You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 10:30 a.m.

Join in the fight to stop the deportation of Ann Arbor resident Lourdes Salazar Bautista

By Letters to the Editor

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.

Linda Kurtz
Ann Arbor


Annette Smith

Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 5:31 p.m.

Why all of the hate especially at this time of year? Don't you think that if Lourdes and her family could have come legally they would have? Don't you think that living in fear of losing everything everyday for 14 years was a high price to pay for a better life for your family? Would you not do anything you could for your children? The immigration system is broken in so many ways. Yes coming in legally would be the wish of so many, but that is not an option. Let's put our energy into fixing the broken system instead of breaking up families. And to those who complain that these illegals take American's jobs, have you ever had to find employees to work long hours for little pay and actually care about the job they do? Not to say every Mexican is a great worker or every American not, but in areas like Ann Arbor do you think a college student or graduate would cook in a restaurant or clean a hotel room? Landscape the many businesses or do construction in inclement weather? Instead of being angry let's try to find a solution and remember God does not like ugly. Lourdes is a dear friend of mine and she is an example of what is happening to good people in our country. Pedophiles, murderers and rapists need taking care of before a mother trying to raise her children.

James Anderson

Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 10:32 a.m.

We need strong controls over immigration. But how serious are we with 11 million living here, holding jobs and driver's licenses, enrolling their children in our schools, and providing them social services? These people are known. L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa suggests we change how we enable them to make a home in our country: "When you bring people from out of a black-market economy to a free-market economy …that comes with legalization, we actually all benefit." We would benefit from Mrs. Bautista staying here: young immigrant workers provide new consumer spending, improves innovation, and start new business. Don't believe fear mongers' who promote "lifeboat economics," suggesting adding someone new to the "boat" or economy risks the livelihood of someone already here. Yes, 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. At the same time, low-skilled workers allow employers to create higher paid positions to others. Latino immigrants provide the majority of the growth in the US population. Michigan would have seen a net decline in population over the last decade, if not for the influx of Latinos. Our Michigan Governor says it the best: "Today, talent has surpassed other resources as the driver of economic growth." I'm fortunate to know many Latino immigrants in town. They are very self sufficient, hard working, kind, loyal, and caring people. Mrs. Bautista is no different. Given how much "get up and go" they have to follow their dream for a prosperous and better future, they certainly can have a positive an impact on our community. We can turn this situation into a blessing by adding a productive tax-paying citizens to grow our economy and make America's future stronger. A mother who has raised three children (all US citizens) is worthy of efforts to help her gain lawful residency. I wholeheartedly applaud efforts to keep Mrs. Bautista in Michigan.


Mon, Dec 12, 2011 : 3:02 a.m.

She is an illegal. I can't blame her for wanting to be here, but it needs to be done so LEGALLY. Microsoft, Google, and Apple all complaint that there aren't enough visas for highly trained software engineers, yet we allow the undocumented and untrained stay here in this country and consume our social services? In Texas, they even get state tuition! (not sure about Michigan) PLEASE SEND HER HOME TO HER OWN COUNTRY!

Sam Conley

Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 2:25 p.m.

I Just Have One Question? If Ms Bautista was Arabic would you fight this hard to keep her here in the United States?


Mon, Dec 12, 2011 : 11:52 a.m.

Of course. Is your bias showing through by even asking this question?

Daniel Soebbing

Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 11:11 p.m.

I'd support her!


Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 3:45 a.m.

Did Mayflower come to US legally?

Tex Treeder

Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 5:23 a.m.



Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 3:15 a.m.

Why do we even have rules about where people can live? Seriously. If you pay your bills and contribute, why can't people just live wherever the hell they want? I couldn't care less if this woman has papers or passed a test so she can prove she knows hen Lincolns birthday is or if she paid her entry fee.

Usual Suspect

Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 3:44 a.m.

So, how many do we allow to come here? A million per year? Ten million per year? 50 million per year? Is there any number that's too many for you, or should it be unlimited?


Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 3:39 a.m.

I don't know about all rules. We would have to discuss each rule individually. It's just that in the big picture, people have warred, died, argued, pissed, moaned, cried, and bored me to tears with this I can live here you cant because you haven't waited long enough or passed the quiz BS. Who cares. Charge them a fee, get them on the tax train and move on to the next drama in your life.

Usual Suspect

Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 3:20 a.m.

Why do we even have rules at all?

Momma G

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

Maybe we could start "trading" our criminals who don't seem to cherish their freedom in America for these "responsible" illegal immigrants and help them become American citizens. Let these criminals go to another country and see how well they like it.

