Born and raised in America, Rochester woman, children follow husband to Mexico

You can view this weekend’s story in the Rochester Post Bulletin as primarily a love story or a primarily a political story, but there’s no question that the heart is involved.

It chronicles Mary and Carlos Mejia, who were married in 2011. Carlos is an undocumented resident who came to the United States at age 17. Mary is a native who speaks no Spanish. Her family and friends are here. And she’s moving with her family to Mexico to escape the uncertainty of the U.S. crackdown on immigration and be reunited with her husband.

“It is our choice,” Mary tells the paper. “He wasn’t deported, but the lifestyle and the quality of life living here under the radar was horrible. So this kind of thing had to happen or something had to happen.”

So she’ll start over in a new country, wait 10 years, and then see if she can get her husband back into the country legally when she’s allowed to apply for a waiver for her husband.

It’s unlikely her job will be waiting for her when she comes back.

“I have been an office manager for over nine years for this company. I made a good living. I had great benefits. What happens when I come back?” she said.

After three apartment buildings near where the couple lived in Burnsville were raided by immigration authorities, Carlos left for Mexico.

She told her family at Thanksgiving that she and their children are leaving too.

“You catch us at the right moment, we’re going to melt on you,” Lois McGuire, Mary’s mother, said. Her husband recently burst into tears while holding his two-year-old granddaughter.

“We had not thought about all of this stuff. And how it is almost impossible for a Mexican person to get citizenship in the U.S,” Lois said.

“A couple of my friends have talked about how they view this as an incredible love story,” Lois said. “Mary likes to have things. I don’t know if she’s materialistic, but she likes nice things. And she has sold everything she owns, other than their clothes and toys, and is moving away from her family, which she is very close to … and to do this for this man.”

“That’s what is happening to a lot of families. They are being broken up,” Lois McGuire said. “I just don’t think that a border … Many of these people (supporting the immigration policies) are Christian, which I am, too, but I just don’t see where God would support all of this.”

Don’t read the comments.

  • MrE85

    “Don’t read the comments.”

    Always sage advice, outside the friendly confines of this blog.

    • I read the comments.

      So far it’s just two people spouting the “flouting America’s laws” diatribe. No racism…yet…

      • jon

        After the warning I was expecting much worse… and significantly more comments…

        But it looks like they use the facebook for their commenting system… real names tends to limit extremists positions…
        Thought I would have thought that public access to MN court systems, and real names combined would have put nearly a complete stop to the “flouting america’s laws” argument.
        Statistically 1/3rd of americans have an record with the FBI for criminal activity, and likely more have committed crimes that aren’t tracked by the FBI… it seems like a safe bet that any one posting online is a criminal of some sort… (particularly when the bar is set so low as a parking ticket. like it was in the article).

        • Real names — I have found — do NOTHING to stop absurd comments. It’s a myth.

          • Mike Worcester

            It was a nice theory at one point; that if people used real names rather that witty/obnoxious/puzzling handles, they would temper their comments out of fear of being shamed by their friends/co-workers/neighbors, etc. Unfortunately we — meaning those who wanted to believe in that theory — forgot about how base human nature could be. Yup, that theory worked out grand…

  • Mike

    The article should have included some information about the Mexican government’s policy toward non-citizen spouses. Won’t they potentially face the same problem there? I have no idea. But that’s a crucial bit of context that’s missing.

    • jon

      It should be easier for her to enter mexico legally and get the proper documentation at time of entry rather than trying to be converted from an illegal alien to a legal alien…

      Also she is married to a Mexican national so the first time she fills out her paperwork she should be able to get a permanent resident visa in Mexico… (or maybe she needs to get 2 years of temporary permits (renewed every 6 months) before she can get a permanent visa… I’m not entirely clear what I’m reading online.)

    • What context is it you think that provides to the story of her leaving? It might be an additional angle. But I’m not seeing why you think that’s missing context.

      • Mike

        The article is making a point about the strictness of U.S. immigration laws. That’s all fine and good, but it would be better in helping the reader form an opinion of those laws if it also made clear that *every* country has immigration laws, including Mexico. I know of no country that will just allow anyone to come from elsewhere and live, no questions asked.

        It may be that the requirements the Mexican government imposes on foreign spouses of citizens are light and inconsequential. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me to find out that they’re much less draconian than U.S. law. But the article misleads by omission of any of those details.

        • // The article is making a point about the strictness of U.S. immigration laws.

          No it’s not. Read the first sentence again.

          • Mike

            Yes, it is. The second sentence is actually more relevant given what follows.

            It’s not newsworthy that someone leaves the U.S. The whole point of the article is why they’re doing it. Thus, the reporter is obliged to explain further why Mexico is a better option for this family (assuming it actually is better) in the context of the two countries’ immigration laws. Otherwise, the article leaves the impression that Mexico doesn’t regulate immigration.

          • You’re telling me what the point is of a blog post *I* wrote? I see.

            What qualifies as interesting — you might call it ‘newsworthy’; I don’t — on a blog offering observations about things in the news is for *me* to determine. You’re free to agree or disagree but this blog has — for more than 10 years — focused primarily on the human aspect of things in the news and the choices that people have to make as a consequence of the environment and times in which they live.

            This post full qualifies. I’m assuming your judgement to agree or disagree is rooted in whether you agree with the politics surrounding it. That’s of far less interest to me.

          • Mike

            I was referring to the newspaper article.

  • AmiSchwab

    america the ???

    • Al

      Imperfect, in so many ways.

  • >>it is almost impossible for a Mexican person to get citizenship in the U.S,<<

    Why is this?

    • Barton

      “As part of a larger survey of Hispanic immigrants fielded in late 2015, Pew Research Center asked Mexican green-card holders why they had not yet become naturalized U.S. citizens. The most frequent reasons centered on inadequate English skills, lack of time or initiative, and the cost of the U.S. citizenship application. These appear to be significant barriers, as nearly all lawful immigrants from Mexico said they would like to become U.S. citizens someday.”

      Here is the whole article with much more detail:

      • Thanks for this information.

      • jon

        Green card holders have already passed a significant barrier immigration into the US, getting the green card.

  • AL287

    >>Many of these people (supporting the immigration policies) are
    Christian, which I am, too, but I just don’t see where God would support
    all of this.”<<

    God has taken his hand away and we are not doing very well. We were treading water before Trump was elected. Now we're drowning in the seven deadly sins—pride, lust, greed, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth.

    We need more "Christian" Americans practicing the seven virtues–faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, temperance, and courage, the absence of which are glaringly apparent in our current, Republican-controlled government.

    If you want to find, merciful, kind, charitable people, the last place you should look is in a church.

    God is not going to remember you sat in the front pew of the church every Sunday. He's watching what you do when you walk out the front door.

  • Guest

    Definitely a story of love and sacrifice.

    Sincere question since this applies in so many cases: What should have happened?