LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Jefferson Taborda tells ABC-7 he and his mother, Francia Elena-Castaño, were detained several months ago, but it wasn't until recently that Elena was deported.
"It started as a regular day on May 9th roughly around 8 in the morning, before work" Taborda said. "She got detained a couple blocks down."
Taborda added he was also picked up and detained that same morning as he was driving his girlfriend to school.
The 23-year-old was detained for three days. "She was in the same facility," he said, "I was able to see her just through the window in the visitation, because I was there for my application of DACA and she was there to visit with the attorney, so I was only able to see her briefly."
On June 7, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported Elena, separating her from her children and husband. Taborda said his family was never notified.
The family claims ICE Deputy Director Alfredo Fierro denied Francia’s two sons, Jefferson and Steven, their final moments with their mother as deportation was set in motion, denying her a last phone call and never telling her lawyer or her family.
"It's sad," he said, " I wish I had the chance to talk to her face to face and say goodbye."
The mother of two lived in the Las Cruces community for nearly 20 years and was an active member of Our Lady of Health Catholic Church. "I get why she was deported and I understand it," Taborda said. "What we were asking was for them to consider all the factors; her paying taxes, her knowing English and no criminal record."
ICE deported Elena to Colombia, a country she has not been to in 20 years. "They informed me they gave her a ban of 10 years," Taborda said. " So, I either have to become a citizen and travel over there to see her, or we have to wait the ten years."
Tabora told ABC-7 he is still unclear as to why he and his mother were targeted. He claims ICE told him they were "low priority" undocumented immigrants.
ABC-7 reached out to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and received the following statement: "The department focuses on removing illegal aliens who have violated our immigration laws."