Maria Sanchez is a 63-year-old widow, grandmother of three and a legal permanent resident who has lived and worked in Sonoma County, Calif., for more than 40 years.
But she has also come close to being deported. Four years ago, Sanchez was almost separated from her family here in the U.S. for a crime she committed in the late 1990s. Hers is a story that brings up one of the most volatile issues in this election season — immigration, and by extension, deportation.
President Obama has said he wants to prioritize the deportation of immigrants with criminal records. In 2014, he stressed that immigration agents would target “felons, not families.” Sanchez’s situation, however, reveals that some immigrant felons are not what they seem. And many may still have a strong case for remaining in the United States.