Seven months ago, Rose Escobar’s worst nightmare came true. Her husband, loving father to then 1-year-old baby Walter and the main financial provider for the family, was picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and placed in detention. A faulty lawyer had advised him not to attend a hearing to renew the Temporary Protected Status that was granted to him as an immigrant fleeing violence and natural disasters in El Salvador, and this had triggered a deportation order.
What followed were the most difficult months of Rose’s life as she struggled to make ends meet and provide for her son who stood in front of the window everyday calling for his dad. But an amazing thing happened—after Rose started a campaign on Change.org to free her husband, thousands began to sign. FIEL Houston, a local student-led organization, saw her petition and offered to help, staging a vigil in front of the detention center attended by more than 50 local supporters. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee got involved and contacted ICE on Rose’s behalf. And after more than 4,000 signed Rose’s petition and the story was covered by the Houston Chronicle and multiple local TV stations, Jose was finally freed and is now home with his family.
My name is Rose Marie Ascencio-Escobar I am a US citizen. I was born and raised here in Houston Texas I am married to Jose Escobar and together we have a son, Walter Escobar who is 20 months old.
I am writing this letter pleading for help on behalf of my family. My husband and I have known each other since we were 15 years old. On January 27, 2006, we were both 19, we got legally married in County Of Harris the Judges name was Russ Ridgway then in March 25, 2006 we did our wedding party here in Houston.
Now six years later, at the age of 25, we are being taken apart from each other not by choice but by force.On the morning of June 6, 2011 my life turned into a complete nightmare. Immigration came and took Jose as he was preparing to leave for work. He was taken to Export Plaza Detention Facility, Polk County Adult Detention Facility in Livingston. He was later transported to Joe Corley Detention Facility in Conroe.
Jose came from El Salvador and acquired the TPS (temporary protected status) this card was active from 2001 thru 2005. He complied with the law and updated his personal information when needed in order to hold this status. His then attorney, Manuel Solis failed to inform Jose that immigration needed him to establish a prima facie eligbility.We missed the deadline for filing by two months. Jose immediately reapplied for TPS but his application was denied. Frustrated with Manuel Solis, we began to look for another attorney. We also found out that a court date had been set up for an immigration hearing. Jose went alone without any representation. We then hired Hector Segura. Mr. Segura advised Jose not to show up for the next hearing date or he would be removed deported. Both Jose and I placed total trust and confidence in Mr. Segura. We felt he would genuinely help us. What Jose did not know was that since he failed to appear (we assumed Mr. Segura would take care of everything) there would be an order of deportation issued. On Feb 23, 2006 the Judge signed for the order of his removal.
Please understand my husband Jose is not a bad man. He has a no criminal record and has never been in trouble with the law. José is a hard working man who is an honest provider for his family. We have never received or applied for any type of government assistance. We have filed and paid Federal Government taxes from the time Jose started working until present day. We have sacrificed and struggled thru the years to obtain the things we have in our lives then imagine your hard work and dreams for a better life scattered over a situation like this. It is heartbreaking to see our son, Walter, see his father thru a glass window not knowing what is going on. He is always reaching our for his daddy so he can be carried. It is devastating to see my son go thru this.
José is waiting for deferred action that will determine whether he will stay with or have to go back to El Salvador. I beg for you to please have mercy in my family and help me with my situation. Jose has been incarcerated since June 6th I am struggling getting bills paid not to mention the lawyer I just cant give up I wont give up I just need someone to help me please help. I don’t know what else to do please help me get my family back together; please give me my happy ending.