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Señora Martinez has been in the U.S. from Guatemala, illegally, for 13 years. She does not speak, read or write English; neither is she literate in Spanish, having had only three years of formal education in her country.
Without question, she has not abided by U.S. immigration regulations.
As Willie Brown pointed out in his Feb. 3 letter ["Deportation no answer to immigration woes"], many would like to see her deported. OK, so she's put on a bus and sent south.
But at the Mexican-Guatemalan border, Señora Martinez has neither Guatemalan passport nor birth certificate, nor any form of documentation, and although the border patrol acknowledges that she speaks Spanish with a Guatemalan accent, they refuse to allow her into their country as an undocumented alien.
A minor setback; we'll just dump her on the doorstep of the Guatemalan ambassador in Washington, D.C., and let him handle it. Treating her with typical Latin courtesy because of her age, he, too, refuses to accept her into his country, because she has no documentation.
And never mind the humanitarian issue of the fact that, after 13 years, her home is here, not in Guatemala, with no friends or family left there to help her re-establish, even if she could be admitted to her native country.
To conservatives eager to deport her, I offer verses from one of their favorite books of Scripture, Leviticus: "When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt."