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Searching for answers

Gladys Dominguez is the 19-year-old daughter of Alfonso Martinez Sanchez, a father of five American children who lived in the United States for more than 20 years.

After being deported from Vista, California, Alfonso tried to return to his family in the U.S. three times, but was repeatedly stopped by Border Patrol agents and deported back to Mexico.

On his fourth and final attempt to re-enter the country, he began to succumb to heat stroke in Arizona state’s border desert. A friend, Isaac, was able to call Alfonso’s wife, Juana, who alerted her daughter, Gladys, that her father was in trouble.

In this extended interview, Gladys recounts the long and frustrating search for information about her father’s condition and whereabouts.

“I made so many calls and no one would help,” she said.

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  • K5r4

    Cry me a river. Your father, an illegal alien-lawbreaker has been breaking the law for 20 years. He should have stayed in Mexico & applied to enter this country legally & wait his turn like everyone else no matter how long it takes. In addition, he could have had one of his adult children such as you Gladys, sponsor him so he could enter this country legally & wait his turn like everyone else.

  • Anonymous

    What responsibility did Mr. Sanchez have for his death?

  • Bob Johnson

    My condolences to the family.

    I’m a little shocked that the wife, Juana, doesn’t appear to have been of much help with the hunt for Alfonso, presumably because she doesn’t appear to speak English. I find this hard to understand after 20 years in the U.S. I would wager that this family would have been more successful navigating the INS bureaucracy–perhaps even stopping the deportation–if more of the family had been able to interact with the government agencies in English.

  • Randy Robertson

    I really feel bad for those Families who lost Loved ones because of Negligence of the US Border Patrol.. I Lived in Southern California for 20 years I knew People who were here in the United States Illegally.. Good hard Working People who all they wanted to do is Raise their Families and give their Children an Education and a Chance to have a good Life … If the US Government ever asked me about my Friends in California , I’d tell the Agents to go screw themselves..

  • Waconda

    Watched this last night, May 17…very good and very sad and good questions
    that Americans would ask…and good answers that people from corrupt places
    where huge monies are deposited elsewhere would answer…
    A couple of years ago I read Ms. Jaramillo’s “La Linea” and thought that without
    stirring up the vigilantes in AZ and by moving Americans with good hearts,
    a very good story by an ESL teacher to put on PBS…If Amnesty2 arrives
    and people can afford it, there are still ways to make it better…

    I would be a fool to think that be-deviled ‘coyotes’ would not get some of
    the crossers to bring in illegal conteband…but most are truly desperados
    wanting work and to help their families…and that is something that millions
    of people can relate to….Have never seen “El Norte” or “The Border” but

  • Ennovi33

    Unfortunately, it’s not that easy as it sounds. If you haven’t been through it and deal with the laws, or tried to apply, then ignorance about the process that immigrants go through is not your best judgement tool.

  • k5r4

    You are making excuses for lawbreakers. Just because it is not easy does not mean you break the laws even if you think the US immigration laws are complicated & unfair. Others wanting to immigrate to this country do not have a problem applying legally to enter this country & waiting their turn.

  • k5r4

    It is called not willing to assimilate in US society.

  • k5r4

    Mr. Sanchez was 100% responsible for his own death. He knew that he was a lawbreaker & knew how dangerous it is to enter this country via the desert & he did it anyway.

  • meb1

    Obviously you do not know anything about the immigration process. The mounds of paperwork and the cost: $10,000. I work with these families and have first hand knowledge. Are you willing to do the farm work that provides us with the food we eat? I doubt so. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • meb1

    Sure, like the men who flew planes into the Twin Towers and the one who bombed the Boston Marathon. I have seen farm workers do that.

  • Anonymous

    This is one of the too many stories today that focuses on the trees and misses the necessity of what is diminishing the forest. These people from vastly overpopulated regions of the world are being encouraged to come here via a large variety of legislation because corporations want an assumed unlimited growth while gaining access to cheap labor, and ignoring the fact that this is a clearly unsustainable growth process which will accelerate us toward the unsustainability these people are escaping. If Americans were doing this in Canada, having many children, and threatening its future we would consider it intelligent if it put a stop to this, especially given over a period of say 20 years a hundred million plus Americans were doing this. But, instead, the U.S. is now possibly on the verge of legalizing illegal immigration and significantly increasing legal immigration—and calling this “comprehensive reform”–making sure to create more congested freeways, more polluted waterways, denuded forests, and paved over farmland. Why? In order to maximize short-term profits of corporations. Someday some may recognize just how incredibly stupid this is.

  • *******

    So cold hearted may god punish you one day for racist….