Petition Closed
Petitioning DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and 10 others
This petition will be delivered to:
DHS Secretary
Janet Napolitano
ICE Officer
Officer Annala
Director, Executive Office for Immigration Review
Juan P. Osuna
U.S. House of Representatives
Congressman David Price
U.S. Immigration Judge
The Honorable J. Dan Pelletier, Sr
ICE Director
John Morton
ICE Director
John Morton
Atlanta Field Office Director
Felicia S. Skinner
U.S. Chief Immigration Judge
Brian M. O'Leary
Senator
Richard Burr
Senator
Kay Hagan

Save Enid's Mommy: Stop the Deportation of Hortencia Aguirre Verduzco!

63,468
Supporters

Hortencia Aguirre Verduzco (Alien # 073722407) was issued a removal order by Judge J. Dan Pelletier, Sr. on May 8, 2012.   Hortencia is currently being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the North Georgia Detention Center in Gainesville, GA. 

Hortencia Aguirre Verduzco is an extremely deserving immigrant who is in desperate need of your support and intervention. 

Hortencia has gained overwhelming support from her friends, neighbors, coworkers, local community members, town mayor and even Federal Judge Malcolm Jones Howard who read Hortencia’s story prior to sentencing her in April and based on her exemplary character and honorable background, went outside of the judiciary guidelines to end her sentence immediately. 

The honorable Judge Howard clearly saw what we all see:  Hortencia is not a criminal. Despite this, she has been held in detention for over 6 months.

Hortencia arrived in the United State legally via visitor’s visa in 1992.  She did not speak English.  Eager to begin her new life in this great land of opportunity, Hortencia quickly sought out a lawyer to assist her with gaining legal permanent residence.   She paid a great deal of money for this legal assistance and was unfortunately seriously misled by the attorney she entrusted.  Hortencia fell victim to her own naivety and incompetence when her lawyer knowingly misrepresented her by submitting false information on her behalf.  Based on the documents presented to her by her attorney, Hortencia signed papers listing her birthplace as “Malacatan, Guatemala”, a town only 15 miles east of the area in Mexico where Hortencia was actually born and raised.  This new information about her birthplace did not raise red flags for Hortencia, as her mother and father were both former residents of Guatemala, and the birth record keeping in that time period was very limited, at best. 

Confident that she now possessed valid and legal immigration documents, Hortencia went about her life in Fort Pierce, Florida.  She worked on a farm picking oranges, then in a packing house boxing oranges.   Even while suffering extreme reactions to the farm’s pesticides, Hortencia worked long and grueling hours to pay for the legal assistance her immigration status required. 

Life seemed to be going well for Hortencia, however the man in Florida whom she had come to love and marry was subjecting her to daily physical and emotional abuse. Hortencia bravely escaped the abusive marriage.

Things were looking up until August 22, when ICE raided her home.

Hortencia was confused and dumbfounded. Hortencia was now aware that her immigration documents had been invalid the entire time and she was in fact an illegal alien.  The stunning realization was compounded when Hortencia was arrested and charged with a felony on October 31, 2011.   A former victim of domestic violence and having lived alone with her young daughter, Hortencia previously obtained a small firearm as a safety precaution.  Although the gun was never used and had been legally obtained by applying for a permit at her local sheriff’s department, Hortencia’s newly discovered illegal status was all that was needed to turn this innocent possession into a federal crime.

Because U.S. law states that a felony has occurred if an illegal alien possesses a weapon, whether or not he or she was aware of their illegal status, Hortencia was advised by her attorneys to sign a plea agreement accepting the federal charges in an effort to shorten her prison sentence and hasten the time in which she is reunited with her child.  

As Hortencia sits alone day after day, separated from her dear daughter Enid and all that she knows, there is no light at the end of her dark tunnel.  When she is finally allowed to step out of those jail doors and breathe in the fresh air, she will not be going home.  There will be no joyous homecoming celebration. Hortencia will be deported.  Cast off to a country where chance, not choice, birthed her:  A country full of crime and violence, devoid of the rich opportunities she worked so hard for in the United States. 

Worst of all, Hortencia will be faced with the awful choice no parent wants to imagine:  Leave behind her most precious possession, her sweet innocent child; or take her young daughter to Mexico and away from the safety, security and opportunity of the United States. 

We urge you to carefully examine the details presented in this letter and to visit our website www.saveenidsmommy.com to read Hortencia's personal testimony.


Letter to
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano
ICE Officer Officer Annala
Director, Executive Office for Immigration Review Juan P. Osuna
and 8 others
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman David Price
U.S. Immigration Judge The Honorable J. Dan Pelletier, Sr
ICE Director John Morton
ICE Director John Morton
Atlanta Field Office Director Felicia S. Skinner
U.S. Chief Immigration Judge Brian M. O'Leary
Senator Richard Burr
Senator Kay Hagan
We, the undersigned, request that you take immediate action to release the ICE hold and close any and all removal proceedings of Hortencia Aguirre Verduzco (A # 073722407).

