Maria Mendoza-Sanchez, a Highland Hospital nurse in Oakland, and her husband this week ended their fight to remain in the U.S. after federal immigration authorities denied a last-ditch plea to stay.
Maria, her husband Eusebio Sanchez, and their 12-year-old son, Jesus, boarded a flight at San Francisco International Airport for Mexico City less than an hour before afederal deportation order expired late Wednesday for the couple — leaving behind their three daughters, two of them adults and one a teenager.
Sanchez spent her last day in the U.S. doing somewhat routine things: She took her daughter, Elizabeth, 16, to her first day of school as a sophomore and she went to the bank.
But she did some out-of-the-ordinary things, too: She granted power of attorney to her eldest daughter, Vianney, 23. She packed her belongings. And she put her nursing uniforms into a storage box.
“I’m sorry I won’t be there to serve them anymore,” she said of her patients in the oncology and cardiology unit of Highland Hospital, Alameda County’s trauma center. “But one day I will be back, that’s for sure.”
The couple came to the U.S. more than 20 years ago, settling in Oakland in 1994. Maria graduated from Holy Names University with a nursing degree while raising their children. Eusebio worked in construction and eventually became a truck driver.
The couple have no criminal records, and have been undocumented during their time in the U.S. Vianney is protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, while their three younger kids are U.S. citizens.
“Fighting an immigration case when you are a Mexican is really three times as difficult as it is other communities,” Maria said as she tried to hold back tears. “It doesn’t matter how hard you work. It doesn’t matter what you do.”
Under the Obama administration, the couple received two stays, along with legal work visas, to remain in the U.S. But when they applied for another stay in May 2017, federal immigration officials limited it to 90 days — after which they would be deported.
The family was hoping for a reprieve with the help of Sen. Dianne Feinstein. But on Tuesday afternoon, Feinstein called to tell them that federal immigration agents had denied their request for another stay, the senator’s office said.
“All possible avenues to delay their departure have been denied by the Trump administration in what I believe is an act utterly devoid of humanity,” Feinstein said in a statement. “This is a travesty, plain and simple, and evidence that Donald Trump’s immigration policy is nothing more than a hateful deportation program targeting law-abiding families. It’s shameful and stands against the very ideals upon which this country was founded.”
In a statement to KQED from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Western Region, the agency confirmed the denial. But ICE added that it gave the couple enough time “to get their personal affairs in order and make preparations for their departure.”
Sanchez said she and her husband prepared their three daughters for life without them in the U.S.: Vianney, a graduate of UC Santa Cruz, will be the legal guardian of Elizabeth as she finishes high school. Their middle daughter, Melin, 21, will stay to finish her last year at UC Santa Cruz.
In Maria’s last hours before flying to Mexico City, Elizabeth came home from her first day of school. She sat on the couch next to her mom and rested her head on her mom’s shoulder.
Erdogan says Turkey may hold referendum on EU accession bid
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a ceremony marking the 102nd anniversary of Battle of Canakkale, also known as the Gallipoli Campaign, in Canakkale, Turkey, March 18, 2017. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey may hold a second referendum on whether to continue with European Union accession talks following a planned vote on April 16 that could give him sweeping new powers.
“Right now we are holding a referendum on April 16 and after that we could choose to do a second one on the (EU) accession talks and we would abide by whatever our people would say there,” Erdogan told a forum in the southern city of Antalya.
Turkey began EU accession talks in 2005 but they have moved very slowly due to disagreements over Cyprus, human rights and other issues. Relations between Ankara and Brussels have become particularly strained in recent months.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Gareth Jones)
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Hollande Says France Must Defend Values in Cold War Climate
December 31, 2016, 3:03 PM EST
Outgoing French president sees democracy, freedom at risk
Final New Year’s address targets National Front’s Le Pen
French President Francois Hollande tells the French they have values to defend in the context of a new Cold War — a reference to both geopolitics and the country’s looming presidential election.
“There are moments in history when everything can be toppled. We are living through one of those periods,” Hollande said in a televised speech from Paris. “Democracy, freedom, Europe and even peace — all of these things have become vulnerable, reversible. We saw it with Brexit and with the U.S. election in November.”
Hollande, who came to power in May 2012, bowed out of France’s 2017 presidential race earlier this month, meaning today’s New Year’s eve address to the nation will be his last as head of state. The Socialist leader insisted to French voters that they have a responsibility on the global stage when they cast their ballots.
“France is open to the world, it is European,” Hollande said. “It is not possible to imagine our country crouching behind walls, reduced to its domestic self, returning to a national currency and increasingly discriminating based on peoples’ origins. It would no longer be France. That is what is at stake.”
Those remarks directly targeted the policies of National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who is committed to pulling France out of the euro, increasing restrictions on immigration, as well as putting up tariff barriers.
“Our main enemy is our doubt. You must have confidence in yourselves,” Hollande said.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS PAPER)
Concern in China over 1,200 arrests in Philippines
Source: Agencies | November 29, 2016, Tuesday | PRINT EDITION
CHINA is concerned over the detention of more than 1,000 Chinese nationals in the Philippines during a crackdown on online gambling, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday.
The Philippine immigration bureau last week detained about 1,200 Chinese people working in call center-like facilities who were suspected of running online gambling operations out of a former American air base, Clark Field.
The detentions marked the government’s biggest such round-up of Chinese nationals in the Philippines, many thought to be working there “illegally.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing had requested that Manila “appropriately make arrangements” for those who had been detained and quickly release individuals who had “legal identification.”
“At the same time, China expresses concern over the large number of Chinese citizens detained by the Philippines,” Geng told a regular press briefing.
Geng added that China always reminded its citizens who traveled abroad to abide by local laws.
It is unclear if the Chinese nationals were being held for gambling offences or for visa and immigration violations, but about 900 were brought to the immigration detention center in Manila, according to a Philippine police report.
China has expressed support for other law enforcement efforts in the Philippines, including President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-narcotics campaign, which has sparked criticism from the United States and other Western countries over fears of “extrajudicial killings.”
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