PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - An immigration attorney is working around the clock to keep a Guatemalan family in Palm Beach County after immigration officials say they are going to be deported. Four out of the five children are U.S. Citizens but their parents and 12-year-old sibling are not.
The youngest is a 7-month-old girl. The father has already been taken into custody and is being used to convince his wife to turn herself in so she too can be deported. But with five children the mom refuses.
"My husband is detained and I am with my five kids," she says.
Holding her youngest daughter in her arms, the woman hides her face, for fear of being turned in and taken away from her children. "I am scared and really sad for my kids."
Attorney Richard Hujber has practiced immigration law for 15 years and says it's the worse case he's had to deal with.
"It's a tough situation," he says, "it goes to the heart of the whole immigration debate, it's a tough case."
"They are all in school," says the mother.
Hujber says the U.S. courts have recognized Guatemala as a place that is cruel to women, offering them no civil rights or protection. "They are violated, they are raped, they are treated like garbage. There are three daughters here and a mother who all potentially face going to a country where there's no rights for women."
Because the children are U.S. citizens, the attorney is hoping the court will show some leniency. "I hope that immigration realizes they should grant them a stay of deportation."
The mother says she is concerned for all of her children especially her youngest. "I am struggling with my baby. I am breastfeeding her."
The attorney says the family did apply for asylum but it was denied.
©2007 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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