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We respectfully plea for your prompt attention and sincere consideration in the extremely urgent case involving Hortencia Aguirre Verduzco (Alien # 073722407), who was issued a removal order by Judge J. Dan Pelletier, Sr. on May 8, 2012. Hortencia is currently being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the North Georgia Detention Center in Gainesville, GA.

Hortencia Aguirre Verduzco is an extremely deserving immigrant who is in desperate need of your support and intervention. While you must receive numerous requests for assistance, we assure you Hortencia’s case is unique and she truly deserves none of the injustice that has fallen upon her. In this letter we will demonstrate that Hortencia is a woman of high moral character, the epitome of an ideal immigrant, and is fully deserving of prosecutorial discretion in the matter of her immigration case and removal proceedings.

Behind Hortencia stand over 62,000 people from all over this great country who have signed our petition and joined us in asking that ICE stop her deportation. Hortencia has gained overwhelming support from her friends, neighbors, coworkers, local community members, town mayor and even Federal Judge Malcolm Jones Howard who read Hortencia’s story prior to sentencing her in April and based on her exemplary character and honorable background, went outside of the judiciary guidelines to end her sentence immediately.

The honorable Judge Howard clearly saw what we all see: Hortencia is not a criminal. She is not delinquent, villainous or wicked. She is in fact the opposite. She is not only decent, hardworking, honest and kind; she is a living embodiment of goodness and purity. Hortencia does not deserve the fate that has fallen upon her. She is an innocent victim of a modern day witch-hunt. Another casualty of a misguided system: A system that targets illegal immigrants but destroys the lives of so many along the way.

For over 6 months, Hortencia Aguirre Verduzco has sat alone in the confines of a small jail cell. For 21 hours of each day she was locked away in a lonely room. She left only for a shower and short phone call. Hortencia was not allowed the privilege of fresh air. There were no windows. There were no clocks. Delivery of her breakfast plate told her it was morning. Hortencia is in the midst of a nightmare she never even imagined.

Hortencia arrived in the United States legally via visitor’s visa in 1992. She did not speak English. Eager to begin her new life in this great land of opportunity, Hortencia quickly sought out a lawyer to assist her with gaining legal permanent residence. She paid a great deal of money for this legal assistance and was unfortunately seriously misled by the attorney she entrusted. Hortencia fell victim to her own naivety and incompetence when her lawyer knowingly misrepresented her by submitting false information on her behalf. Based on the documents presented to her by her attorney, Hortencia signed papers listing her birthplace as “Malacatan, Guatemala”, a town only 15 miles east of the area in Mexico where Hortencia was actually born and raised. This new information about her birthplace did not raise red flags for Hortencia, as her mother and father were both former residents of Guatemala, and the birth record keeping in that time period was very limited, at best.

Confident that she now possessed valid and legal immigration documents, Hortencia went about her life in Fort Pierce, Florida. She worked on a farm picking oranges, then in a packinghouse boxing oranges. Even while suffering extreme reactions to the farm’s pesticides, Hortencia worked long and grueling hours to pay for the legal assistance her immigration status required. Once Hortencia was able to get a valid work permit, she worked in a convenience store before enrolling in Community College for ESL courses. Once she had learned English well enough to pass the tests, she studied to obtain her GED, after which she took medical technician courses to obtain certification as an EEG Technician. Hortencia used these acquired medical skills while working for a Neurologist’s office.

Life seemed to be going well for Hortencia, however the man in Florida whom she had come to love and marry was subjecting her to daily physical and emotional abuse. Hortencia was having extreme difficulty conceiving a child and her husband made sure she knew how unhappy about it he was.

Hortencia escaped the abusive marriage and came to North Carolina in 2000 where she began building the foundation of her construction cleaning business, H and C Cleaners, which she not only managed but labored for as well. Hortencia reported all of her taxes and kept detailed records of them all.

Things were looking up and Hortencia soon met another man with whom she fell deeply in love. He treated her better than she could ever imagine, but one thing was still missing. Hortencia yearned for a child. After many treatments and procedures, Hortencia received her miracle. She conceived her precious daughter, Enid, in the fall of 2001.

Hortencia’s fairy tale came to a screeching halt when the love of her life was killed in a car accident while visiting Mexico to check in on Hortencia’s sick and dying mother. Hortencia was 7 months pregnant. It was a horribly trying time, but Hortencia persevered. Over the next nine years, she devoted herself to her daughter, working hard to provide a good life for her, and she did an amazing job. Enid is an exceptional child: smart, well disciplined, loving and good-natured. She is a product of excellent parenting and shares a special closeness with her mom. The guidance counselor at Enid’s school described the mother and daughter relationship they share as “extremely loving and close, as if their souls are intertwined”.

