When Freedom Rings Hollow

From the Los Angeles Times, columnist Steve Lopez:

Maria Suarez called me from a jail in San Pedro and said Tuesday she could see harbor boats through the window. After roughly two-thirds of her life in captivity, freedom was close enough to raise her hopes and break her heart at the same time.

Suarez, now 43, legally entered the United States from Mexico at the age of 16, only to be raped and beaten as the teenage sex slave of a man 55 years her elder. She was convicted of killing the monster, despite her claims of innocence, and finally won her parole last month after battling for years.

Now she sits in another prison, awaiting a deportation hearing scheduled for today. Suarez is a permanent legal resident, but not a U.S. citizen, and immigration law says that, with an aggravated felony on her record, she is to be deported.

“Justice,” Suarez said, “is so hard to understand.”

Read the rest of her story.