Weather Alerts 2 View »

Mother lives in church, fighting daughter's detainment

  • Play

Video by

Mother lives in church, fighting daughter's detainment

By Liz Kotalik. CREATED Apr 8, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's been more than a week, and a mother is continuing her refuge in St. Augustine Church downtown, hoping her stay will help free her daughter from detainment in Eloy.

Herminia, who only speaks Spanish, told 9OYS that she and her two daughters were detained at the border this summer after coming back into the country for the second time.      

Her girls were raised here, but she said the family had to leave because of our country's failing economy.  

Back in Mexico, Herminia said her daughters were harassed for being "Americanized", and on their way back to the United States, they were all taken into custody.

Herminia and her 13-year-old daughter Fatima were released with temporary visas, because Fatima was a minor. 19-year-old Rosie had to stay.

Today, six months later, Rosie is still in Eloy Detention Center.

It's exactly the kind of situation Catholic leaders spoke up against at the US/Mexico border earlier this month.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley from Boston called on Catholics and Congress to end indifference. "We can no longer tolerate the human suffering caused by this broken system," said Cardinal O'Malley.

CLICK HERE to see that story.

Herminia's youngest daughter, Fatima, was there, too. She stood with protesters, holding a sign that read "bring my sister home" in honor of Rosie.

Herminia broke in tears multiple times during our interview tonight, thinking about her daughter, telling us she's worried about Rosie's health.

But, Herminia does know the church is by her side. The Diocese told 9OYS that Bishop Kicanis has written a letter to ICE, and is optimistic that Rosie will soon be released.      

Until then, Herminia waits. She told us she wouldn't leave until Rosie is back home.

9OYS reached out to ICE, who said that they could not comment on specific, private cases. 

The Diocese said Rosie has a bond hearing on April 16th, and they have every indication that Herminia will see her daughter soon. 


Liz Kotalik

Liz Kotalik

Email Facebook Twitter
Liz Kotalik is so proud to work in her home state of Arizona with her KGUN9 family. She anchors the 7 a.m. morning show "GMT Extra" on the CW Tucson every weekday, and also reports for later newscasts.