Family and community devastated over the deportation of 66-year-old Pinay domestic worker

CHICAGO — It wasn’t the homecoming she would have wanted.

66-year old Julita Bartolome was forced to take a flight back to the Philippines on Thursday afternoon after being deported by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Bartolome moved to the US three decades ago as a domestic worker but eventually overstayed her visa. She was given voluntary departure and had 30 days to exit the US. A Judge dismissed Bartolome’s appeal.

Bartolome’s previous lawyer reportedly did not advise her that the appeal was dismissed and the removal was still in effect.

In 2002, Bartolome and her husband, who is a pastor in Illinois, filed the family-based petition I-130. Although it was approved, but because of the removal order, Bartolome had to wait 10 years to receive a green card. Bartolome thought they had to re-apply for the family petition before she can apply for a green card.

USCIS called Bartolome for the I-130 interview and after the interview, Bartolome was arrested by ICE.

Despite having no criminal history, Bartolome was detained for over a month at McHenry County Adult Correctional Facility. She was later moved to the detention center in Broadview after ICE denied the stay of removal appeal.

The Filipino community in Chicago is outraged with the turn of events.

“This is not just a border wall issue. Immigration has really affected the Filipino community for years and decades,” said community leader Mae Flores.

“It shows that the Trump administration is really deporting Filipinos and immigrant communities in droves,” said Maya Arcilla.

“Nakakalungkot na sa panahon na kailangang siya ng kanyang asawa, saka siya pauuwiin sa Pilipinas. Balita ko ay may sakit ngayon ang kanyang asawa,” said Marlon Pecson.

For now, Bartolome’s family declined an interview request from BA.

But they said they are currently working on obtaining a green card for Bartolome from the Philippines and a waiver to allow her to re-enter the US.

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  • M. Matthews
    25 August 2019 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    The lawyer she had should be sued by her husband becuase, he did not inform her or neglected her case.