After decades in U.S., feds order Catholic minister to buy one-way ticket to Mexico

Maria Barrera sat at her attorney’s office in Clovis with fear in her eyes, poring over a one-way plane ticket to Mexico that she did not want to purchase.


“I don’t have anybody there,” she said in Spanish, sitting close to her husband, Carlos Barrera. “I would be completely alone.”

On May 2, Maria – a minister at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Mendota – received a letter from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that sent her and her family into a tailspin. Despite living in the U.S. for nearly 30 years, she was told she had until June 12 to leave the country, and was required to report with proof she had purchased a plane ticket before then. Her case mirrors stories across the country of undocumented people with clean records facing deportation orders, leading advocates to question President Donald Trump’s pledge to focus on criminals living in the U.S. illegally.

“I heard everything (Trump) said during his campaign. I’m not within the criminal class of people that they say they are deporting, so…

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