[See also: The Martha Lopez Story, by Allan Wall]
Recently, I wrote about the struggle of a Mexican woman, Martha Lopez, to get the American and Mexican governments to deport and/or help her extract support from her children's deadbeat dad, who had fled as an illegal alien to the U.S.
You might think Martha's plight would interest the AILA, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which bills itself "the professional organization for immigration lawyers." After all, this ringing sentiment is found on its website:
"It is easy to see that family reunification is the cornerstone of our legal immigration policy. It is truly one of the most visible areas in government policy in which we support and strengthen family values. We acknowledge that family unification translates into strong families who build strong communities. "
A cynic might note that, being immigration lawyers, they have a vested interest in maintaining high immigration rates.
This is true. But the folks at AILA also want themselves to be presented as the Good Guys who want to help immigrants, not the Bad Guys who want to make money off it.
Therefore its Immigration Myths And Facts section includes the subsection "America Is Immigration" (sic) which includes the paragraph I quoted earlier.
"[f]amilies can be reunited in two ways—the immigrant can always leave." P. 263
Martha Lopez saw this and sought aid from AILA.
The reply she received from AILA is so cold and hard-hearted, I have to share it with you.
Martha wrote to AILA seeking help on December 14th, 2003:
"I am sending you this e-mail from the Mexican city of Tijuana. For the past 13! Years I've been looking for an INS lawyer willing to fight on behalf of my interest and those of my son and my daughter in order to be heard by a Federal Judge to reverse the green-card legal status that was granted to the father of my two children, and have him repatriated back to Mexico. Please help me find someone to take my case and open a case on behalf of my interests before an INS court. [Raul's] stay inside the USA has been the source of a lot of pain for us!"
On December 15th, Josh Yeagley of AILA's ILRS [Immigration Lawyer Referral Service] [email him] sent this reply:
"I'm sorry, but this is not within the scope of AILA's interest in immigration law. Our mission is to help people in immigrating to the United States, and our members would not be interested in helping you to have the father of your children removed from the US, even if it's for humanitarian reasons. To be quite honest, I don't think there is any way that can actually force this man to return to Mexico if he is present in the US legally. If he's doing nothing illegal, then it's his choice to make.
Undeterred, Martha fired right back:
"The man I refer to (Raul) entered the USA ILLEGALLY, this means BREAKING THE LAW! How can you say that he has done nothing illegal? I can't see anything more illegal than this! How can your Institution put the interest of a male adult ahead of those of an innocent child? I'm sorry, but I don't get it! You mean to say that the legal and human rights of Mexican children are not important for you? That, as long as an individual wants to evade his responsibilities here in Mexico he will be welcome to the USA, assisted, oriented, defended, no matter how much harm he has done down the line to achieve his selfish goal of living in peace and comfort inside the USA? SHAME ON YOU AND YOUR MORALLY CORRUPTED INSTITUTION!
So Mr. Yeagley wrote back:
"OK, calm down. I understand your anger, and it's probably completely justified. If he entered the US illegally, then he may be deportable. In this case, you would have to contact the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly called the INS). Enforcement of immigration law is the role of the government of the United States, and AILA has no influence in that area of immigration law. You can reach the San Diego office of the BCIS at 619-557-5645. Now, you say that he has a green card, which implies to me that he is present in the US legally, whether or not he entered illegally. By saying that it may not be possible for you to bring him back to Mexico if he is unwilling, I wasn't meaning to say that he's right in abandoning you and your children, but rather that it may just not be legally possible, whether it's right or wrong.
"As for the rest of your message, I think you're reading too much into it. The fact that we are not capable of helping you hardly indicates we don't care about human rights and Mexican children. We just can't help you. A prosecuting attorney would not take a case as a defense lawyer, because it's not what he does. Likewise, an AILA member wouldn't take a case in trying to have a person deported because that's not what AILA does. It has nothing to do with whether your case is right or wrong, it's just not what members of AILA do.
"Now, more personally, I want to mention that you saying
"'SHAME ON YOU AND ON YOUR MORALLY CORRUPTED INSTITUTION' is a rather hurtful and negative thing to say. I'm happy to communicate with you and help you find out if there is anything you can do. If you're abusive, though, I won't respond to you from here on out."
Yeagley's admission is unintentionally devastating. AILA is an organization of immigration lawyers—therefore its raison d'être is to continue mass immigration. Why should we expect anything different?
The answer is obvious.
So why should AILA be taken seriously when it plays the compassion card?
American citizen Allan Wall wrote this story before leaving Mexico, where he had been living and working legally with an FM-2 residency and work permit, and where he is married to a Mexican woman and has two children. But his Texas-based Army National Guard Brigade, composed almost entirely of Americans of Mexican ancestry, was mobilized in August and he may be in Iraq for up to two years. His WORLDNET DAILY National Guard diary is archived here.