Leslie Hernández was 11 years old when her family moved from Mexico City to Detroit.
Fast forward 14 years. Hernández is now 25 and a mother of three – ages 10, 5 and 3. They were all born in Detroit and all three are U.S. citizens, but mom is not.
U.S. Immigration and Customs arrested Hernández on October 24th. The have a deportation order for her and plan to send her to Mexico.
I would just really want them to give us a chance to be a family because they're my family and they're little. They need me. They need their mom to guide them.
She spent the past two and a half months in jail, but suddenly was released while the feds review a humanitarian clause. The debate? Should a mother of three with no criminal record who came to the U.S. as a child be deported?
"We're trying to reopen the case," said immigration attorney George Mann. "If we got the case reopened, then she would have a right to apply for relief from deportation, but right now she has a valid order of deportation. They have the power to deport her."
Hernández has never been charged with a crime. She has a clean record. She pursued and achieved her GED high school equivalency in Detroit.
She's an example of a new consideration the feds are including in decisions of deportation.
"From now on, they are not going to use their scarce resources to deport just everybody that they encounter. They're actually going to look at their backgrounds of their situations and they're going to use their resources to deport those who have committed crimes," Mann explained.
While it's not for her to decide, she does what she can and that is hope. Hernández could not work while in jail, so her gas was shut off. Her electric heater and winter coats are now always on.
She hopes the deportation ruling, of course, will be in her favor.
"I would just really want them to give us a chance to be a family because they're my family and they're little. They need me. They need their mom to guide them," said Hernández.
The children's father is also undocumented. He is in jail right now.
No one is disclosing what his odds of deportation are, but his case will be judged separately from Hernández's case.
Both of them met in southwest Detroit.
For more, go to My Fox Detroit.