On Tuesday, Beatriz Morelos Casillas became the latest illegal immigrant be to be deported from Northeast Ohio, days after a routine traffic stop revealed she was not documented. A family priest said she left from Toledo on a non-commercial flight.
The mother of four had been living in the U.S. for 17 years, most recently in Painesville.
She feared what allegedly happened to Maria Gomez, also of Painesville, who claimed her husband had been kidnapped in Mexico shortly after his deportation.
Gomez said she paid $2,000 and the man was eventually freed.
When it comes to drop off zones for deportees, the protocol from Homeland Security has never been clear.
Some are able to purchase one-way plane tickets, while others are placed on chartered flights into Mexico City.
Others are simply driven to the border.
Reporter Oscar Margain works in Tegna’s border bureau and has even seen them walk, entering towns which rank among the world’s most dangerous.
“And because you’re so vulnerable, you’re prey,” said Margain. “Sometimes you wonder as to what are we doing whenever we’re deporting people? Are we sure that we’re at least handing them over to authorities or to a proper organization and not just, you know, opening our back door and telling them to get out?”
Margain said he has interviewed people at the border who are confused and disoriented by their drop-off point. Even if they have family near another entry point, he said it does not guarantee they will enter there.
When asked about Casillas and where she would reenter Mexico, Khaalid Walls, a spokesman for ICE, released the following statement Tuesday:
On July 24, Beatriz del Carmen Morelos Barajas, an illegally present citizen of Mexico, was arrested by U.S. immigration authorities, following her local arrest in Paynesville, Ohio. Morelos was previously removed from the United States in 2001. ICE has reinstated her previously issued final order of removal, and she will remain in agency custody pending removal from the U.S.
ICE continues to focus its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy. However, as ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan has made clear, ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.
For operational security and detainee privacy, ICE does not comment about specific removal arrangements prior to a person's successful repatriation.