Editor of Immigration Daily:
Here on this day
after Independence Day, I sit in my office with a heavy
heart and a frustrated family.
I am pastor in Phoenix, Arizona.
Please take time to read my family's story since no
one else seems able to help us.
I have raised my
two daughters to be good Christians and loyal citizens.
While I have traveled through more than 20 countries
around the world teaching other pastors, I find the
situation my family now faces as one of the worst trials
we've been through.
In the summer of 1996, my youngest daughter Melissa
met a bright young man, Jesus Flores, an excellent student,
a law-abiding Christian, and a man who has treated her like
Although he was born in Mexico, he was brought to
Phoenix as a child of 8 years old.
He attended school here and graduated from High
School in Phoenix in 1997. They began dating regular just before his graduation.
They were scheduled to be married in February 1998,
when he was asked to report to the INS.
Although his parents were the ones who had done the
wrong, he was deported that day without notice.
My daughter, her mother and I, hired a lawyer to
represent him at the INS, but he took our $1000 retainer fee
and we never saw him again after the deportation.
Under another immigration lawyer's advice, he
returned to the United States in February 1998 and they were
married in May 1998. We
fought for him, we paid almost five thousand in government
fees, doctor exams, lawyer fees, and other required fees,
not counting hundreds of dollars for hotel rooms, travel,
and meals. We
had a hearing in June 2000 at the consulate in Juarez,
Mexico, but instead of getting a final victory, he was
banned for reentering the country after being deported (even
though he was advised to do so by his attorney to make sure
the marriage was legitimate).
Now, he has moved
to Mexicali, where he is temporarily living with an uncle
and aunt. But
they say they cannot afford to keep him.
He has never been culturalized to Mexico and feels
23 year-old daughter is having to move there and get a job
in Yuma, AZ. (56 miles away) or El Centro, CA. (15 miles
north). We have
exhausted both our savings and her savings.
She has severe health problems from a car accident in
1990 and stomach problems that have developed because of
must retain her American Health Insurance.
The doctors tell us she is not getting better because
of all her worries. What are we to do?
She is an American Citizen!
Why is she being punished by our government for being
a faithful and loving wife?
Her mother and I trained her that way.
Our religion does not believe in divorce and she
would never consider that anyway.
She will be in danger everyday having to live in
Mexico and drive to the U. S. to work daily.
Why can't someone understand and help us!
Please!!! Has America's fear of Mexicans clouded their perception of
liberty and justice for all?
Maybe no one will even read this plea, but I have to
try. I have
pastored for almost thirty years and I now pastor a church
that is multicultural and has ten languages spoken in it. If people in my church can live as one people, why can't
America join us in this same harmony? Quit treating Mexicans
like criminals while we give millions in aid to Bosnians,
Croatians, Kurds, Russians, Ethiopians, Kosovars,
Vietnamese, and Cambodians.
I love them all, but why do we treat our own
neighbors to the South like enemies.
God forgive our nation that was founded on equal
my rambling on, I am a preacher. Thank you for reading this email and God bless any of you who
can help us. My
daughter Melissa Flores needs your help soon!!!
She will be moving by the end of July 2000 and has
already had to give notice at her job in Phoenix that she
trained for all her life.
What a tragedy!
appreciation for your time.