LAS CRUCES, NM (December 5, 2016) – Supporters of Rosa Mani Arias will meet with a representative of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Tuesday morning to try again to seek humanitarian parole for the deported Covenanter so that she can re-enter the United States and join her ailing 12-year-old daughter in Chicago.
Pastor Rob Reed and congregants of Sonoma Springs Church in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and two immigration-rights organizations will meet for prayer at 9 a.m. and then deliver a petition in support of Arias to the acting director of the CBP port of entry in El Paso, Texas. Afterward, they will travel to Ciudad Juarez to be with Arias. The petition has been signed by more than 540 people and is posted online.
Arias has tried four times to gain legal entrance to the United States to be with her daughter, Emily, but has been denied each time. In September, she was deported after being detained for two months. She most recently was denied in October.
Emily, a 12-year-old U.S. citizen, has been receiving treatments at a Chicago hospital for juvenile arthritis, which causes her immune system to attack her joints and internal organs. She has been hospitalized several times. Her father and two siblings have joined her in Chicago.
Arias and her husband, Emilio, as well as their oldest daughter, America, were living illegally in the United States from 2002 to 2008 but sold their house and returned to Mexico when the factory where Emilio was working closed. The couple made a commitment to Christ while living in the U.S. and became active members of Puebla Covenant Church in Mexico on their return.
Emily and her brother, Ivan, were born in the United States. Emily developed arthritis after the family moved to Mexico. Emilio and Rosa had developed a successful business, but when they could no longer pay for the medicine, which came from the United States and cost $4,000 a month, they sought to return to the U.S. on a humanitarian visa. Their application was denied.
Desperate for medical care, Emilio was able to get his children across the border, but Rosa was detained and deported. When Emily was hospitalized in critical care this past June, Rosa attempted to cross the border again after being turned down for a humanitarian visa.
A Covenant congregation has been helping the family while in the United States.