By Armando Bellmas, Director of Communications
Two years ago, Isaide Serrano was pulled over by a police officer for driving with her high-beams on. Isaide, an undocumented mother of 5 U.S. citizen children and resident of the Charlotte area for almost 20 years, did not have a valid driver’s license. The police officer told Isaide he was going to make an example out of her for being an “illegal” and driving without a license- an offense most of us would just get a citation for- and arrested her. As a result of a 287(g) agreement with the Department of Homeland Security, Isaide- a mother, wife, homemaker, and taxpayer with no previous run-ins with the law- was put into deportation proceedings. Even worse, she faced being permanently separated from her children.
Today, after a two-year ordeal and several court hearings, Isaide received a deportation cancelation from an immigration court judge in Charlotte. Barring an appeal by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)- which is unlikely at this point- Isaide will be able to process her lawful permanent resident card as soon as she receives a written decision from the judge. More important, Isaide will get to stay in the Charlotte area with her husband and family, which as of today also includes her newborn son.
Isaide’s courage and strength are an inspiration. She was pregnant with her 6th child during these last long and arduous months of deportation proceedings. As luck would have it, she went into labor about 12 hours before her final deportation hearing and gave birth to a beautiful boy at 5:08 this morning, just hours before her 10:00 a.m. court appearance. Her doctor agreed to let her leave the hospital temporarily for her hearing (which the immigration court judge advised her not to miss, regardless of her condition). Upon arrival and before entering the courtroom, Isaide briefly appeared before the large crowd of friends, fellow Familias Unidas and community members, and news media that had gathered in support.
After the immigration court judge’s swift decision to cancel her removal, Isaide greeted the news media and her supporters for a quick statement and celebration before returning to the hospital to be with her newborn son and family. Together with her family, where she should be on this joyous day. And where she will stay.
We are so happy for Isaide Serrano and her family. We are energized from this big victory in our work to keep mixed-status families together in our community.