Catholic church to federal government: Leniency for Maribel Trujillo

Fairfield woman’s deportation may happen Wednesday.

Maribel Trujillo Diaz has been in the United States illegally for about 15 years. Now, she is likely to remain in the country for a matter of hours before being deported to her native Mexico.

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati now is working with the Archdiocese of New Orleans to lobby the federal government on Trujillo’s behalf because she now is detained within the New Orleans archdiocese’s boundaries.

The Cincinnati Archdiocese released, at this new outlet’s request, a letter that Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr wrote the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement in February about the woman who lives in Fairfield and attends church in Hamilton.

In the Feb. 23 letter to Craig Matheny, an assistant field office director based in Columbus, the archbishop began, “I am writing to request leniency for Maribel Trujillo Diaz, a mother of four and an active member of our Archdiocesan Catholic community.”

He added: “We are grateful that Maribel was granted prosecutorial discretion from deportation around this same time last year, following requests by hundreds of parishioners from throughout the Archdiocese. I urge that this arrangement can continue. By all accounts, Maribel has been a positive contribution to her church and her community. Maribel’s children, Oswaldo, Alexa, Gustavo and Daniela are all U.S. citizens. Three of them have been diagnosed with disabilities.”

“Please know that I fully respect the Department of Homeland Security’s duty to enforce our immigration laws, and I recognize that this is not an easy task,” Schnurr wrote. “At the same time, Catholic teaching recognizes that the family unit is the highest organization of human society, and I do not believe that the common good is served at this stage by separating this wife and mother from her family. Our church and our community gain nothing by being left with a single-parent household when such a responsible and well respected family can be kept together.”

The Department of Homeland Security and White House have not responded to requests for comment on the matter.

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