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  1. #1
    Senior Member butterbean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    A Threat? U.S. Keeps 70-Year-Old Mother Out ... 1783505040

    Sunday, June 26, 2005
    A Threat? U.S. keeps 70-year-old mother out

    By Scott Sexton

    Norma Hager is hurting and could use a little help around the house. She was nailed head-on by a drunken driver while headed to her job at a direct-mailing center about 5 a.m. on June 4. Hager suffered a lacerated liver and a fractured sternum, and had to have emergency surgery at Baptist Hospital. She spent five days in intensive care and five more recovering in a regular room.

    She and her husband, Geoff, have two small kids at home. After her discharge, she needed a hand. Their church helps some. Geoff Hager does what he can, but he's got to work. The bills don't stop coming because of an emergency.

    So Norma Hager did what anybody else would. She tried to get her mother to visit.

    There's just one small problem. Her mother, Angeles Ruiz-Barrera, lives in Acapulco, Mexico. She can't just hop in a car.

    Ruiz-Barrera did the next best thing, however, by climbing onto a bus and taking a day's ride to Mexico City to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at the U.S. Embassy. When she arrived, she was asked two questions: Do you work? Where do your kids live?

    Ruiz-Barrera explained the situation. She provided proof of her ties to Mexico. Letters from a doctor describing Hager's injuries, from a social worker and from Geoff Hager were faxed to the embassy.

    It seemed like a formality. Ruiz-Barrera would soon be on her way.

    But no. A consular officer stepped out of the room and returned with a form letter that denied Ruiz-Barrera and crushed Norma Hager.

    "She's heartbroken and tore up," Geoff Hager said. "We were told this happens all the time. We thought it would be a rubber-stamp deal."


    Nothing comes easy when you're dealing with the government. Still, you'd think an emergency visa wouldn't be that hard to come by.

    When Geoff Hager got hold of the denial letter, he got busy. He called U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and U.S. Rep. Mel Watt. He contacted the U.S. Department of State and anybody else he could think of writing.

    Burr's staff sent a letter to the State Department recommending approval for Ruiz-Barrera's visa. Watt's staff called the National Visa Center.

    The result? Nada. Nothing.

    The letter handed to Ruiz-Barrera is a joke. It warbles on about the applicant's need to visit the United States and to prove strong ties to Mexico that show the applicant will return to her homeland and not try to stay here.

    Ruiz-Barrera is 70. She has 11 children, seven of whom live in Mexico.

    That wasn't enough.

    "Today's decision cannot be appealed," the rejection letter from the Embassy says. "We recommend that you wait at least six months before applying again."

    A threat?

    Trying to get an explanation from a human being at the State Department or the National Visa Center is an exercise in futility - even for members of Congress.

    As of Friday afternoon, Watt's office was still waiting to hear back, two days after making an inquiry.

    So we're left to assume that the consular officer - whose name isn't close to legible on Ruiz-Barrera's letter - thinks a 70-year-old woman is a threat to national security or somehow will neglect to return to Mexico.

    And even if she did overstay her visa, so what? Can somebody seriously think she'd take somebody else's job or figure a way to swindle Social Security?

    Norma Hager is still sore; she's so groggy she can barely talk on the phone. It's no wonder the Hagers are frustrated.

    "You can see shots of hundreds of Mexicans crossing the border illegally," Geoff Hager said. "But try and get somebody in legally for a legitimate reason."

    Like caring for an injured daughter.

    • Scott Sexton can be reached at 727-7481 or at

    The point is, if we let one 70 yr old mother in, we will be bombarded with requests to allow more and more. She is illegal, and has to be treated like other illegals. No exceptions, however how cruel it may seem. Is the daughter illegal too? Have her go to Mexico to have her mother take care of her there.
    RIP Butterbean! We miss you and hope you are well in heaven.-- Your ALIPAC friends

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  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 1970


    What a slap in the face to Americans every where who try to do something legally!

    Oh puleezzeeee!!!!!!!

    My friend who is an American citizen (originally from Costa Rica) and has been for over 25 years got re-married last year. When she went to renew her driver's license in November of last year with her new last name, they gave her such a hard time at NCDMV, she finally just left with the old last name since her license was not expired.

    If she had been trying to get a real fake NCDL, she would have been approved immediately. It makes no sense. She was an American citizen so they treated her like a criminal for doing what the law requires. her husband who is a very WEALTHY man here, went in the next day, oxygen tank and all, and raised hell with them until she got her new license in her new last name. She had all the proper information they requested but they just kept giving her the runaround -- for some reason I cannot fathom.

    This is a true story because I called them on the first day, spoke with a supervisor and asked what she would need before she left specifically so she would have no problems. She had every thing she needed plus extra items. It must have been the extra stuff that threw them off. Too much documentation!

  3. #3
    JackSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970


    If Norma Hager's mother in Mexico cannot produce a hefty bank account she probably will not get a visa to visit. If she gets SICK while HERE who picks up the tab? This issue is paramount for the StateDepartment when granting any visa...that the immigrant will not become a ward of the state. This is good!

    Those DOS officials are like Gods and your senator or Congressman are really powerless...this is good really because do you want a system where
    your Congressman can order a consular official to give a visa for no reason...

    This reporter is another bleeding hearted liberal who wants a feel good feel bad story......we don't know what papers Ruiz Barerra submitted do we....

    With the amount of fraud going on those consular officials have to be careful and after 9-11 they will be fired IF they let the wrong people in...

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