Ramona Estrada was born and raised in Texas. Her son Jacobo Diego, Jr. was born March 21, 2008 in Laurel, Mississippi. Baby Jacobo lived with his mom, and his dad, Jacobo Sr., who worked at the local factory to support the family. When Jacobo Jr. was six months old, Immigration agents raided the Howard Industries factory, and put Jacobo Sr. in immigration detention.
Jacobo Diego Sr. is a citizen of Mexico. He was put in removal proceedings. “I couldn’t believe I couldn’t help him in any way,” said Ramona. “I thought because I was a US citizen I could help. I couldn’t believe the law was that way.” Ramona had to take care of everything alone, with her newborn son. On the weekends, she drove four hours each way with the baby, to visit Jacobo Sr. in detention. Ramona worked, paid the bills, paid the rent, and paid a babysitter. “I didn’t go out much. It was too hard to see families together.”
After two months in detention, Jacobo Sr. was in bad shape. Something at the detention center bit his leg,and he was put in isolation. He was in pain, confined, and it was nearly impossible to meet with a lawyer to discuss his deportation case. He missed his baby. Ramona recalled, “One time he called crying, and I knew I had to figure something out. That’s when I found El Pueblo, and the Bond Fund.” The National Immigrant Bond Fund helped Ramona and Jacobo pay half their bond, and Jacobo came home to be his family while his case was pending in immigration court.
Paying the bond allowed Jacobo the opportunity for a fair hearing, and gave the family time to organize their lives. In the end, the immigration judge ordered Jacobo to leave the United States. He and his family left on August 4, 2009. Ramona said, “I’ve never been to Mexico. My father came to this country for better opportunities. He doesn’t want me to go there. I am doing this for my son, to keep the family together.”