An undocumented mother of 12 is fighting deportation and she’s getting help from the Mexican Consulate in McAllen, Texas.
She’s one of hundreds across the country targeted in renewed federal efforts to crack down on criminal aliens.
Norma Roman tries to keep herself and her children busy. The mother, whose kids were all born in the U.S., helps her kids with their homework to take their minds off a grim reality: the possible separation from their mother.
She says she’s placing her faith in god and in her attorney. She currently has an "order of removal" by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after multiple run-ins with the law.
In 2011, Norma overstayed her visa and left the country only to be smuggled back days later.
In September, Norma was arrested for taking an extra $5,000 in food stamps, aid Norma claims she didn’t know she wasn’t supposed to receive.
She says that she spent 36 days in jail and paid the money back.
But with limited resources to fight deportation, the 39-year-old turned to the Mexican Consulate for help.
Consul Guillermo Ordorica says that all 50 Mexican Consulates in the U.S. were instructed by the Mexican government to provide legal aid and create what are known as "centers for defense."
It’s all in response to the increasing number of immigration raids by the Trump administration.
“Because of narratives that have been running around in all around the country, our people have expressed some fears about their condition in the country,” Consul Ordorica said.
Norma says that the consulate helped pay for legal services and petitioned the U.S. government for a stay of deportation.
Her concerns are for the care of her children. She says that two of her kids have learning disabilities and are under treatment, while her husband is gone three months at a time as a seasonal worker.
Having her kids taken by the government is something Norma doesn’t want for her children.
No matter what happens, the undocumented mother says she will return to the U.S. any way possible.
Norma Roman says that her petition to stay has been denied and is waiting to find out when exactly she’s required to turn herself in to be deported. When asked if Norma falls under Trump’s priorities for removal, ICE replied saying that they are looking into the case and may respond with another statement on a later date.