By Gustavo Martínez Contreras
A Mexican man will be finally able to travel to his 10-year-old son’s burial in Pennsylvania after immigration officials granted his request for humanitarian permission to enter the United States, according to a Facebook message from a representative of the law office representing him.
Fildemar Merlos López has been stranded near Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, for the past days after Customs and Border Protection officials denied his request for humanitarian permission to enter the country.
He traveled there soon after he found out that his son, Demian López, 10, had died in the March 27 fire that also killed his two cousins and his aunt in Shenandoah, Penn.
Merlos Lopez had been in Mexico for the last three years while his application for legal status after marrying Danielle Lopez, an American citizen was processing. Demian is Lopez’ son from a previous marriage.
After 15 years of living in Frackville, Penn., Lopez was detained for a traffic violation and wound up under Immigration and Customs Enforcement’ custody.
Lopez would later sign his voluntary departure and applied for resident status once he arrived in Mexico City.
“My son would ask me why I was away, but I never told him. I wanted to wait for him to grow up so he could really understand the reason why I had to go away”, Lopez told blog Mojado Citizen.
Lopez was on his way to the border early Sunday.
For the past seven years, Gustavo Martínez Contreras has written about immigrant communities in English, Spanish, and some Spanglish. His work has appeared in New York’s El Diario/La Prensa, Dallas’ Al Día, Philly’s own The Public School Notebook, Philadelphia Weekly, Radio Bilingüe, Latina Lista, Spot.us, among others. When he’s not writing for Mundo Hispánico in Atlanta, he’s devoting time to mojadocitizen.wordpress.com, a blog where he delves into immigration and other issues.