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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Is Homeland Security Served by Denying Mexican Woman with Downs Syndrome from Visiting Disneyland?

Is Homeland Security Served by Denying Mexican Woman with Downs Syndrome from Visiting Disneyland?

LatinaLista — I often wonder if it was what God intended when He created earth — that man would divide and section off every piece of available space to claim as his own.

Somehow it goes against the logic of the “bigger picture.”

Yet, for children, and the young at heart, there are but a few places on the planet where the only borders that exist are the ones that keep out the daily troubles of war, poverty, and hunger from what has become an American icon — Disneyland.


(Source: octhen.com)

Passports to enter these magical places home to Mickey, Minnie, Cinderella, the Seven Dwarfs, etc. are the only ones that count for those who don’t understand the importance of keeping countries and people separate from one another.

That’s certainly the case with children and those who will eternally see life through childlike eyes.

Teru Rodriguez, a 27-year-old native of Durango, Mexico always dreamed of visiting the Magic Kingdom where for a short while she can be just like everyone else, instead of someone with Downs Syndrome.


Drawing of a child with Downs Syndrome
(Source: Heather Spears)

Yet, maybe it’s because she has Downs or the fact that she is from Mexico or maybe because she has a brother who is a U.S. citizen, whatever the reason, Teru was denied the chance to realize her dream of visiting Mickey’s birthplace by an American Consulate official at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez.

Teru and her mother made the 10-hour drive to the Consulate with all the necessary paperwork that they knew were needed: visa applications, a notarized letter from Teru’s father saying Teru and her mother had his permission to travel to the United States without him because he is in poor health, even a doctor’s note explaining about Teru’s disability and that she was released to travel outside of Mexico.

However, none of that mattered to the official who denied Teru and her mother on the grounds that Teru’s mother could not prove she would not go into the United States and abandon Teru.

When Teru’s mother pressed him for an explanation as to why he even thought this, she says he signaled for the guard to show them the exit.

According to a spokeswoman for the bureau of consular affairs with the State Department, every person who applies for a visitor’s visa must prove that they are going to return to their home country.

Teru’s mother, who is a retired elementary school teacher, says she has no reason to abandon her daughter in the United States. She and her husband are financially able to take care of their daughter and even have her attending a special school where she is learning how to better communicate.

The most troubling part of this situation is that the Consular official’s decision is permanent with no way to overturn it.

Teru really wants to come and see Mickey and Minne and like any good mother, Teru’s mother will try again to make her daughter’s dream come true. But it’s a $100 fee each time Teru and her mother re-apply and with nothing changing on the application, chances don’t look good that the outcome will be any different.

So in the meantime, Teru’s mother must pacify her daughter with the story of how the Magic Kingdom is in a nearby land guarded by creatures who decide which people can enter the Kingdom that was built for everyone to enjoy — except for those unlucky enough to be from the wrong side of the Kingdom’s border.

If it was really a matter of determining whether or not Teru’s mother was going to abandon her daughter, the issue could be solved very quickly: let only Teru travel into the United States and stay with her brother and his family who would be “authorized” to take his sister to Disneyland.

At the end of the stay, Teru’s brother would return her to the border to meet their mother. If Teru’s brother didn’t follow through with his end of the agreement, slap monetary sanctions against him.

He is already legal and from experience, no legal immigrant is going to blatantly jeopardize their citizenship status.

Solutions are so easy to come by if people are willing.

And in the process, the innocent don’t have to be hurt needlessly.

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