Update: Genoveva was released from detention on Monday February 25th. She however is still in deportation proceedings, and we will continue to ask for the closing of her case.
Abuelita Genoveva, 63, should be with her grandson, not at McHenry County Detention Center. She has no criminal record, yet according to ICE, she is a priority for deportation. What’s the big case they have against her? That in 2006 her uncle took a wrong turn during a family outing, and could not turn back before crossing the border to Canada. At the border, she was given an immigration court in New York, which she could not attend because she did not have money. Please help us get her home by signing the petition www.bit.ly/freeabuelita
Genoveva Ramirez Lagunas is a 63 year old grandmother of a U.S. citizen, and has lived in the United States for the last 13 years. She has no criminal history, and has been a contributing member of the community, and a loving mother and grandmother. Mrs. Ramirez currently suffers from high blood pressure and has already undergone thyroid surgery. She needs daily medication. She has no criminal history in the U.S. or in her country of birth, and a citizen grandson which depends on her care every day.
She was placed in deportation proceedings when she was driving home from work, and a police officer allegedly saw her cross the white line at a red light. Although she had insurance, she was not able to provide a driver’s license, and the police officer took her into custody. It was there when they found an old immigration case from 2006. During a family outing, Genoveva was a passenger in a car that took the wrong road, and could not turn back before crossing the border to Canada. She was given an immigration court in New York, which she could not attend because she and her family did not have money. For this mistake, she is being held in immigration detention, and could be deported separating her from her daughter, husband and grandson.
Ms. Ramirez’s family depends on her. The detention and removal case of Ms. Ramirez has been hard on her family. She is the primary caretaker of her three year old grandson, a United States citizen, who is now severely depressed and emotionally unstable. He refuses to eat and cannot sleep. Ms. Ramirez currently suffers from high blood pressure and has already undergone thyroid surgery. She is an elderly woman, in delicate condition. Her family has provided the center with supporting medical documentation of the urgency of her daily medication. Her family is extremely concerned for her health and well being.
Despite her age and medical condition, she successfully completed English courses at her local area high school and has continued her studies at Emmanuel Bible Church in Berwyn IL. Outside of minor traffic violations for driving without a license, Ms. Ramirez has no criminal history. She has only been placed in removal proceedings when she accidentally crossed the border to Canada through New York during a family trip in 2006. Ms. Ramirez does not pose a threat to national security, and has been a responsible member of her community. Ms. Ramirez is needed by her family as she is the primary caretaker of her three year old grandson, who continues to ask for his grandmother.
Consistent with the guidelines set for positive exercise of prosecutorial discretion, the removal case against Ms. Ramirez should be closed, and she should be released from detention.
The Immigrant Youth Justice League is collaborating closely with the family and organizers with the Latin@ Youth Action League in Du Page County to bring attention to this case.