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Sat May 6, 2017, 02:42 AM

Gehrke: Tale of mother facing deportation should be a wake-up call for Utah

"... she was rounded up by border ICE agents, the latest case in an immigration crackdown under a Trump administration eager to deliver on the xenophobic rhetoric served up during the campaign.

Sen. Orrin Hatch and his staff, fortunately, did the right thing, stepping in and working with ICE to get Avelar-Flores released and at least delay her deportation temporarily, buying her time to try to resolve the issues and keep her family together.

No question, the senator deserves tremendous credit for intervening.

But it never should have gotten to this point, and we should not allow countless other families, perhaps those without the community support or a powerful senator to come to their aid, to be torn apart.

And children shouldn't be forced to live in fear that when they leave for school in the morning it may be the last time they see a parent.

This is exactly what Donald Trump said he would do, except he promised the roundups would only target "bad hombres."

Reasonable people doubted his claim, and rightly so. The Washington Post reported that between Jan. 26 and March 13, 5,441 immigrants without criminal records were deported.

Avelar-Flores' family is fighting becoming another in that tally. She is not a "bad hombre." She has no criminal record and there is no evidence that, in her two dozen years in this country, she has done anything other than build a life, contribute to her community and be the best mom she can.

Yet here we are, dealing with a situation that more than half a million voters not to mention Utah's elected officials who stood by Trump and endorsed these policies helped create by buying into Trump's rhetoric. You allowed this to happen and you own this.


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