CLEVELAND – A mother who is not a legal U.S. citizen will have another 30 days to live in Painesville with her four daughters and many other family members. She may have more than that, pending the decision of federal agents.
On her way to a federal hearing in Tuesday morning, Esperanza Pacheco was flanked by many family members, including her four daughters.
“I want my daughters to study and go to university,” Pacheco said, through an interpreter.
While Pacheco was inside the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal building, video showed her family waiting anxiously outside. When she came back down to the street, she was all smiles, and one of her daughters let out a cry, “Yes!”
“They’ve given us a reprieve of 30 days,” attorney David Leopold said. “The government is reviewing the situation, and I’m very hopeful this morning that ultimately Detroit Immigration will make the right decision.”
Leopold took the case pro bono. He is fighting for Pacheco to stay in Lake County, and not be deported, because he said she is no threat to the U.S. He also called on Immigration and Customs Enforcement to concentrate on keeping the city safe.
“Under their own guidance, they ought to be going after dangerous people, drug dealers and terrorists,” Leopold said. “They ought not to be taking a mother of four away from her kids.”
Last month, the Obama administration announced it would review hundreds of thousands of deportation cases, possibly closing those considered “low-priority.”
Pacheco has lived in the U.S. for about 16 years, according to family friends. She has four daughters who were born here. Friends say her 10 brothers and sisters are legal permanent residents. They said her father worked on a farm for 39 years and became a U.S. citizen, and her mom is also a legal permanent resident.
The Detroit Office of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is now set to review the status of Pacheco’s case on whether she can stay, or should if she would have to go back to Mexico.
Pacheco is nervous about the ultimate outcome, because she loves her daughters and wants to be with them. “If they send me back, I would like to be able to take them with me,” she explained.
But she’s filled with hope. Afterall, that’s what her name means.