OAKLAND (CBS/AP) — An Oakland nurse who was deported last year during the Trump Administration’s immigration crackdown will be allowed to return to the Bay Area.
The case of Maria Mendoza-Sanchez made national headlines when she and her husband were forced to return to Mexico, leaving two of their older children behind.
Mendoza-Sanchez worked as a registered nurse at Highland Hospital, caring for cancer patients. She said when she left she wanted to do the right thing after years of fighting to live in the United States legally.
“When I came to this country I was very young,” Mendoza-Sanchez told KPIX. “Back then I didn’t really understand what it meant. I didn’t come because I was trying to violate anybody’s rules. I came pretty much because I was young and in love.”
Her colleagues at Highland Hospital held a rally protesting her deportation. The hospital petitioned for her to get an H-1B visa, arguing she is high-skilled worker.
Senator Dianne Feinstein said she was pleased Mendoza-Sanchez was granted the visa, given the nurse’s contributions to her community.
Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf tweeted: “Welcome back to Oakland, Maria. Your community awaits you with open arms!”
Oakland congresswoman Barbara Lee said in a statement: “Maria’s case is a stark example of the damage that the Trump Administration’s inhumane zero-tolerance policy has wreaked on families across the country.”
Mendoza-Sanchez says she plans to return in early December.
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