Deported Guatemalan mom cries as she sends her kids to the U.S. without her

Dec 27, 2018
12:39 P.M.
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A woman, who was recently deported back to Guatemala from the US, is heartbroken after she decides to send her children back to the US for better life opportunities.


41-year-old Maria Santiago Garcia was living in Utah for 14 years before she was forced to return to her homeland of Guatemala in 2017. Now the distraught mother has made the crushing decision of sending two of her four children back to the US.

She reportedly decided that the future of her children was in jeopardy in her small village of Guatemala, where there are rare opportunities of work or even education, which often ends after the sixth grade.


Garcia was asked to return after several months of failed attempts at getting a reprieve to stay in the US. She made several protests and wrote letters to a judge, but they led to nothing.

During her stay in Utah, Santiago was a manager at McDonald’s in Salt Lake City. Meanwhile, her husband is a construction worker in Utah. Following the deportation, her husband stayed back in Utah because of lack of work in their native village of Jerez.


Growing up, Garcia spent her days in orphanages and foster homes of Guatemala before eventually getting a job at a clothing factory.

When she was 27 years of age, she witnessed a murder and spoke about it to local police. It got her into trouble with a gang, and she fled for her life. She arrived in the US in 2004 and claimed asylum after illegally crossing the border in Brownsville, Texas.


Her boyfriend then helped her get a lawyer but she somehow mixed up the court date and never appeared during her hearing. She was ordered to be deported in absentia back in 2006.

Garcia never knew about the court’s order and she went on to find herself a new life in Utah. She eventually got a job as a hotel maid, got married, and even had children.

Her first marriage broke apart and she remarried in 2010. She also got a better-paying job as a manager at McDonald’s. The family now had four children in total, two from Garcia’s previous marriage.


In 2014, she was convicted of using someone else’s Social Security number to work. However, Deseret News reported that she wasn’t viable to be deported during the Obama administration as she wasn’t considered to be a public safety threat and her children were US citizens.

Those policies changed drastically when the US presidency was taken over by Donald Trump. Finally, she was forced to return in 2017.


Earlier this year on October 17, she finally decided that there was no future for her children in Guatemala. Consequently, she said goodbye to her two older children – a 12-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter – who returned back to the US.

Her two younger children are of ages four and six, and she deemed them too young to separate from herself.

On May 17 this year, another woman living in the US for over 18 years without any criminal record was also deported back to her country of Albania.

Sadly, the woman did not even get an opportunity to say goodbye to her three children, which reportedly "traumatized" and "devastated" her children.

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