Pregnant Dallas Mother Deported To Mexico

By Jack Fink, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – You either agree or disagree with how our country handles immigration, but there are real people sometimes caught in the middle.

Immigration experts say authorities are increasingly reviewing their files to find people in the U.S. illegally.

One of those recently tracked down and deported is a pregnant Dallas mother, Betty Lopez.

Every night, her husband José Lopez and their three children pray that the woman they love most will be able to come home.

José Lopez says he and his three children pray every night for the woman they love the most. He says, “I cry and pray, pray a lot.”

On March 1, as the children were getting ready for school, they say Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents entered their Dallas house and took Betty away in handcuffs.

José Lopez says his family hasn’t seen her since. “They left my three kids crying.”

The couple’s 12-year-old son, also named José, remembers, “It was just terrible. I couldn’t understand that. I knew I couldn’t do anything about it. I was just scared.”

ICE agents accused Lopez of being in the U.S. illegally, but the family’s advocate, Ralph Isenberg, says it was ICE that acted illegally. “It’s not only illegal, it’s immoral. It’s unconscionable.”

Lopez is now five-and-a-half months pregnant.

Isenberg says ICE violated the law deporting Lopez — because they believe her pregnancy is high-risk, and because her husband and all three of her children are American citizens.

“Our president, not to mention the director of homeland security, and the director of ice have said ‘hey, we have to get priorities straight, we’re not going after families, we’re going after criminals.’”

Carl Rusnok, a Dallas-based spokesman for the agency says they can’t comment on this case. But, he says they regularly deport pregnant women who are here illegally, unless it’s medically inappropriate to do so.

Two weeks after ICE agents removed Betty from her house and deported her to Mexico, she tried to sneak back into the U.S., but she was caught.

She was charged with two felonies that were ultimately downgraded to a single misdemeanor count of illegal entry.

Lopez pleaded guilty and she received time served. But because of a prior immigration violation, Lopez has now been deported again.

In 1997, Betty and José had just married in Mexico. He was already a permanent resident of the U.S. and she wanted to be with him.

Authorities say Betty tried to enter illegally in 1997, and falsely claimed to be a U.S. citizen even though the family says other government documents show she never made that claim, but she was still deported for the first time.

She returned again — and in 2000, her husband tried to change her status. Their request was rejected in 2004 because of the previous violation, but the government waited until this past March, seven years later, to deport Lopez again.

But even immigration attorneys who often criticize the government defend ICE in this case. They say ICE does have discretion, but that Lopez’s prior deportation order carries weight in the agency’s decision.

While the legal battle plays out her children are writing letters to anyone who’ll read their story, hoping it helps their mother.

Now, they wonder when they will see her again.

The couple’s seven-year-old daughter Mariel says, “Without my mom, this house is not beautiful without her. I kiss her pillow every night because I miss her so much. I want her to be here.”

The Lopez family says they don’t know what they will do now.


One Comment

  1. Cris Galvan says:

    This is terrible what ICE has done. ICE is one ageny that makes this country so divided in so many ways. We are all human beings and should be treated that way. It was un just what ICE did, especially arresting her in front of her childeren as though she were a criminal.

    1. VG Marshall says:

      Perhaps you could make a list of the humane laws that we must all follow and the inhumane ones that we may all ignore. I mistakenly was led to believe that we followed all laws and if we chose to ignore one, it was at our own peril. Foolish me I even taught my kids with that breaking the rules meant suffering the consequences. Imagine how happy they are going to be when they find out they do not have to live with the consequences!

    2. J Mack says:

      You have got to be kidding…..she broke the law. She is an illegal alien who tried to sneak into this country more than once….she showed no respect for our rule of law or out country….
      She is a criminal….try going through the border and not stopping…see what happens.
      a foreigner who has entered or resides in a country unlawfully or without the country’s authorization.
      a foreigner who enters the U.S. without an entry or immigrant visa, especially a person who crosses the border by avoiding inspection or who overstays the period of time allowed as a visitor, tourist, or businessperson. Compare resident alien.

  2. dominate it says:

    Ugh, Cris, she is a criminal.

