POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – After being separated by deportation, a Davenport family will be reunited again just in time for Mother’s Day.
“To see them ripped apart was just heart-wrenching to say the least,” said Rep. Darren Soto, who represents Florida’s 9th district which includes parts of Polk County.
The congressman was at Orlando International Airport in August 2018 when Alejandra Juarez took a flight to Mexico.
She entered the United States illegally 20 years ago and lived undocumented and mostly out of trouble.
A traffic ticket put her on the federal government’s radar in 2013 but her humanitarian parole status continued until the Trump administration, according to Rep. Soto.
“It was revoked under the zero-tolerance policy. We saw them deport her and now she’s back but this represents longtime American values which is we have some discretion,” he said.
Juarez’s two daughters are American citizens. Her husband is a naturalized citizen, retired Marine and business owner.
“Alejandra, a military mom, stayed at home taking care of their two citizen daughters,” said Rep. Soto.
One of her daughters initially went with her to Mexico but she has since returned to Florida.
Rep. Soto worked with federal agencies under the new Biden administration and learned this week, Juarez has been granted humanitarian parole, due to her American family.
“Just waiting with the uncertainty wondering whether or not she’d ever get back to see her family. our staff was near tears this week knowing that Alejandra’s coming home to her family,” said Rep Soto.
The Juarez family is expected to speak about their journey, along with Rep. Soto, next Wednesday.