TAMPA, Fla. -- Bay area immigration lawyers are trying to find a way to keep the wife of a former U.S. marine from being deported next month.
- The wife of a former U.S. Marine is at risk of being deported
- Said she was tricked into signing expedited removal since she could not read English
- Effort in Congress to keep her in the U.S.
"This is, I think, a case of national interest, it really is," said Richard Maney, Senior Partner of Maney, Gordon and Zeller Attorneys at Law.
Alejandra Juarez tried twice to come to the U.S. illegally from Mexico. The first time she crossed the border was 20 years ago, and she was caught by immigration officials.
Alejandra said she spoke only Spanish then.
Her lawyers said that’s where the legal debate begins.
"She was given a paper in English and they told her to sign this and you could go back today. Little did she know she signed an expedited removal," Maney said.
"It was given in the English language without a translator, so pretty much I didn’t know what I was signing," Juarez said.
The documents meant Juarez could never come into the U.S. legally.
But since Juarez couldn't read the paperwork, her lawyers believe the process may have violated her rights. They're looking through documents to provide some sort of legal relief.
"We're going to be asking for more time because 20 years is a long time to look back and to review the documents," Maney said.
Meanwhile, there's still an effort in Congress to keep Juarez in the U.S. A bill is currently circulating on Capitol Hill.
Juarez has been writing and calling lawmakers to get them to support her. She’s also circulating a petition and hoping the community will reach out to lawmakers as well.
"I'm just praying,” Juarez said.
If her efforts fail, Juarez could be deported August 3rd.