SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Pizza, spaghetti and cake were on the menu for Rocio Rebollar’s first meal with her family 16 months since being deported.
During a news conference, Rebollar described abuse and fear she went through on a daily basis while living in Tijuana just south of San Diego.
“I consider myself a U.S. Citizen. I’ve lived here for years for most of my life,” Rebollar said.
The mother of three says her lawyers tried to use a law that allows American servicemen and women to be reunited with family members who have been deported.
The law is referred to as “Parole in Place,” and it’s supposed give deported family members an opportunity to return to the U.S. while creating a pathway for permanent resident status.
But Rebollar’s case was denied.
Her attorneys tried another route, claiming the abuse she had suffered while in Mexico after being deported deserved asylum. U.S. authorities agreed and Rebollar was allowed to cross the border late on Thursday.
“Initially we broke the law crossing without documentation, but our children are here. Our lives are here. I’ve worked so much to get my children ahead,” Rebollar said.
Rebollar will wait out her asylum case in San Diego with her family, but she says there are many more like her in Mexico including family members of Americans serving in the U.S. military.
“We’re families that work hard, that pay our taxes, don’t want any problems,” she said. “We just want an opportunity.”