but what can we tell them?”
Isabel should never have been put in this position. DPS should not ask for immigration status and call Border Patrol. Our immigration laws should allow immigrants like Isabel to adjust their status and live without worry of being separated from family. Our state laws should allow immigrant residents access to driver’s licenses regardless of immigration documents.
DPS should ensure the safety of all Texas families, regardless of immigration status. They should not be enforcing immigration laws.
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has involved itself in matters of border enforcement more and more over the last 10 years. During this period, DPS has been involved in the fatal shooting of two immigrants in South Texas when an agent shot at a truck from a helicopter, experimented with checkpoints targeting immigrant communities, and has regularly asked drivers for immigration papers and called Border Patrol during routine traffic stops.
As the largest law enforcement agency in Texas, DPS needs more accountability to Texans.