Kate Leslie is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Maria Cruz.
I am deeply saddened and angry to hear that a dear, kind MEXICAN man, who did outstanding work (painting) for us for well over a decade, has been deported. Deported. He's gone. He was arrested while renewing his work permit, something he had faithfully done for all the years he lived here. The government knew he lived here; immigration people knew he lived here. He paid taxes, went to church, made sure his children went to school and excelled, and was a positive addition to his community. Law abiding. Of course, first he had to spend 30 days in jail; they refused to allow him to leave until he agreed to immediately leave for Mexico, no stopping by home first. That meant he had to leave his wife and two school-age children at home in Taylors, SC. They are now by themselves and their father/husband is by himself in Mexico. This man paid his taxes every year; I know his income was reported because I reported it, faithfully, every year. I had the good fortune of meeting his wife and children while they Christmas shopped in Biltmore Park a couple of years ago. His wife was pleasant and friendly, just like he is, and spoke excellent English, even if she had a strong accent. Their two children, a boy and a girl, were polite, well-spoken (perfect English), and very obviously much loved and well cared for by their parents. The children had been well taught by their parents to shake hands with new people and say hello, very nice to meet you, which was charming. He spent more than $25,000, all the money they had, on an attorney in an effort to stay in this country where he hoped to raise his family. I hope the attorney did not squander their money, knowing all the while the effort was for naught, but I do wonder. This is a family I would be proud to have as next door neighbors. Now they have lost all of their money in a failed attempt to stay in the US, he's there, and they're here. He's trying to scrape some money together to reunite his family in Mexico. He's trying to find painting jobs in Mexico, but those jobs are not plentiful there like they are here. His children only know Taylors, SC, as their home. They were born here. Their first language is English. They are heartsick and terrified, and so am I. Not a proud moment. We are asking everyone to pitch in and help get back the $25,000 to Jose and, hopefully, raise more than that to cover future legal costs so that he can come home.