David Briegel

Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 1:17 a.m.

Can we start with some Banksters? Or the criminals who hire "illegals"?

Usual Suspect

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 9:11 p.m.

If you come here by legal means we welcome you. If you cheat, you lose.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 8:22 p.m.

Unlike the majority of posters on this site, many of us would like to help this family. Please let us know what we can do.

Usual Suspect

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 10:36 p.m.

We all want to help her. Some of us believe the best way to help is to welcome her through the legal process. This will help her understand our laws and learn to respect them, which is a very healthy way to begin working toward citizenship.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

Give her some money to help offset her travel costs back to her country of origin. Go Green Go White


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 7:11 p.m.

My husband was deported a year ago, and I understood that it was a risk when I met him. Even though my family dates back to Ellis Island, I am making my final arrangements for my two children and I to move to Mexico so we can be a family. And that means selling my home and leaving my job. While the immigration system is one that is broken, I also knew he broke the law. Period. Yes it was devistating, and yes, I can understand why people come here, but it is illegal. Take responsibility for your actions. There never will be any agreement to a solution to this problem, but from an "insider" there are many flaws both from the governement and from the people who chose to come illegally. I believe in stricter immigration laws and also stricter deportation laws; and consistant follow through. There is a lack of follow through on some of these cases that is a huge problem. Our lawyer, who has been practicing for 30+ years flat out told us that some cases just depend on the mood of the judge. If we start making exceptions, then where does it end? Don't even get me started on public assistance... As for paying taxes, she may not be using a Social Security Number. The IRS will issue an Individual Tax ID Number (ITIN) to anyone who applies regardless of resident status and that can be used to file income taxes.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 7:08 p.m.

There but for the grace of God go I. This woman sounds like someone we would all be privileged to know. I often wonder why I was born in this wonderful place with all of my opportunities, while others suffer every day. It isn't fair. But I too must say that she needs to return to her home country with her children. It is so ironic that the richest man in the world is in Mexico.


Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 4:33 a.m.

Carlos Slim Helu & family Net Worth $63.3 B As of November 2011 Follow Carlos Slim Helu & family 1141 At a Glance Title: Chairman, Telmex Age: 71 Source: telecom, self-made Residence: Mexico City, Mexico Country of Citizenship: Mexico Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico Marital Status: Widow Children: 6

Hot Sam

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 11:25 p.m.

I was attempting to point out that Just has a good point about Mexican wealth. I would love to know why my post was removed... Mexico has a great amount of wealth, and certainly could take care of her own... I believe that the political situation there forces many into extreme poverty and that we become their defacto welfare state... I believe this is relevant to any discussion regarding immigration...

Tex Treeder

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 6:36 p.m.

I'm curious. Other than an appeal to emotion or sentiment, what legal basis is Ms Bautista using to appeal deportation?

Daniel Soebbing

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

The previous article stated that she made a deal with immigration officials when her husband was deported that would allow her to remain in the United States indefinitely. I don't know if any evidence of such a deal has been presented. But if the INS (or homeland security, I don't know who deals with this stuff any more) did make such a deal, it would seem that Ms Bautista has at least the word of the federal government on her side. I don't know if an agreement made with officials trumps the letter of the law, but at least it gives her an argument, if it turns out to be true.

Daniel Soebbing

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 6:20 p.m.

Thanks Linda. Sounds like Lourdes is a great person and an asset to this community. She doesn't fit the racist stereotype of immigrants that come to this country and abuse the system that so many commenters on this blog cling to. I would love to lend a hand to support this woman and her family in any way that I can.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 6:17 p.m.

The real issue here is our immigration laws and the need for reform. I several decades ago worked in immigration law and dealt with the Immigration and Naturalization Service on a regular basis. It was one of the most complex and intimdating bureaucracies created by humankind. Immigrants are typically unsophisticated people who try to get in this nation for economic reasons. I had been no fan of the INS but had some degree of sympathy for those wanting to come here to seek a better life. I discovered there was little justice in our immigration laws. There are convicted narcotics dealers who cannot be deported because their home country will not accept them. There are those legal aliens who are convicted of minor crimes who face deportation and are deported. There have been Acts of Congress in the past to make exceptions for certain individuals to stay despite being deportable. While I sympathize somewhat for this lady, think of the Mexican families who obeyed the law and went through the cumbersome application process and are still waiting to get in the U.S. Lourdes I assume may have been aware she may be violating the law when she came to this country; she likely knew and took the risks as a savvy and calculating individual. If an immigration judge finds grounds for relief or an Act of Congress allows for an amnesty program that covers Lourdes then more power to her. Over the last 130 years there have been millions of immigrants who came to America who stood in her shoes and faced the prospect of deportation despite leading a seemingly honorable life in this nation . I had handled dozens of similar cases myself. It is Lourdes' story that should compel Americans to seek immigration law reform.