    1. laura says:

      Exactly! Arrested like some sort of CRIMINAL!! Just because she’s is a woman and pregnant doesn’t change the fact that she was here illegally AGAIN

      1. lynn says:

        Yes, entering the USA without permission is a crime!, no matter which country you left. illegal aliens have been breeding like rabbits for many years, as it’s for their benefit to have anchor babies and squat on our land.. They could care less about our laws and they don’t fear our law enforcement. I wish we had the manpower to get all of the lawbreaking Mexican Nationals out of the USA, as they are bankrupting our country with the free medical care and social services.

      2. kim says:

        Its not just Mexicans nationals who come here illegally LYNN. To my knowledge its not just Mexicans who breed like rabbits. I see whites, asians, blacks so stop being racist.

      3. Sick of Criminals says:

        Kim – do some research before making a blanket and incorrect statement regarding how different races are reproducing. The numbers of Mexican babies being born at Parkland every single day is overwhelming – not the blacks, Asians or Caucasian babies – Mexican babies being born at an alarming rate. The taxpayers of Dallas County are paying for this huge expense before we even begin to pay for the education, housing, free food, free medical, every free social program that they suck up like a giant sponge. Our economy is declining and our state and country is quickly turning into a third world country.

      4. kim says:

        Sick of criminals- See everyone talks about the Mexicans who come here and breed and take advantage of the goverment. What about these women and young girls who breed and breed and take advantage of the goverment. There are all races who are legal or illegal and have kids and take advantage of the system. You can’t say there are only mexicans who use the goverment for help. So if you want to pin point at someone that uses the goverment don’t just pinpoint mexicans. Because if you go the the Texas department of human services office I can guarantee u will see all races there applying for help. I can guarantee that if you were left with nothing to feed you or your family you would turn to the goverment. I work, pay my taxes every year , and I am a married hispanic woman with 5 kids and a natural born citizen..

      5. Sick of Criminals says:

        Why should taxpayers have to pay the way for people that have more and more children when they know they cannot afford them – especially when the taxes are paid to support illegal Mexicans and their anchor babies? I read the statistic that California pays $52 MILLION DOLLARS A MONTH TO SUPPORT ANCHOR BABIES OF ILLEGAL MEXICANS – – and the state is going broke. Texas is right behind them. My husband and I work very hard for what we have and our family does without things we would enjoy so that we can pay the taxes that support other people who deliberately produce more offspring than they can possibly afford on their own – without demanding $$ from taxpayers. We decided early on that we could afford two children – that is where we stopped. It is absurd that my children have to do without things their parents could provide for them if we did not have to support others – – so that anchor babies can have everything provided for free. It is a travesty. Sure there are others that take from the government – whites, Asians, blacks, but you are clearly in denial regarding the preponderance of the race of takers – it is Mexicans.

  3. Dana S. says:

    I also think I.C.E. is in violation. I think they are going about this te wrong way.I’m in a similar mess, However my wife has not been deported. I would like to see if I could get a phone number for the Lawyer, ( Isenberg).

    1. VG Marshall says:

      Try the Yellowpages.

    2. Mallified says:


      You need to learn the law. ICE did nothing that was illegal. Isenberg is identified as an “advocate” not an immigration attorney and it’s obvious from his statements that he knows nothing about immigration law.

      This woman falsely claimed to be a US citizen and illegally reentered the US after being deported. Both of those crimes are FELONIES. Further, the immigration consequences for falsely claiming to be a US citizen makes you permanently ineligible for any future immigration benefit. If an illegal alien marries a US citizen, they are still an illegal alien.

      When you make the decision to break the law you have also made the decision to accept the consequences.

    3. im says:

      You can go to the Catholic Society on Maple Avenue in Dallas. They have lawyers on Mondays and Wednesdays.

  4. K. E.Kamm says:

    There may be several unfortunate realities in this story, but the overarching and ultimate issue that the family and Mr. Isenberg appear to be overlooking is that Ms. Lopez chose to violate US law not just once, but several times. There is a price for violating established immigration law and it is deportation. Everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that it is a consequence of her own behavior, no one else’s. Perhaps it’s possible for Mr. Lopez to take their children and join her in Mexico? Perhaps it should have been done sooner. Perhaps she should have just obeyed US law in the first place!

