With just months to live, a Melrose Park woman is fighting for her health and to keep the life she knows and loves. After being deported once – she’s now in danger of deportation again.
Gloria Barrera came to the United States more than 30 years ago. She’s endured a series of traumatic events and now in her final months – she's in danger of losing it all again.
“I am here asking for clemency and justice,” she said through a translator.
Standing alongside her translator, Barrera begged Friday to stay in her Melrose Park home.
“I am afraid of being deported and dying alone without my children and husband,” she said.
Barrera said she is battling stage four ovarian cancer that is now in her lungs, pancreas and spine.
She spent Friday morning in court – where her legal team applied for a “stay of removal.”
Hoping to keep her in the u-s for her remaining days. Christopher Elmore is one of her attorneys.
“It’s imperative she be able to stay here in the U.S. and have her medical treatment with her family,” he said.
This is not Barrera’s first run in with ICE.
She lost her green card in 2013 and was deported, though her attorneys would not say why.
After a year of detainment she was brought back into the U.S. as a victim of human trafficking.
"The only family she has and the only support network and system is in the United States,” attorney Amber Gonzalez said. “She asks to be able to die here with her husband children and grandchildren.”
Her husband, three children and seven grandchildren are all U.S. citizens.
Their family’s fate is in the hands of a judge until a decision is reached next week.
“I am the tree and my children are my branches they give me the strength to keep going even though the doctors give me a few months to live,” Barrera said through her translator.
If the judge allows Barrera to stay, her attorneys will then apply for a T-visa, which would give her four more years in the U.S.
The visa is specifically for victims of human trafficking.