Mother stays in church, hoping for help with daughter's freedom - Tucson News Now

Mother stays in church, hoping for help with daughter's freedom

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Herminia listens to her daughter Rosie's call from Eloy Detention Center. Herminia listens to her daughter Rosie's call from Eloy Detention Center.
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A woman from Mexico seeks sanctuary with the Catholic Church as she stays in St. Augustine Cathedral in downtown Tucson for her second night in a row Tuesday.

Herminia Gallegos said she's worried about deportation as her family fights for her oldest daughter's freedom.

Gallegos said she crossed the border with her daughters, 19-year-old Rosie and 13-year-old Fatima, seeking humanitarian asylum.

Fatima, a minor, was allowed to stay with her mother while their paperwork processed, according to Gallegos. She said Tuesday that her other daughter has been in the Eloy Detention Center for the last six months.

"Those six months she's been detained haven't killed her dreams," said Gallegos. "But she's losing the glimmer of life in her eyes that she had outside of the center."

Fatima left her mother's side Tuesday to travel to Nogales in hopes of meeting with church leaders, who held a mass along the border.

"So the popes can help me release my sister from Eloy," the teenager said.

Bishop Kicanas said he's spoken with Gallegos, but he wants to know more about her family's situation. The two will meet Wednesday, when Gallegos said she hopes he can intervene in her daughter's detention.

"We wanta normal life," said Gallegos.

She said her family lived in Arizona from 2000 until 2010, when they returned to Mexico because of ailing family members. They crossed the border last year in hopes of returning to the home they once knew, according to Gallegos.

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