Julio Reyes was a good father and husband to his family, caring deeply for their welfare — even though his own experience as a child was one of abandonment and exploitation. He worked from dawn until dark to provide for their needs.

He was in the unfortunate position of being undocumented, and was also denied access to even an elementary education. In a confrontation with the police, his confusion and lack of understanding led to resistance, turning a traffic stop into a felony.

The result is that his wife and children may never see him again. After 47 years as a de facto citizen of Taos, deportation will throw a good man into a world he is unequipped to deal with.

Although he is undocumented, he was a good citizen. The law declares he must pay the price of expulsion. Legally, this is so, but in this case it is a true miscarriage of justice.

Condemning him to separation from those dear to him for his remaining years is surely not a just answer to the problem of illegal migration. I hope that justice in such cases might be tempered with compassion for circumstances.

Mary Lowe


(7) comments


Well, Mary... let's take it from the top. To begin with, Reyes was not a "citizen". Webster's base definition of citizen - a native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection (distinguished from alien). Reyes went out of his way for 47 YEARS refusing to become a citizen. This wasn't out of "confusion and misunderstanding". He intentionally and knowingly had a false social security number. Hopefully you'll never discover your SSN has been hacked and used by numerous individuals living outside the law. If you doubt the facts and how they apply to the real world, go to another country... pick one... any one... and do the same thing. You'll find that the country of your choice deals with it as seriously if not more so.

Nor was Reyes law-abiding. "Good" citizens aren't carrying false identifications and illegal firearms.

This seems to be a point of confusion for liberals. People aren't owed citizenship simply because they've lived outside the law for decades and never been caught. The only two people responsible for this situation are Reyes and his equally guilty wife. They were reckless and irresponsible in all of their decisions to willfully violate the law. Now they can live with the consequences.


RedStateDave, you are very correct. I do agree with you totally, what goes around comes around, or vice versa. This is what Karma does to people who think they can get away with a lot.

Linda Bence

If he worked from dawn to dusk, why doesn't he have any records to prove that he has paid taxes? If he hasn't paid taxes, then he has been freeloading off those of us who do. Who has employed him "under the table" and shouldn't this man be charged? the it Did he have health insurance that paid for the care of his kids and himself or did we all pay that for him as well? Whose Social Security number did he use? Why did his wife tear it up? Whose identity did he steal? The definition of law abiding is muddled here.


I absolutely think Linda Bence and Red State Dave are wrong. I am an American citizen, a first born in this country. I am Spanish. This country was made from the blood of my people and many others. The bells and whistles, the abusive immigration laws, the arrogant attitude of those people who consider themselves Americans and who think they deserve more because they were able to jump through hoops, or had family or monies that helped them jump through hoops is not acceptable. I am furious about your rant of "taxes" and "SS#'s"...being an American I know so many who call themselves citizens here in this country that cheat on taxes, manipulate monies and abuse the poor who perpetrate the slave labor in this country. People like Linda Bence and Red State Dave are dangerous promoters of racism and arrogance in this society...

JuanIsidro -ThaPoet- Concha

@ Taostaosart, the guy broke the law, plain and simple... This isnt about race. But it most certainly can be if you want to start counting all the times the hispanic and anglo part of this community have held back or even completely stopped the NATIVE american tribe in this town, MY PEOPLE!
You who I feel bad for in all this, (and I hate to admit it) I feel bad for officer Vigil! I know it was never his intention to break up thisfamily and really it wasnt even his fault... the makings of this disaster are in the hands of Mr. Reyes and His wife!
I thibnk redstatedave can be over zealous at times and even down right insulting! But i gotta go with him on this one. Nearly 50 years and the reyes' did ablsolutely nothing positive for their husband/father! FOR SHAME!


Re: miscarriage of justice. I beg to differ, but laws are broken consistently in this country and people do not go to jail. Money and position keep people out of jail. It is the poor, the ones who have no money and position, who have no one to fight for them that go to jail or are deported. There are many who live here in Taos that came here as children..wen to school...live and work...have children...stay out of trouble...don't do drugs...and they can just as easily be ripped from their families. The immigration laws in this country need to be change. (As an aside, I agree with ThaPoet that the NATIVE tribes, his people were examples of the worse kinds of racism...)but Bence and Red State Dave seem to think they are a privileged class and just because someone does not have documentation after years of living here does not mean he should be booted out without consideration to his family..we should revise the immigration policies so people CAN pay taxes, contribute fair share and strengthen the country..these are not drugs people or criminals...


taostaosart, perhaps we should change our immigration laws to mirror Mexico. You know, make illegal immigration a felony, punishable by two years in prison or 10 years if you're caught entering illegally a second time.

Sound good to you?

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