Mother of U.S. Army officer turns herself in to be deported for the fourth time

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – In a case that has drawn national and international attention, the mother of a U.S. Army officer turned herself in today for deportation back to Mexico. This will be her fourth deportation.

Rocio Rebollar Gomez has been in this country for 31 years, but has never been able to change her status as an illegal immigrant.

With some two dozen supporters behind her and family members beside her, a tearful  Rebollar Gomez, San Diego property and business owner, but nonetheless an illegal immigrant, addressed the media at the downtown Federal Building.   Family members included son Gibram, an Army second lieutenant stationed in Arizona.  A story that has been told worldwide includes this:   Gibram wanted to be a lawyer, but joined the Army instead, hoping his service to the country would mean that his mother would  be allowed to stay in the U.S.  He told the gathering, “All I am asking is that the policies in place would do what they are there for, to keep my family safe.”

Rebollar Gomez applied for a special program that protects family members of the military while they serve, but the program is discretionary.  Her request was turned down at the beginning of December.  With other appeals exhausted, Immigration and Customs Enforcement informed her she would have to leave the U.S. this month.

Through a translator, she said, “These last 30 days have been difficult.  I haven’t been able to sleep or rest. They’ve been extremely difficult. But I pray we will get a miracle and things will turn out okay.”

Rebollar Gomez’s attorney and others have reached out to members of Congress, including California Senator Kamala Harris, but as of Monday morning, everyone associated with the case said only a miracle would keep her here.

The case being made is this is exactly the kind of migrant that should be given discretion:  a hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying individual who is a mother of three and a grandmother of 3.  But Rebollar Gomez’s immigration history also includes three other deportations.

Compounding the issue or at least adding to the emotion of it, is that last night someone spray-painted a hate message on the fence of Rocio’s home.

Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics