U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Gibram Cruz arrived home to California from his posting in Arizona last week. The reason for the visit wasn’t the holidays; he would be back on base before then. The purpose was to see his mother, who is about to be deported from the country he serves to protect.
“I’m here essentially to say goodbye to my mom,” the 30-year-old army officer told The San Diego Union-Tribune on Sunday.
Rocio Rebollar Gomez, 50, is an undocumented immigrant who has lived in San Diego on and off for over 30 years. She owns a business and a house in the United States, and raised her three children here, and she has no criminal record. But on Dec. 4, she was ordered to self-deport to Mexico within the month—and the federal government refused to grant her discretionary protections provided for relatives of military service members that would allow her to stay longer.
“Honestly I am worn out. I feel like my life is gone and everything I have is here—my whole life,” Gomez told The Daily Beast on Monday.
“I cannot eat, I cannot sleep, my life is on hold. No one should be going through what I am going through.”
She is expected to return to her native Acapulco, Mexico—a once tourist-filled beachside city that has since become overrun by cartel violence—on Jan. 2.