Last month, 10-year-old Arianna Orozco’s worst nightmare came true.
Arianna, and her family, are preparing for a breakup after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers picked up her father, Jose Orozco, who is in the country illegally.
“It’s just very hectic when they do get detained because you have no clue,” said Arianna’s mother Olivia Sainz.
The family went into panic mode to find him, but Arianna had a different plan.
“I wrote a letter to Gov. (Rick) Scott because my dad lives in Florida and he’s the governor, so maybe he could help out,” Arianna said. “He helped out a lot of people during Hurricane Irma.”
Arianna’s letter event left her mother speechless.
“When she wrote the letter and I saw it, I was like, ‘Wow, this is really good,'” Sainz said.
Arianna actually met Gov. Scott in Immokalee back in December.
“I felt kind of proud because I met the governor of Florida,” Arianna said.
According to the family, this is the first time any of them had a run in with immigration or law enforcement.
“He arrived to this country when he was 15, 16,” Sainz said. “At that age he’s still a child. He’s been here ever since, and never gotten in trouble with the law.”
WINK News did check Orozco’s criminal background, but didn’t find anything.
Arianna says she understands why some people want deportations.
“They think they’re criminals but they are really not, well, some are,”Arianna said. “But, that doesn’t mean that all of them are.”
All of this has taken a toll on Arianna and her family.
“It’s been no sleeping, no eating,” Sainz said. “She’s regressed to the point she doesn’t want to sleep in her room. I mean, she’s 10!”
But, Arianna says she is hopeful to hear back from Gov. Scott.
Orozco’s family says they were able to bond him out of detention. He is back to work, but is expected to see an immigration judge again in three months.
WINK News reached out to ICE about Orozco’s case, and they said they were checking on it.
Below is Arianna’s letter to Gov. Scott:
Dear Governor Rick Scott,
My name is Arianna Orozco, I am 10 years old an I had the privilege of meeting you in 2017 wen you came to my school (Highlands Elementary) in Immokalee. I was photographed with you and I keep my picture in my bedroom. I am writing today to you on behalf of my dad: Jose Orozco. He was detained yesterday morning on his way to work. He was supposed to pick me up after work and never arrived. I want to ask that you please help in any way that you can in his case. I know my dad is illegal, but he has been in the process of attempting to legalize himself and does not even drive because he doesn’t have a driver’s license. My dad teaches me to obey the law and I respect you so much and look up to you. Please if there is anything you can do to bring my dad home to me and allow him to stay with me here in Florida while he fixes his papers I would be in debt to you forever. Please Governor I have been praying all day and night and just want my dad to come home.