Join in the fight to stop the deportation of Ann Arbor resident Lourdes Salazar Bautista
Editor’s note: The following letter refers to efforts to stop the deportation of Lourdes Salazar Bautista, a long-term Ann Arbor resident and a mother of three, to her native Mexico.
Lourdes Salazar Bautista has lived across the street from me for over a decade. She’s a good neighbor and a good friend. I played with her children when they were little. They were at my house nearly every day. I’ve attended their parties, eaten with them, and we’ve helped each other out.
Lourdes is an extremely hardworking woman, and she has been working her fingers to the bone weekdays and weekends to pay her bills and to earn enough to pay the extraordinary legal fees some of the lawyers in this case have charged. Yet yesterday, in the midst of all this, she came over to my house because she’d heard I needed some help with something and offered the little bit of free time she had.
This is the kind of neighbor I think we all want. They are, without doubt, among the best neighbors I have ever had -- quiet, respectful, caring. They turned a run-down house into a nice one and put their heart and soul into repainting it both inside an out a couple of years ago. There are nine houses on my court. In the last year, two houses have been foreclosed on. One has been bought and is now occupied. The other continues to stand empty. We don’t need yet another empty home on our court.
Lourdes and her family pay their property taxes on time. They pay their bills on time. They are avid consumers --something the politicians say we need in our current economy -- but they don’t overextend themselves. In other words, they are an asset to this economy and community. Why, then, should we lose them?
I’ve told you some of the community-oriented reasons for why she should stay. There’s also the personal -- I truly care for this family and would be devastated to see them leave. They are my friends. They truly feel themselves citizens of Ann Arbor and want to remain here. Why shouldn’t they? They are an embodiment of the American dream that my ancestors come over here for in the 1800s. They came for a dream of a better life. Like my ancestors, they have achieved it through hard work. And in the process of achieving that dream, they have, like my ancestors, contributed to our national and local economies, to our local community, and to my neighborhood.
Please support Lourdes in her fight to stay in this country, a country she fully considers her own.