David Briegel

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 5:48 p.m.

We bend the law by allowing her employer to deprive an American of a job. That law matters to NONE of the posters on Imagine that?


Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 3:59 a.m.

Mr Briegel You chose over and over again to ignore, forget, pass over the times when posters have explicitly condemned hiring illegals. Just so that I won't have to read those words again, I'll go on record as definitively condemning that practice. There, I hope I drove a stake through the heart of that drivel.

Hot Sam

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

Well Dan...perhaps you could enlighten us as to what that has to do with my comment?

Daniel Soebbing

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 8:02 p.m.

Well, Hot Sam, let me be the first to say it. I see absolutely nothing wrong with any employer that hires undocumented immigrants as long as they pay a fair market wage and pay their taxes.

Hot Sam

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 7:44 p.m.

"""That law matters to NONE of the posters on Imagine that?""" Dave...perhaps you should start another thread...I can't seem to find any where that these posters have said it is OK to hire illegals...

Daniel Soebbing

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 7:44 p.m.

Good question bunnyabbot. I would question the point of immigration laws in particular, but there are probably others that I would find equally misguided or misapplied.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 7:25 p.m.

"Compassion is a lot more important than sticking to the letter of the law." Than what is the point of having any laws

Daniel Soebbing

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 7:02 p.m.

What I'm saying is that anyone that does any work anywhere is contributing to the system. The more economic activity there is the more jobs there will be. It's basic macroeconomics 102. When people earn money they spend it. When people spend money it helps to pay the salaries of other people that are working. The more money that is spent the more jobs there are. Also people that do work help their employers to generate revenue, some of which they invest in capital investments. Of course there is unemployment because the system doesn't work perfectly and not all people that want work are always able to find it, nor do people seeking working always have the correct skills to fill the available jobs, nor are they willing to accept certain jobs due to the type of work or the pay that is given. But it isn't as if there are a set number of jobs in the economy at any given time, and that if one person takes a job it will mean that another person will be unable to find work.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 6:50 p.m.

Daniel, please explain that theory for me. Are you saying that her current job wouldn't be necessary if she wasn't here to do it? Or that it would remain unfilled if she wasn't here? Or that the person doing it wouldn't have consumed as much as she has?

Daniel Soebbing

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 6:22 p.m.

Compassion is a lot more important than sticking to the letter of the law. Doesn't sound like she is depriving anyone of a job according to any economic theory that I've ever heard of. She is creating capital and jobs through her labor. More people will be employed because of her work and consumption over the last 14 years.

David Briegel

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

What number did the employer use to properly pay the required taxes?


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 5:36 p.m.

People who support illegals are Naive at best.

Daniel Soebbing

Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 2:28 p.m.

Immigration is a victimless crime, thus I don't see why it should be aggressively prosecuted. I understand that the majority of countries try to control the movement of people across their borders. That doesn't make it right. I am philosophically opposed to the idea that people should be prevented from moving where they choose to while corporations are allowed to move where they like. Remember, rich Mexicans can go back and forth across the border with impunity. It's only the poor that face restrictions on their movement. I view this as an element of class warfare.


Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 3:55 a.m.

Mr Soebbing Virtually every country on the face of the earth deports illegals. In fact, I know of not a single one that knowingly allows illegals to remain. Now if every other country enforces their laws, then why shouldn't we? Also, expound, if you will, the notion of wasting resources. I suppose we should expend resources to hunt down and capture rapists, bank robbers and the like. That seems straighforward. But, in your paradigm, certain laws are just not worthy 'wasting resources' on. Is there a list of these such laws that you would add this one to?

Daniel Soebbing

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 7:41 p.m.

Nice straw man argument!


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 7:23 p.m.

Well Daniel, with that kind of thinking any resources used to bring anyone to judgement for any crime would be naive, I suppose than we shouldn't prosecute anyone for any crime, not murder, rape, child pronography. Certainly not if the person who commeted the crime is a good neighbor with children.

Daniel Soebbing

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 6:23 p.m.

People who waste resources deporting illegals are naive at best.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 5:26 p.m.

Lourdes does in fact seem like an asset to the community. If we were ever going to bend the law, she may be the one to do it for. But once you start bending the law, where do you stop? How do you deport anyone else once you let her stay? She should be treated the same as any other lawbreaker that eludes capture for 14 years does.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 5:18 p.m.

