OVERLAND, MO - A family in Overland is worried sick after their loved one is suddenly taken into custody facing possible deportation to Honduras.
They said that 48-year-old Ilsa Guzman-Farjardo, a wife and mother of three has been in the country illegally for years without any problems until Tuesday.
“She’s my wife and I love her and she’s a good person,” said Steven Miller, who spoke with Fox 2 over the phone.
Miller and Guzman-Farjardo were married in 2017. He said, little did he know that two years later his world would be turned upside down.
“She is just a sweetheart and now they took her away from me,” said Miller, “I don’t think she should go back to her home country.”
Guzman-Farjardo was taken into custody at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE office downtown in the Robert A. Young federal building Tuesday morning.
Guzman-Farjardo’s attorney Evita Tolu told Fox 2 that Guzman-Farjardo knew she would face deportation after her son, a U.S. citizen turned 18-years-old. That happened last fall.
She had been wearing an ankle bracelet and checking in regularly without any problems until now.
“These are not the values that represent our country and our government,” said Sara John, executive director of the St. Louis Interfaith Committee on Latin America, “there is a better way to do this.”
John said Guzman-Farjardo has been in the U.S illegally since 1999.
John said that according to Guzman-Farjardo’s attorney, she voluntarily reported to authorities in 2014 after learning about a deportation order against her.
“She came to this country fleeing violence and poverty in Honduras,” John said, “and presented herself to an agent at the border and asked to seek asylum and then our government screwed up and gave her an incomplete notice to appear.”
Tuesday night, Guzman-Farjardo’s concerned friends, church members and pastor gathered at the Strong Tower Church to pray.
“I married Ilsa and her husband,” said Pastor Kevin Todd, “so they are friends to me and these are just two of the best people you’d ever want to meet so for them to have to go through this is not right.”
Public Affairs Officer Shawn Neudauer sent a statement, part of which stated that, Guzman- Farjardo was allowed to stay in the U.S in 2014 on humanitarian reasons.
In December 2018, a federal immigration judge denied her request to reopen her case leading to the arrest.
In the meantime, Tolu is expected to file a request for stay of removal, which means asking immigration not to take action in the deportation order.