An undocumented mother of four in Lorain said she was forced to put on an ankle monitor or face deportation.
Anabel Sanchez told News 5 she was brought to the United States by her mother when she was 16 years old.
The mother of four American-born children said she does not have a criminal record and believes federal immigration officials are stepping up enforcement against nonviolent undocumented immigrants like herself.
“I feel like they want to send a message to the immigrant community because I’m not afraid. I’m not ashamed. I’m not a criminal,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez and her family lived under the radar for years, she said, but in 2013 a traffic stop in Sheffield Village changed her life.
“I know I was breaking the law by driving without a drivers license, but I needed to go to work. I needed to take my kids to school. I needed to go to grocery store,” Sanchez said.
Police referred her to immigration officials, she said, who started deportation proceedings, but with no criminal record and American-born kids, they more or less left her alone, until now. In March, she said she was forced to choose between deportation or wearing the ankle monitor.
Sanchez told News 5 she’s heard the criticism that she needs to “get in line,” but said she applied for a green card years ago and never got a response.
“I know the law is the law, the laws were made to follow,” she said, “But the immigration laws are broken."
At an estimated 95,000 people in 2014, according to Pew Research, Ohio has a relatively small population of undocumented immigrants compared to other states. Of the roughly 11 million undocumented people in the U.S., about 2.35 million are in California alone.