A Chicago immigrant woman ended an eight-day hunger strike on Tuesday. Nora Quiñones started the hunger strike after her husband was detained by immigration officials in May.
Quiñones said she was forced to stop the hunger strike because of health complications, including high blood pressure and anemia.
“I’m going to continue to fight for my husband. I don’t want to end it, but I have to,” she said. “I don’t feel well. I was admitted to the hospital a couple of days ago, and they told me I have to take it easy.”
This civil action was a last ditch effort since Quiñones’ husband, Christian Avalos, has few legal options to stay in the country.
Avalos was detained by immigration enforcement officials on May 14 after he was temporarily detained by Cicero police. He was arrested after he was released from the Cicero Police Department, according to Nicole Alberico, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Alberico said Avalos had a felony conviction for assaulting a peace officer and driving under the influence in March 2013. He was removed from the country in October that year.
Juan Soliz, an immigration attorney representing Avalos, said this case is difficult.
“We are on weak grounds because of a previous removal order,” Soliz said. “Unfortunately, the law is very tilted against immigrants.”
Despite the odds, Quiñones said she’ll continue to fight to have her husband back. She said the couple has two American-born daughters, a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old. She said her husband is the family’s main provider and with him in a detention center her family is in debt.
“My children need their father,” she said.
María Ines Zamudio is a reporter for WBEZ’s Race, Class and Communities desk. Follow her @mizamudio.