State rep on Ohio woman detained by ICE: ‘This is a nation of laws’

Not everybody has sympathy for the plight of Maribel Trujillo, the Mexican mother of four from Fairfield who was taken into custody Wednesday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Trujillo, who was caught up in local Koch Foods immigration raids about 10 years ago, had been concerned last year that she was going to be deported. But after churches wrote letters on her behalf to area federal politicians, she was granted a year-long work permit that lasts until this July, said her pastor at St. Julie Billiart Church in Hamilton, Father Mike Pucke.

Trujillo was detained Wednesday by federal immigration agents near her Fairfield home.

“Why does her attorney say she’s not broken the law?” asked State Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown. “Is she in the country illegally? Well, then, that’s a crime. If you’re in the country illegally, illegal means you’ve broken the law. That is a crime.”

“I would think that since we have rules in place to be here legally, she should go down those avenues and just become a legal citizen here,” Keller told the Journal-News.

“You know, these situations are unfortunate, but this is a nation of laws, and this is a state of laws,” Keller said. “People have to be held responsible when they break even one law, and if a person is here illegally, they have broken a law. The detail about her having four children, I mean everyone who breaks the law these days just about has children, and if they are put in jail, whether they are here legally or not legally, they’re going to be separated from their children.”

“I don’t really understand what that has to do with anything — the fact that she has or doesn’t have children,” Keller said. “People are separated from their children all the time when they break the law and go to jail.”

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