She thought the hard days were behind her. Her rough childhood in Mexico after her father died and her family fell apart. The terrifying trips with a coyote across the border — twice because she was captured and sent back the first time. The deployment of her husband — a Marine turned National Guardsman — to the war in Iraq, leaving the young mother alone to care for their first child.
But nothing compares to the threat looming over her and her family now.
After two decades of building a life here, Alejandra Juarez, 39, is set to be deported from her home in Davenport, Fla., back to Mexico on Friday, tearing her family apart.
As the wife of a combat veteran, she never imagined this day would come.
She and her husband, Sgt. Cuauhtemoc “Temo” Juarez — who came to the U.S. from Mexico as a child and naturalized just days before his Iraq deployment — always expected that one day, in recognition of his service, she too would be naturalized.
But she broke the law 20 years ago when she came into the country, and no lawyer has ever been able to make that right. Under the more stringent immigration policies of President Donald Trump, her status now makes her a target for deportation.