" They truly feel themselves citizens of Ann Arbor and want to remain here. Why shouldn't they? " Well, they are not citizens of Ann Arbor, Michigan or the USA. They stole their way into this country and are not law abiding in any form or fashion. She and her children should be deported. Just because her kids were born here does not make it right that they be giving citizenship, that law needs to change immediately. If they want to be with their mom, then they can move back to Mexico. Deport her now ! Good Day

Sam Conley

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

Why is it that everyone should sorry for someone who came here illegally then provided forged documents to hide her illegal status, If the person who wrote the piece to keep that Illegal alien here had someone waiting to come here to America legally I would think she would look at the situation differently. Also why, is it that just because someone has Gamed the system and all of us that the things she has done to stay here illegally are any less illegal? Example if I forged papers to work? to Lie to Social Security? To Get A drivers License? False Papers has to Whom I am to send my kids to school? Income Taxes to the State and Federal Goverment? wouldnt there things alone get you into trouble? they would for you or me but not her? or the many others like her? I'm sorry Miss Lourdes Salazar Bautista Please get back in line.In your Country.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 4:58 p.m.

I saw in the previous article that her husband has already been deported to Mexico. As a parent, I would want my children to have their father in their lives. Going back to Mexico is the only way for that to happen at this point in time. Feeling sorry for her children has nothing to do with the law. There is a legalization process, and for whatever reason, Lourdes and her husband did not follow it.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 4:53 p.m.

The story says she's a resident of Ann Arbor, which isn't possible, since she's here illegally. Deport her and stop wasting our money in court. In the 1800's people came here through LEGAL immigration, not illegally.


Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 3:24 a.m.

Okay, resident illegal alien, happy? The American Indian homeland security agency would probably mean that there wouldn't be any Native's around in today's world. The surviving Natives surrendered to the US Government, an opposing force would have been destroyed.

David Briegel

Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 1:22 a.m.

It's really a shame that native American Homeland Security wasn't more effective!


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

"In the 1800's people came here through LEGAL immigration" That's because there were no real rules blocking entry until the 1900s.... if there had been your immigrant ancestors might have been in Lourdes position

Anthony Clark

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 8:44 p.m.

I believe you are confusing "resident" and "citizen". "Resident" simply means you live here. If she resides in Ann Arbor, she is a resident of Ann Arbor. She cannot be a citizen of Ann Arbor as cities do not issue citizenship. Only nations do that. You would be correct in saying that she is not a citizen of the United States, but that is not what you said. Do yourself a favor and make sure you know what you are talking about before you go spouting off again.

Tex Treeder

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 4:42 p.m.

"A country she fully considers her own." But it isn't hers. If I immigrated to Mexico, I presumably would have to follow their laws about immigration or force deportation. Successfully hiding her status for 14 years doesn't make it any less illegal. Not once in the past 14 years did she try to legalize her status here? I truly feel sorry for her kids, but that's not the point.

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 4:37 p.m.

This country would be nothing if not for immigration. The problem here is that we have a process - probably the most generous and welcoming process in the entire world - for bringing new people into the country. She cut in line. She took the place of someone who followed all the rules, but may still be waiting for the opportunity to live here. She should not be rewarded for that selfish act.


Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 1:14 p.m.

I read the comments on the previous article. They mirrored comments on this one is heaping tons of scorn on the woman; conservative posters led the league in that category. To say the comments involve "disapproving illegal employment" is deceptive - the comments certainly disapprove of the illegal employee, but what was said about the employer? Imagine that the federal government started an aggressive, nationwide series of prosecutions against businesses that hire undocumented workers. On the nightly news we saw business owners, large and small, in handcuffs and heading off to prison. Safe to say there might not be 11 million undocumented in the nation, because businesses would be far less likely to hire.


Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 3:48 a.m.

northside Repeating the mantra that conservatives are silent on the issue of employers is getting really, really, really stale. All you have to do is go back to the previous article to prove yourself wrong. A number of different conservative posters have gone on record as disapproving illegal employment. Consider this yet another conservative who, as an employer, will never hire an illegal. Satisfied?


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 10:39 p.m.

If the wrath of conservatives was equally intense toward businesses that hire undocumented workers, situations like this one would be rare. Business loves cheap and powerless labor and conservatives are silent on that end. But maybe tackling the issue from that angle would cut too close to home?

Ron Granger

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 4:16 p.m.

This piece fails to mention and ignores that she is in the country illegally. Why hasn't she followed the formal path to becoming a citizen? You say she pays taxes, but what social security number does she use?