Maria del Carmen Sánchez, 45, knows the fear of getting slapped with an ICE hold.
Police arrested her last year after a minor traffic accident. Sánchez, who speaks limited English, says she was driving her neighbor to jury duty. But based on statements from English-speaking witnesses, police suspected that a man had been driving the car instead. When her son tried to bail her out of jail, he found that ICE had requested local authorities to keep her detained because she is undocumented.
“It was a really bad experience,” Sánchez told HuffPost in Spanish. “My kids suffered. I suffered. That was my fear, that they would separate me from my children. I kept thinking, ‘What’s going to happen?’ They need me. I need them.”
The City of Torrance, in California, dropped the criminal charges against Sánchez in September. But she remains in deportation proceedings.