Under the Trump administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has dramatically increased the arrests and deportations of immigrants without any criminal records. This policy has led to the separation of families nationwide.
In one example of this barbaric practice, Cile Precetaj was arrested and deported after a routine visit to an ICE office in Detroit on April 26. Cile is a native of Albania and has been in the U.S. for 18 years. She is married and has three U.S.-born children.
Cile applied for asylum in the U.S. in 2000. She said that she was in danger in Albania. The danger came from dangerous criminals intent on kidnapping her and forcing her into prostitution.
Cile married Yugoslavian immigrant Pete Gojacaj. Pete has been in the U.S. for 30 years. He owns a restaurant. Cile and Pete have three children ages 8, 10 and 16. Pete said, “My kids are devastated. They can’t stop crying.”
Pete says that his wife went to the routine ICE appointment in late April. There, she was detained and deported. Pete says she was not allowed the opportunity to say goodbye to her husband or children. Pete says he was not notified of his wife’s deportation until she reached Germany en route to Albania.
She contacted her husband at 4 a.m., explaining where she was and that she was being accompanied by two ICE agents. ICE refutes the claim, arguing that Cile and her family were notified of her impending deportation. They argue that she was ordered for deportation in 2005 and that her appeals were denied, making her eligible for deportation.
ICE added, “ICE no longer exempts classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removed from the United States.”
In a phone interview with the Detroit Free Press, Cile said, “I want people to pray for us. We never did any crime. We just came here to this country to have a better life and better education for our kids. That’s the only reason we came here, and I pray to God it’s going to work out.”