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Memo From Mexico | The Martha Lopez Story
You're not likely to hear about Martha Lopez in a mainstream media story about immigration. It's not that the media don't like sad stories about immigration. It's just that Martha Lopez's story does not fit the stereotype.
Unoriginal and derivative, the typical immigration story follows the same format. Poor Mexicans struggle to move to the U.S. illegally. They "live in the shadows." And then some heartless xenophobe seeks to deport them.
There now—don't you feel ashamed ever to question open borders?
But VDARE.com exists to give you the other side of the coin—what you don't hear in the mainstream media. For example, the devastation caused by mass emigration here in Mexico
Specifically, in this case, the devastation caused by deadbeat dad Mexicans who abandon their families to become illegal aliens in the U.S.
That doesn't fit the media stereotype. So it's not reported.
But Martha Lopez is a determined woman. She has spent years lobbying both the U.S. and Mexico's governments. As part of her one-woman campaign, she has even appeared as a guest on the Terry Anderson Show.
Martha Lopez wants the authorities to deport her children's deadbeat dad to Mexico.
Martha Lopez supplied me invaluable information for this article. She wants her story to be told.
Non-marital cohabitation is so common in Mexico that a sort of quasi-legal status is accorded to it—not complete marriage, but the state of "concubinato" (concubinage). Raul Jimenez and Martha started living together in 1979. In 1980 Raul officially listed here as his "concubine" on a government document.
The couple had two children.
In 1993, Raul decided to take Martha and the children and move to the U.S. His plan—enter the U.S. illegally. Then he and Martha would work, while separating the children and farming them out to relatives in California. (Family re-unification?)
The plan was partially put into operation. First Raul entered illegally, and then Martha. But the kids stayed with a grandmother and never made it.
The couple later returned to Mexico.
In 1994, Raul decided simply to abandon Martha and the children and go to the U.S. again.
He never contacted the family, never sent money. Raul was aided in all this by his brother Fernando.
The story is certainly not untypical; see my article Deadbeat Dads Don't Stop At The Rio Grande.
But in this case, Martha decided to fight. She tried all sorts of things. She visited the U.S. Embassy in Mexico and the office of the SRE (Mexican Foreign Ministry). She petitioned the INS, demanding that it find and deport Raul on the grounds that that he was an illegal alien in the United States.
On the Mexican side, the SRE (Foreign Ministry) refused to help her.
When she went to petition them, she was literally laughed at.
This is the same SRE that issues matricula consulares in the United States, by the way. But the Mexican government is not interested in helping Mexicans negatively impacted by emigration in Mexico.
Then Martha left her children with her mother and went to California herself.
She finally located Raul, discovering his whereabouts from tips provided by other California illegal aliens from Raul's home village. (Mexican illegal aliens tend to congregate with Mexicans from their home town or family).
After Martha discovered Raul's location, she reported it to the INS and again asked them to deport him.
Despite the fact that she gave INS his exact location, the agency did not deport Raul.
As Martha describes it:
"For all the harm he's done to us, since the day of his second illegal entry to the US, Raul has had all the support and applauses of the American government through INS and the demagogy of the left-wing [AW note: and right-wing] politicians as his reward. Since 1994, I have begged, cried, jumped, sent letters, faxes, e-mails and constructed web pages for the INS with the expectation of having them repatriate Raul back to us."
And, of course, the INS did nothing.
But Martha did get some help from the San Diego District Attorney. He located Raul and opened a child support case. IN 1995, the San Diego DA actually assigned Raul child support payments of $125 per child ($250 total)—not much, but better than nothing and at least a recognition of the situation.
As for Raul's migratory status, he rectified that by—getting married! Raul married Luz Vilafana (who had also entered the U.S. illegally), and this halted his deportation.
If Martha and Raul had been legally married years earlier in Mexico, she would have had an easier time of it. As my VDARE.com colleague Juan Mann explained to me
"Assuming Martha and he were married, Martha's man could NOT legally be a beneficiary of an immigrant (family) marriage petition filed by an American woman, since he is already legally married. Since our immigration policy doesn't (yet) encourage bigamy, he would be ineligible for an immigrant visa if married to two women at once. Shacking up with Martha leaves him open to file again in the US with another woman."
"US law doesn't recognize concubine status or any type of non-existent foreign 'common law' status. It's marriage or nothing...!"
That's pretty clear and I agree with that policy. But there is still no doubt that Raul Jimenez abandoned his children and the mother of his children—whatever their legal status was.
Anyway, Martha was not giving up. From Mexico and sometimes in California, she continued the fight to have Raul deported.
Raul got tired of paying child support—so for a few months at the end of 1996 and the beginning of 1997, he quit working so he wouldn't have to pay it!
Some more of those Hispanic family values!
Raul had also been ignoring several summonses to appear in family court, until ordered to provide Martha with his telephone number and address.
Having accomplished something at last, Martha returned to Mexico to be with her children.
The Martha Lopez story shows us that, despite the rhetoric, today's immigration disaster is wreaking havoc on Mexican women and children.
Just one more example of the familial devastation that emigration exacerbates here in Mexico.
American citizen Allan Wall has been living and working legally in Mexico, where he held an FM-2 residency and work permit and is married with two children. But his Texas Army National Guard Brigade, where he serves in a unit composed almost entirely of Americans of Mexican ancestry, has been now mobilized and may be in Iraq for up to two years.