Texas Explosion Leaves Widowed Immigrant Mother Tangled in Red Tape

Texas Explosion Leaves Widowed Immigrant Mother Tangled in Red Tape

"When Sandra Villalobos left her home here in February to go to Mexico, the plan was to return with her 11-year-old daughter, who had been raised there, and a green card.  She brought her disabled 7-year-old daughter, Mariana, with her. Villalobos’ husband accompanied them for a short time and returned to West.  In three months, Villalobos hoped, they would all reunite in the United States.  The plan was to live here legally as an ordinary family of four, splurging on McDonald’s after Mass, dressing up for quinceañeras.  On April 17, that dream was shattered.  The West fertilizer plant explosion killed Villalobos’ husband, Mariano Saldivar, 57, along with 14 others.  It destroyed the family’s apartment and the white Chevy sedan they had paid off in December.  Then came another blow. When Saldivar died, the approved green-card petition for his wife was automatically revoked.  Now Villalobos’ quest for legal status, a difficult process even under the best circumstances, has become tangled in red tape." - Julieta Chiquillo, Dallas Morning News, Oct. 28, 2013.