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Self-deportation dividing Oakland family

Half of an Oakland family of six, including a nurse at Highland Hospital, is being forced to self-deport next week, and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is getting involved in their case.

Maria and Eusebio Mendoza-Sanchez have been forced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to purchase plane tickets back to Mexico and fly back by Tuesday, according to their attorney, Carl Shusterman:

“Frankly, they’re past lawyers. … We’re just trying to bring the facts of this case to light. … The (Trump) administration says they’re getting rid of the bad hombres. … These are certainly really good people, but they’re getting deported also.”

Eusebio came to the United States in 1989. Maria followed him in 1992. He became a truck driver and she became a nurse. Over the next 25 years they bought a home, built a life and raised a family in the U.S., but now won’t be able to come back for the next decade.

Shusterman said:

“Somebody who’s deported and who has over a year of unlawful presence is banned from coming back for 10 years.”

They have four children, three of whom have legal standing to remain here in the U.S. Their youngest, 12, will be going back to Mexico with his parents.

Three daughters, ages 23, 21 and 16, will remain in the family’s Oakland home while the 21-year-old woman and her 16-year-old sister finish college and high school, respectively.

Shusterman said:

“They’ve saved enough money that they can make mortgage payments on the house for the next two years.”

Feinstein met with the Mendoza-Sanchez family Thursday, and her office released a statement criticizing the federal government for “tearing this family apart.”

Feinstein said:

The deportation of Maria and Eusebio would be a loss for the Oakland community. … The equities of their case should be given full consideration so that this family has an opportunity to stay together. … Maria and Eusebio Sanchez have lived in this country for more than 20 years. They are hardworking parents raising four children, three citizens and one protected by DACA.”

Feinstein added:

“They have no criminal records. They pay taxes, own their own home and contribute to this country. These are the kind of people we should welcome into the United States with open arms.”

The family’s attorney hopes that ICE will reconsider their decision.

Shusterman said:

“ICE has total discretion. … They could always rescind this order.”

James Schwab, a spokesman for ICE in San Francisco, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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