An undocumented kindergarten teacher in Washington, D.C., was forced to return to her home country after she was told she would be deported.
Katherine Rodriguez, 33, was working at a Washington-area preschool when the Trump administration announced on May 17 that she would not be able to return home.
“The White House made it clear that they would take care of her deportation and I thought I was safe in my home country,” Rodriguez told ABC News.
But on Monday, Rodriguez was informed that she could be sent back to Honduras, where she lives with her parents.
She said she was immediately overwhelmed and felt overwhelmed by the suddenness of the announcement, and said she wanted to keep fighting to be reunited with her family.
“I’m so thankful that my family was able to stay in Honduras and I have been here since March 1 and I love Honduras so much,” Rodriguez said.
“My whole family is here and I hope to come back soon.
I’ve been living in Honduras for two years.
I’m scared. “
I’m still not sure what I’ll do when I come back to my country.
I have family that are in Honduras, so I can’t go back there, but I will work and make sure I have my children educated and I will give my children the education they deserve.”
Rodriguez said she is grateful for the help of the Washington state ACLU, and has been able to work with the Washington Department of Education to help with her deportation.
“It’s a struggle for them, and for the state,” Rodriguez explained.
“If you’re undocumented and you have a family member that is undocumented, you have the right to have that family member deported.”
Rodrez’s parents, who have been living here since 2009, are expecting their first child in September.
She is currently enrolled in a preschool program in Washington State that is open to undocumented students and families.
“When I started this program, I didn’t think it would be as big as it is,” Rodriguez shared.
“But it has become a sanctuary school, where I have a whole team of teachers.
I am in a very safe place.”
Rodrquez, who was born in the United States, has worked as a kindergarten teacher for years.
She was an elementary school teacher in the Washington area for 10 years before coming to the United State and studying at a local community college.
After completing her bachelor’s degree at the University of Washington, she worked as an English teacher and assistant teacher in a kindergarten classroom for six years before returning to her native country.
“In Honduras, they are really trying to make sure their students are educated, and they want to give them the best education possible,” she said.
“We are in a war and we have a lot of people trying to protect us, so we’re very hopeful for this, and we’re also working to educate people in Honduras.”
Rodriquez said she hopes to eventually return to Honduras to work for the school as a teacher.
“For the school to be able do what they are doing, it’s really important that we give our children the best possible education, but we are trying to give it to them through our school,” she explained.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued the following statement regarding Rodriguez’s deportation:”The Department is aware of an ongoing legal proceeding regarding a kindergarten school teacher who is currently residing in Honduras.
The department is working closely with her legal team to address her situation and ensure she is returned to her country of birth.
As part of DHS’ efforts to protect our country, we are working with her to return her to her homeland.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.