Video Shows Pain of Five U.S. Citizens in Phoenix as Mom, Undocumented, Remains in Detention

A video posted on YouTube this morning shows the pain of five U.S.-citizen children are feeling because their undocumented mom was arrested six months ago.

We dare you to watch the video (see below) and not be moved by the tears and pleas of these kids, two of whom go to Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix.

Their mother, Bertha Alicia Avila Medrano, was arrested while driving her three daughters to a family baptism in California six months, according to Puente Arizona, the activist group that posted the video.

We left a message for Carlos Garcia at Puente to get more info, but haven't heard back yet. Also put in an email to ICE to find out how Medrano was arrested and why she's been detained. Our guess: If she was driving to California, she might have gotten picked up in an immigration checkpoint, and if she's been detained for half a year, it's probably because she's fighting deportation.

"I don't have my mom!" Jennifer Medrano, 16, says in the video, failing to hold back her tears after her and her brother talk about their impressive school achievements -- which are due in part because of their caring, involved mother.

The kids' father is also in the video, speaking only Spanish. At the end of the video, viewers are asked to call ICE's director, John Morton, and ask for Medrano's release. (The video also states that Medrano has an a.k.a. -- Teresa Rojas Aguila.)

Whatever the circumstances, the negative impact of immigration enforcement on some U.S. citizens can't be ignored.

UPDATE -- May 28 -- In response to a request for a comment about the Medrano case, ICE spokeswoman Amber Cargile got back to us today. All ICE can say right now, Cargile says, is that Medrano has been "removed" from the country twice before, with the most recent removal related to a misdemeanor conviction for illegal re-entry.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.