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Morrisville mom faces deportation after friends say she was duped

Posted May 17, 2012

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— Nine-year-old Enid Aguirre talks to her mom about everything, almost every day, but since October, those conversations have been over the telephone.

"I get to talk to her for 20 minutes, which is pretty good," Enid says of each conversation. "We talk about when she comes back."

Her mother, Hortencia Aguirre Verduzco, is in the federal North Georgia Detention Center in Gainesville, Ga., where she is facing deportation next month and criminal charges associated with her immigration status.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Verduzco, 52, in August after, they say, they found that her immigration documents were falsified.

Friends say Verduzco came to the United States on a tourist visa in 1992 and later hired an immigration attorney to gain legal permanent resident status, but that the lawyer duped her by submitting false information about her birthplace.

"I just don't think she deserves any of this," says Katie Morgan, a friend and longtime neighbor leading the fight to get Verduzco released. "She's not a criminal."

Hortencia Aguirre Verduzco Morrisville mom could be deported

More than 1,500 people, including Morrisville Mayor Jackie Holcombe and federal Judge Malcolm Jones Howard, have added their names to an online petition that Morgan started asking for Verduzco's release.

Morgan is also reaching out to U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and Rep. David Price, hoping that public and political pressure will prompt ICE to release Verduzco before she is deported.

A single mother who runs her own cleaning service, friends call Verduzco a woman of "high moral character" who is "the epitome of an ideal immigrant."

They say she was naïve when first moved to the U.S. and paid the attorney a large amount of money for his service. After receiving the immigration documents, she went about her life, got a valid work permit, learned English, obtained her GED, enrolled in community college and went to work in Florida working for a neurologist.

Her friends say she's a hardworking, honest, and kind mother who deserves to stay.

"We've cared about this family for so long, as neighbors, and we were horrified that all this started happening," neighbor Katie Morgan said.

In August, while investigating a crime in which Verduzco's brother was a suspect, ICE agents raided her home looking for evidence and found the immigration papers, which they say were falsified.

She was also charged with a felony of possession of a firearm for a handgun she legally purchased with a gun permit. U.S. law states that it's a felony if an illegal alien possesses a weapon.

Her lawyer, Paul Suhr, who says the man who falsified her papers should be the one in jail, not Verduzco.

"I see her as a victim of a crime, instead of someone who instigated a crime or who committed a crime," he says.

Morgan and Suhr both say that she’d be a legal resident of the U.S. if it weren't for trusting the wrong attorney to do her paperwork.

"She tried, and she was a valuable member of society. She paid her taxes, worked hard and is raising a child who's going to be a valuable member of society," Morgan says.

Meanwhile, daughter Enid stays with an aunt during the week and with neighbors on the weekend.

"Anything that was done was done for the right reasons," Morgan says. "She came here for a better life."

The question now is whether a judge will allow her to live that life in North Carolina.

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  • beaulahjackson4 May 25, 2012

    Like I said before and you did not deny; if she was from Europe your tone and side would be completely different. WooHoo2You

    In case you don't know or haven't noticed American has a problem with 6.1 to 7 million illegals from Mexico, and approximately 5.1 million on government assistance. We don't have that many in numbers from Europe, as it's obviously not as easy for them to get into our borders. This is a huge financial problem. A large number of American citizens can't afford healthcare, but a huge number of illegals get free healthcare. We pay taxes that are supposed to go back into our system, for our citizens. America is a teenager in the realm of the world, and yet we act like we have grandpa's bank account to hand out to strangers. We should take care of our fellow Americans and not allow ourselves to be starved by taking care of people that don't respect our laws. Most don't have enough respect to learn English. It's a problem that could be easily solved.

  • ConservativeVoter May 25, 2012

    She's here illegally, send her home.

    She broke our laws.

  • SueInNC May 23, 2012

    She had to have known about the false info on the documents. Therefore, I believe she willingly broke the law. If you are not in the US legally, you should be deported (whether you have children or not). If we have enforcement of the laws regarding illegal immigrants, perhaps fewer people would try to come here illegally. My best friend's mom and dad came here the LEGAL way and it took them years and years to earn (read EARN) citizenship. They did it the legal way. It was painful for their children to watch their struggles trying to lawfully gain citizenship, but they supported their parents' desire to do this legally and to teach their kids a good example. Why should we ignore the laws of this country just because this is a sad story and a little girl's mom is now being deported. This deportation is not OUR fault...it is the mom's fault (only). We really need to pay closer attention to the letter of the law and protect what it means to be a US Citizen. Enough already!

  • TheAdmiral May 22, 2012

    Well, I sympathize, but falsifying documents goes beyond ignorance of the law.

    Regardless of where they come from, if they create false documents, then they have no intention of doing much of anything legally, even out of desperation.

  • quaten May 18, 2012

    If ever there was an exception needed, this case is a prime example.

  • ladyblue May 18, 2012

    Like I said before and you did not deny; if she was from Europe your tone and side would be completely different.
    WooHoo2You

    why are you profiling people who don't agree with you..

  • ncouterbanks69 May 18, 2012

    if she was from Europe your tone and side would be completely different.

    See post from 2:00

  • ncouterbanks69 May 18, 2012

    Like I said before and you did not deny; if she was from Europe your tone and side would be completely different.

    incorrect. go back and look at a post from 2:00. Not surprising a lib would assume that it is something that I assume makes you guys justify why we do not see things the same.

  • WooHoo2You May 18, 2012

    You are right; this poor woman who did everything legally

    Nope she CLAIMS to have done what she THOUGHT was legal. It was not legal. My bet is she knew she was buying fake papers like most illegals do. Then she gave a sob story to a bunch of bleeding hearts who actually believe her story. Because every story from a criminal is truthful right?-ncouterbanks69

    The story also says she got a *valid work permit* and *put herself through college*, those must have been fake too because foreigners are automatically master criminals according to the heartless people that make themselves feel better teaching “life lessons” to others.

    Like I said before and you did not deny; if she was from Europe your tone and side would be completely different.

  • ncouterbanks69 May 18, 2012

    You are right; this poor woman who did everything legally

    Nope she CLAIMS to have done what she THOUGHT was legal. It was not legal. My bet is she knew she was buying fake papers like most illegals do. Then she gave a sob story to a bunch of bleeding hearts who actually believe her story. Because every story from a criminal is truthful right?

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