Deported Mexican Nurse Returns To Oakland
December 01, 2018, 10:06 PM
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No good deed goes unpunished as they say, and Saturday’s San Francisco Chronicle has a front-page story that shows immigration enforcement remains a joke. As I reported in August 2017 (Oakland Sob Story Spectacle Comes to an End), a job-stealing Mexican nurse was deported to her legal home. But now Maria Mendoza-Sanchez is back, thanks to help in high places, according to the Chron.

California’s Senator Feinstein has been a powerful supporter of the Mexican, even visiting her home last year with news cameras handy. Funny, I don’t recall the senator ever going to bat for crime victims of illegal aliens, even though Kate Steinle was killed by an illegal Mexican just a 3 1/2 miles from Feinstein’s mansion in Pacific Heights. Senator Feinstein certainly has made her priorities clear.

Mendoza will return to her former job in the Highland Hospital cancer ward — good luck to the patients.

Deported Oakland nurse given approval to return to the US, By Bob Egelko San Francisco Chronicle, November 30, 2018

A nurse who was separated from her children and deported to Mexico last year after more than two decades in Oakland has won her improbable fight to return to the United States.

Maria Mendoza-Sanchez said she got a phone call Friday morning from the U.S. Consulate in Mexico City saying her visa had been approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. She’s been staying with her sister in a town three hours from the capital and couldn’t make the drive Friday because of air-pollution restrictions, but plans to pick up the paperwork Monday. And a week or two later, she’ll be flying back to the Bay Area.

“This is amazing. … I could barely believe it,” said Mendoza-Sanchez, 47, whose story has been covered extensively in The Chronicle and elsewhere and has drawn support from local and statewide political leaders. They include Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. Staffers at Oakland’s Highland Hospital, where Mendoza-Sanchez worked as an oncology nurse, held a rally to protest her deportation.

After hearing the news Friday, her first call was to her four children in Oakland. “I told them to wake up,” she said, “I asked them to gather in one room, and I told them, ‘Mommy’s coming home.’ They were very happy. I said, ‘Get ready for school.’”

The journey home required a winning ticket in a visa lottery this spring, then a series of approvals from agencies in a Trump administration that has taken an increasingly hard line on immigration from Latin America. The visa is an H-1B, reserved for skilled workers such as nurses in hospital cancer wards.

The timing of Friday’s call came as a surprise, because a consular official had told Mendoza-Sanchez this week that she would probably get a final decision in about a month.

“I think because of all of the pressure (from politicians and the public), they sped it up,” said her immigration lawyer, Camiel Becker.

Feinstein said Friday she had met with Mendoza-Sanchez and kept in close contact with her children over the past year. (Continues)