An Oceanside mother of three, in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, made the difficult decision to agree to deportation rather than face the chance she would miscarry her unborn child.
Maria Solis spoke to Telemundo 20 about the six weeks she was detained at the Otay Mesa Detention Facility.
Solis left her apartment on August 1 and was arrested by an ICE agent.
“I was told that he had an arrest warrant,” Solis said.
Solis lives with her three daughters and is expecting a fourth child.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been that scared,” she said.
She was detained for weeks while awaiting an immigration hearing.
Citing an ICE policy requiring pregnant women not be held in detention except when warranted by extraordinary circumstances, the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties sent a letter to ICE on behalf of Solis, requesting her immediate release.
Faced with the possibility she may not be released, Solis had planned to agree to be deported to Tijuana, accepting the fact that she would be separated from her daughters in order to protect her baby.
“I knew I could have the possibility of staying there for 180 days,” she explained.
“I had no other option but to ask for my deportation,” she said.
Instead, at her hearing on Tuesday, a judge decided to grant her parole.
“My heart dropped,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
“Being back with my family is everything to me,” Solis said.
Solis is a domestic violence survivor from a previous relationship and may be eligible for a U-visa, according to her attorney.
Her next hearing is September 27 in federal court.
Telemundo 20 contacted ICE but did not receive a comment on why Solis was detained.