Hoda Mabrey has spent more of her life in the United States than she has in Egypt. She raised the only family she has here -her two daughters Amira and Tiana, and her two grandchildren Tion and Tatiana. The only life she has ever known in Egypt was in the orphanage she grew up in and left at age twenty-three.
In 2010, Hoda’s life was torn apart when the Department of Homeland Security moved forward with removal proceedings against her because of crimes she had committed in the 1980’s and 90’s. Since that time, Hoda had gotten control of the mental health issues that originally led to her criminal record and had not been involved with the courts for over 15 years. OJPC applied in U.S. Immigration Court for relief from removal for Hoda. At the hearing, OJPC attorneys showed that removal to Egypt, where Hoda would not have access to the mental health care and the support of her family and church community, would amount to a death sentence for her.
When asked why she wanted to stay in the country, Hoda responded “My whole life I have not had love. Here, I have found it. That’s all I want.” When the judge ruled from the bench that Hoda be allowed to remain in the United States with her family, there was not a dry eye in the courtroom. Just as countless other people in our community, Hoda needed a second chance after she acquired a criminal record. Hoda’s story tells us why it is so important to work for criminal justice policies that make the community safer, more equitable and more vibrant.