May 5, 2012- Araceli Sanchez was shopping for birthday plates for her daughter’s party when her nightmare began. Sanchez is married to an U.S. soldier who is stationed in Germany, while she is in Eloy, Arizona. On her way to purchase the plates, she was stopped for a minor moving violation while driving. Police took her into custody, locked her in a jail with illegal immigrants and threatened to deport her last Monday.
The mother admits that she has been in the U.S. illegally since she was a young child, but her attorney said she should not have been arrested because she presented a military spouse identification card. She said she did not have a social security number or driver’s license. She arrived in the U.S. with her parents as a youngster and has no criminal record.
Sanchez’s lawyer alleges that authorities in Arizona violated a policy from 2010 that was put in place by the current White House administration of “parole in place.” The policy allows immediate family members of U.S. military personnel to finish their process of attaining legal status, without having to leave the U.S.
He said papers were filed for Sanchez to attain the “parole” and start the process to get her green card in March, but he has not heard from immigration. While detained, Sanchez was sent to two prisons, fed very little and served water that was foul smelling. Once she was handed over to ICE, she was freed almost immediately after they verified she was married to U.S. military personnel.