In early 2011, Hortencia and Enid didn’t have a care in the world. They had their health and they had each other. Enid was doing well in school and Hortencia’s cleaning business was thriving. She was working day and night to provide a nice home and put food on the table. Hortencia even volunteered her time helping out in the community through Habitat for Humanity. Any spare minute she had, Hortencia spent with Enid: playing games, taking walks, and sharing precious moments. Life was good.

On August 22, 2011, their entire world was turned upside down. It all began with an early morning banging on the door. The terrifying ICE raids that followed left Enid and Hortencia traumatized. Their home was ransacked, their privacy violated, and their faith in human goodness left in doubt.

Hortencia was confused and dumbfounded. The whirlwind of the weeks that followed created more questions than answers, but one thing was certain. Hortencia was now aware that her immigration documents had been invalid the entire time and she was in fact an illegal alien. The stunning realization was compounded when Hortencia was arrested and charged with a felony on October 31, 2011. A former victim of domestic violence and having lived alone with her young daughter, Hortencia previously obtained a small firearm as a safety precaution. Although the gun was never used and had been legally obtained by applying for a permit at her local sheriff’s department, Hortencia’s newly discovered illegal status was all that was needed to turn this innocent possession into a federal crime.

Because U.S. law states that a felony has occurred if an illegal alien possesses a weapon, whether or not he or she was aware of their illegal status, Hortencia was advised by her attorneys to sign a plea agreement accepting the federal charges in an effort to shorten her prison sentence and hasten the time in which she is reunited with her child. Hortencia submitted a plea agreement on January 5, 2012.

As Hortencia sits alone day after day, separated from her dear daughter and all that she knows, there is no light at the end of her dark tunnel. When she is finally allowed to step out of those jail doors and breathe in the fresh air, she will not be going home. There will be no joyous homecoming celebration. Hortencia will be deported. Cast off to a country where chance, not choice, birthed her: A country full of crime and violence, devoid of the rich opportunities she worked so hard for in the United States.

Worst of all, Hortencia will be faced with the awful choice no parent wants to imagine: Leave behind her most precious possession, her sweet innocent child; or take her young daughter to Mexico and away from the safety, security and opportunity of the United States.

Family separation, especially separation from a single parent and child, can cause permanent psychological damage. Reports of children left behind after parental deportation detail severe mental health issues, negative changes in school performance, behavioral problems, and feelings of abandonment and resentment. Citizen children who return to their parent’s country of origin face similar struggles. Constructively deported to Mexico, Enid would face a life sharply contrasted to her life of citizenship in the United States. Enid would undoubtedly encounter immeasurable hardships in Mexico including cultural and language barriers, poor educational opportunities, lack of adequate health care, substandard living conditions and other insurmountable barriers to success. As a woman and child, Hortencia and Enid would be extremely vulnerable to the high rate of violent crimes occurring in Mexico. Violence causes the deaths of at least two children under the age of 15 every day in Mexico. As a consequence of Mexico’s alarming public safety problem, Enid could easily fall victim to one of many tragedies including human trafficking, child sex tourism, kidnapping and homicide.

We have a duty as fellow citizens to protect our country’s youth. Children are “the living message we send to a time we will not see”. The deportation of Hortencia Aguirre Verduzco will send a demoralizing message to her daughter, Enid, about the value of family and the meaning of citizenship. The Supreme Court has ruled that when the rights of children conflict with governmental objectives, recognition must be given to the substantive rights of children. Hortencia’s deportation would result in the de facto expulsion of Enid Itzel Aguirre, denying her fundamental rights of citizenship and liberty.

Hortencia Aguirre Verduzco came to the United States seeking a better life. She worked hard, obeyed the laws, never expected handouts and was a valuable and contributing member of society. These are the type of immigrants we want in our country. This is what our country was founded on. In the words of our founding father, Thomas Jefferson, "Our ancestors... possessed a right, which nature has given to all men, of departing from the country in which chance, not choice, has placed them, of going in quest of new habitations, and of there establishing new societies, under such laws and regulations as, to them, shall seem most likely to promote public happiness". Let us not deny Hortencia this basic human right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We cannot change the past. We certainly cannot change Hortencia’s ethnicity or nationality. But can we change her fate? Her daughter’s fate? Can we help to amend the laws of intolerance? Can we transform our country’s prejudicial culture? One thing is for sure: We cannot change a thing, if we do not try.

We urge you to carefully examine the details presented in this letter and to visit our website www.saveenidsmommy.com to read Hortencia's personal testimony. You will find valuable information on the upstanding life led by Hortencia and her amazing little girl, Enid. As you review these documents, it will become evident that no true crimes were committed. Hortencia made no intentional fallacies. She has done nothing but work hard to be the best person she can be. She has loved this country as her own and it shows in every facet of her life here.

We truly appreciate your most thoughtful consideration in this matter. Thank you so much for your time.
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Sincerely,