  5. Dawn Byrd says:

    l am soooo tired of hearing sob stories about people who are here illegally and then complain because they are deported. What about the laws. We Americans have to obey the laws. Why shouldn’t the illegal immigrants? What about Homeland Security. Maybe this woman isn’t a threat, but how many people that sneak into the US illegally are. If we broke the law in another country we would have to face the consequences. If they don’t want to worry about being deported they should not come here. Simple, no problem, just don’t sneak into the country.
    Please cover some actual news instead of wasting time on stories like this.

  6. Sick of crininals says:

    How disappointing that you would present criminal behavior in a sympathetic light. This woman broke the laws of the United States time and again by illegally crossing the border, deliberately lying about her status, etc. If Isenberg dares to talk about “immoral” behavior, he should address the immorality of DELIBERATELY producing anchor babies again and again – even if it is true that the father is legal. For now, we will have to take Isenberg’s word for that. Nonetheless – I am very disappointed at your lack of journalistic integrity in presenting a criminal as a victim. She is not – the taxpayers of this country and this state are the victims.

  7. Kirk says:

    Sounds like ICE is too lazy to go throw drug dealers out of the country and would rather pick on pregnant women living in mainly legal households to me, I mean this woman is a handful of paperwork away from being legal.

  8. rob L says:

    She’s probably already made it back to the USA, illegally. I work in this field, and see people that have been deported numerous times, come back.

    1. Rob L says:

      I do feel sorrow after watching the film, it is very sad.

  9. b says:

    Look up operation wet back. way to go ike. if u make an exception for one what’s the difference in making one for another. she has had 14 yes 14 years to get legal but even then she should’ve been legal before she got here. ask legal immigrants if they care about illegal ones. most don’t like illegal immigrants due to the fact that they had to spend the time n effort to get legal. save our bankrupt country n deport all illegal n their so call anchor babies as under the condition they were never under U.S. jurisdiction and therefore do not have to be considered citizens.

  10. Tom says:

    You dummies are missing the point. She tried to do things legally, and at every turn was rejected. The US, it is claimed in this story, is the irresponsible one…not the pregnant lady and her family. She has been here for a long time, has a family, and has tried to change her status to no avail. She has a husband, other children, probably a job too..but the US is too blinded to recognize that perhaps in this case they might have gone overboard. Funny they can’t stop the criminal element but they can go after the mom’s like no tomorrow.

    1. Lisa says:

      No YOU’RE missing the point. Let the family move to Mexico – and remember the husband and kids would be illegal there – and see what happens. I’ll bet you anything we the taxpayers paid the medical bills for all those kids to be born here. In my job I see it all the time. She’s illegal and needs to stay in her mother country until she becomes legal.

    2. texas heartland says:

      The woman IS A CRIMINAL, hence the “illegal” attached to her status!!!! My husbands family came from Comunist Cuba and still managed to get her LEGALLY. These people can do the same, they choose not to. If her family wants to be with her, they need to go to Mexico.

    3. RussP says:

      No, her first act was to try to enter the country illegally in 1997 by falsely claiming to be a US citizen. Then she again entered illegally in 2000 after which her husband finally tried to get her status changed which was denied because of her previous violations.

  11. LynnM says:

    She was first deported in 1997.. SO yes she is not going to get immigration according to the law .. She knows the law and just thumbs her nose at it…. So she can have her baby in Mexico, she will have one less baby with US citizenship

  12. Lisa says:

    I just can’t work up any sympathy for this woman. If the 1st thing you do is illegal, you should turn right back around and go. She’s a slap in the face to people who followed legal channels to gain entry to this country. And I don’t give 2 s _ _ _ s that she’s pregnant; American taxpayers are probably paying the medical bills for her via Medicaid! There’s medical care in Mexico – let her have the baby there. Let the husband and other kids move to Mexico – preferably illegally like she did! See what happens to the!!

  13. ted says:

    What makes this different is her husband was legal resident and citizen when they were married. The baby born in Mexico will be a US citizen regardless where born since father is a us citizen now.

