Hortensia Aguirre has lived in fear for much of her life. Her ex-husband was so abusive that, even a decade after Hortensia had escaped him, she still feared for her life. Part of her just couldn't shake the expectation that he'd show up at her door, intent on hurting her or her 9-year-old daughter, Enid.
But it was a different kind of nightmare that began one night last year, when there was a loud banging on her door. It wasn't her ex-husband. Instead, uniformed men from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rushed into her home.
Hortensia, who 20 years ago had paid a lawyer thousands in legal fees to file documents to make her a permanent resident, was being taken away in handcuffs. Now she's facing deportation.
It turned out the lawyer had lied to her -- the documents weren't valid, so she wasn't considered to be a resident of the U.S. Now Hortensia's neighbor, Miranda Mays, is fighting for her -- and for Enid. Miranda started a petition on Change.org calling on ICE officials to stop Hortensia’s deportation and let her remain in the United States with her daughter, who's a U.S. citizen.
Miranda has countless memories of Hortensia's generosity and kindness as a neighbor and speaks effusively about her. She started her petition on Change.org after hearing about how online petitions helped reunite hundreds of people with their families and return to their lives in the U.S. after being detained by ICE.
Over a thousand people have already signed on to Miranda's campaign, including the local Mayor and a federal judge. Miranda is convinced that if thousands more people stand with her, Hortensia can finally have the happy, peaceful life with her daughter that she deserves.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
- Gabriela and the Change.org team