The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Tuesday Estela Fajardo is in Mexico after she was deported on Monday.
Last Friday, a jury found her guilty of theft – a Class A Misdemeanor.
According to Sheriff Parnell McNamara, she was taken into ICE custody last Saturday.
FOX44 also reached out to the District Attorney’s Office and ICE officials, and have yet to hear back. However, the executive director with the Waco Immigrants Alliance and Fajardo’s immigration attorneys say they were dissappointed to hear she’s gone.
Supporters getting the news of her deportation posted their feelings to Facebook:
” Thank You to all who called for Estela, who showed up for rallies and protests and press conferences, showing up in the rain, in the cold. I appreciate you, and Estela is deeply grateful.
“Today ICE ignored her attorney’s application for an emergency stay of removal and took her to Mexico. She called tonight from a shelter, and said she’s safe, but doesn’t know what’s next. Pray that we can figure out housing and things line up for her there, that her kids are able to visit soon, and that she would have clarity on what to do with her businesses, property, and home here.
“We are devastated her children were robbed of their mother by a broken system that exploited, abused, and scapegoated her for a crime she didn’t commit. God is still faithful and good despite all the brokenness in humanity. Thanks for your prayers and support.
“La lucha sigue.”
“Her immigration attorney expected that on Monday her immigration case would go before an ICE agent, or even hopefully, a judge who could then weigh out what she’s been through. We just have a lot of questions as to why she was expedited,” says Hope Mustakim, Executive Director of Waco Immigrants Alliance. “Her attorney wasn’t able to bring those facts up in court. They were instructed to leave everything out, including her immigration status, her having been incarcerated three years pre-trial, the sexual assault allegations, the retaliation she faced inside of the jail whenever she became public about her abuse.”
Her immigration attorney, Anali Looper, says they did everything to keep her here.
“So what we were asking was for her to be able to see in immigration judge and apply for something called VOWA (Violence Against Women’s Act) cancellation of removal. But they chose not to exercise discretion in that way,” Looper says.
Now, Fajardo is headed from a shelter to an unknown location in Mexico to begin a new, unfamiliar life.
“She doesn’t really have family there. She doesn’t have anything. Her businesses and her children and her life are here – 30 plus years in Waco. So right now, she’s just trying to fumble her way through that country. Kinda like figuring out where she can stay safe,” Mustakim says.