    If here husband wasn’t a us citizen then deporting here makes more sense.
    Law needs to change to not break up families who are trying to do thing legally. I suspect that she is being picked on because she wants to follow the law. There is plenty of people that need to be deported just go to any day worker site and round them up. That would be better use of their time.

    1. RussP says:

      Not sure how her entering the country illegally on at least two different occasions (1997 and 2000) is trying to follow the law.

    2. Toby says:

      How has anything she done up to now been evidence of “trying to do things legally?” Please read the story and listen to the video again.

  14. toothpick says:

    if you don’t like the laws of the USA then get out!

  15. Kimberly says:

    OMG people its not just Mexicans who come here illegally. Stop being so ignorant. The only crime she committed was coming into the US illegally. I know which is wrong but sometimes you have to do whats better for your family. ICE needs to go after these illegal who come in the US and commit crimes like murder, rape etc and get away and never charged. If that family wasn’t receiving help from the government well now they will need it. He is now a single father of 3 kids until she comes back. All I hear is that Mexicans take advantage of the system but as far as I see its all the races not just Mexicans. if you don’t walk in her shoes no one has the place to talk.

    1. texas heartland says:

      my husbands family DID walk in her shoes, except…They came here legally!!!

      1. kim says:

        well thats good for him. some people are more fortunate enough to do that and some are not..

    2. RussP says:

      She married her husband in Mexico so they both had the opportunity to do this legally before coming to the US to raise a family. It is no one’s fault but their own. It’s this lawless mentality that has turned Mexico into the crime riddled, corrupted government, third world country that it now is.

  16. RussP says:

    While it’s terrible the position SHE has put her children in, you have to remember it is SHE who chose to violate the laws of the US on three different occasions that we know of. There are laws and procedures to follow when moving to any country. If you don’t want to follow them, then don’t blame law enforcement when you get caught.

    1. Toby says:

      VERY well said!

  17. Pam says:

    Once again someone is breaking the laws of the United States of America and we are supposed to feel sorry for her? Wake up people!!! Our country, including my state of Texas, is being overrun with illegals who choose not to go through the legal procedures to become a citizen. Their actions are an insult to those immigrants who have come to the United States legally and have eagerly worked to become American citizens. Do I feel sympathyt for this woman’s famlly? Yes, I do but just as I would for any other innocent member of a criminal ‘s family. She broke the law and there are consequences for doing so.

  18. Toby says:

    Let’s see the other side of this…. Let’s see the children crying because their mother or father is DEAD due to an Illegal who is ignorant of, or chooses not to live by, our laws. Let’s hear the stories of Americans and legal citizens who have been victimized by Illegals. Come here Illegally and you take a risk. Risks have no guarantees. None of mine ever did, anyway. But, hey, if the government wants to start guaranteeing risks, it should begin with the ones AMERICANS take. Please guarantee my next lottery ticket purchase!

  19. taxpayertexas says:

    This wasn’t even newsworthy enough to bother with. So, she broke the law and got deported. Good thing about this whole thing is that the next kid won’t be born a citizen. The whle family can move to Mexico with her, we’re better off without all of them. And, yes, they suck so much off of us that I have NO sympathy for them. My taxpayer dollars are beng used by too many illegals, so no I feel no sympathy for any of them, pregnant or not. If she would have come here legally, married, had her children, etc., then maybe we could feel for her if they deported her, but she is a criminal, pure and simple.

  20. catt says:

    hey pack the family up and move to mexico, or marry a legal woman, so tired of hearing stories about foreign criminals.
    Good riddens, two less in this country, good job ICE.

  21. spytheweb says:

    She messed up. Now she is barred from entering the US for 10 years. Then she can apply for a green card that can take 5 years, if her application is approved.

    Why do illegals think they have a right to be here? When they married in 1997 they should have submitted their paperwork and waited.

  22. Tiffany says:

    After watching this story my whole family cried!! This breaks our hearts and would also write letters or make phone calls to try and help in any way

  23. Christina says:

    She broke the law HOW MANY times by entering the US illegally. So they did in fact deport a criminal. I understand that her husband and children miss her a great deal, I am sure Mexico would accept them with open arms.

  24. Trinity says:

    I thought that if you were married to an American Citizen you were legal. That certainly used to be the law. When did it change?

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