Sandy family living in fear after ICE arrests father

Wife says Roman Zaragoza-Sanchez didn't have a criminal record

Roman Zaragoza-Sanchez was arrested by ICE agents on February 14, 2017. Now his family is struggling to make ends meet. (GoFundMe)

SANDY, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s been less than a month since ICE agents arrested a Sandy father, leaving his wife and 5 children wondering if they’ll ever see him again.

Roman Zaragoza-Sanchez’s wife told KOIN 6 News he was coming home from his job at a local nursery on Valentine’s Day when ICE agents pulled him over.

“He used to pick up our older son after school,” Rosalina Guzman-Zaragoza said with tears in her eyes. “We used to go share a meal together and sometimes we used to go to a park.”

Guzman-Zaragoza said her husband worked his job reliably for years. He was proud of his children, ages 6-15, who were born in Oregon and California.

The mother of 5 said her husband didn’t have a criminal record.

Rosalina Guzman-Zaragoza says she doesn't know if her husband will ever get to see their children again, March 5, 2017. (KOIN)
Rosalina Guzman-Zaragoza says she doesn’t know if her husband will ever get to see their children again, March 5, 2017. (KOIN)

“I think of all the times we spent together,” she said. “Now my kids constantly ask about their dad… He is very sad, and he is missing the children.”

Guzman-Zaragoza said she has been able to speak with her husband at a Tacoma detention center by phone about 3 times a week since his arrest.

Beyond the emotional toll, the family is also in financial trouble. Guzman-Zaragoza said her husband was the one who provided for them, and now she doesn’t know what to do.

GoFundMe: Help Roman Zaragoza’s family

She’s also worried about her own status. She has already made the heartbreaking choice that her children should stay in the U.S. no matter what happens, to achieve the elusive American dream she and her husband were trying to give them.

Rosalina Guzman-Zaragoza's son holds up his brother's scholastic certificate. She wants them to stay in the U.S. to continue their education, no matter what happens. (KOIN)
Rosalina Guzman-Zaragoza’s son holds up his brother’s scholastic certificate. She wants them to stay in the U.S. to continue their education, no matter what happens. (KOIN)

“They are doing very well in school,” Guzman-Zaragoza said. “[I want] them to continue on their studies here.”

As the mother spoke to KOIN 6 News, her son proudly showed off his brother’s scholastic certificate of achievement entitled “The President’s Education Awards Program.”

They sat and watched silently as she expressed her fears.

“[I am] worried the kids will get sick, especially the smallest ones who keep asking about dad,” she said as she wiped tears off her face. “I’m very afraid.”

Guzman-Zaragoza said an attorney has been assigned to her husband’s case, but she doesn’t know if he will ever get to return home to see his children.

Friends established a GoFundMe page to help the family with rent and food.

Send an email if you would like to help the family in any other way.