Two Pompano Beach children are facing the deportation of their father just two years after their mother was returned to Nicaragua.
Through tears, 16-year-old Cecia Soza recalled speaking on the phone to her father.
“He said that he loved us and that we have to take care of each other,” she said.
Her father, Ronald Soza, was arrested Wednesday in Broward for driving without a valid license. Officers turned him over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials because he is an illegal immigrant who was issued a deportation order in 2011 by The Department of Justice.
Cecia Soza and her 12-year-old brother, also named Ronald, were forced to separate from their mother two years ago.
“It’s kind of like going through the same feeling when I got my mom taken away from me,” said the boy.
Their mother Maricela was deported in December 2009. She and their father, Ronald Soza, are Nicaraguans who snuck across the U.S. border in Texas in 1986 and had been living in the U.S. illegally ever since.
The couple's two kids were both born and raised in the United States.
“They came because they wanted a better life for their kids than what they had,” said Cecia Soza.
The two have been staying with Nora Sandigo, who first met the children when their mother was deported.
“It’s horrible to see the kids suffering,” she said.
Sandigo is mounting a challenge to the Department of Justice to try to stop Ronald Soza’s deportation. She argues Soza is not a high priority for deportation in accordance with ICE’s guidelines.
Sandigo also said Soza has a family, pays taxes and hasn't been convicted of a crime. She hopes to reopen his case and appeal the decision.