CLEVELAND - There is a lot of buzz surrounding the story of an illegal immigrant from Mexico who was deported on Tuesday morning. Jesus Lara-Lopez lived in Willard, Ohio with his wife and four children. He lived in American for 16 years, worked, paid taxes and owned his home. Yet, he was sent back to Mexico.
There are many who are critical about his story. Some of them – immigrants themselves, those who came here legally.
Suzana Lowrie’s West Side neighborhood is a world away from war-torn Bosnia. That’s the world she escaped in the early 90’s. She lived as a refugee in several different countries. Then, she met her American husband through a newspaper ad. They married in Serbia in 1998, but she couldn’t come right away.
“They check for AIDS, for all sexually transmission diseases, and for tuberculosis,” she said.
She underwent health and criminal background checks. She filled out endless paperwork so her and her daughter from a previous marriage could come legally.
“It’s not like so difficult, you know. You’re just following the rules, you know,” Lowrie said.
She arrived six months after her husband. Now, 19 years later, she’s given birth to three daughters and works as a seamstress. She did not feel sympathy when she saw Jesus Lara’s story of deportation.
“Offended, because I went through legal process. It cost me money. It cost me time,” she said. “It’s hard. I not like to live in Mexico. I not like to live in my country, that’s why I came here, but it’s legal way, it’s right way.”
Lowrie has so far passed on gaining full citizenship and continues to renew her green card. She feels American, with pride, having done everything by the book.
“This is how work in America. You’re welcome, but, you need to respect our rules. If you don’t like it then don’t come,” Lowrie said.
Since she’s not a full citizen, Lowrie cannot vote, but her kids can. Her oldest daughter voted in her first election in November and cast her ballot for Donald Trump.
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