ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Kathleen Lopez fears a letter she received from U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida seals the fate of her family and will keep them apart forever.
Senator Nelson wrote to Lopez explaining how the Senator himself was rejected by the U.S. Consulate in Juarez, Mexico in his efforts to bring Cesar Lopez home to the states to meet his newborn baby girl for the first time .
Kathleen Lopez told Action News Thursday, "[Cesar] said 'I guess I'm just stuck here for ten years.' That's what he said today."
Cesar left his St. Augustine home to apply for his visa in Mexico last year. Immigration officials not only denied his request, but denied him from going back home to the U.S. for a decade. That ten year ban is considered punishment for living illegally in the U.S. for 20 years after his mother snuck him across the border as a child.
The day after we first aired the Lopez story in October, Senator Nelson contacted the U.S. Consulate in Juarez, Mexico. On November 21, Senator Nelson spoke to Action News about the Lopez case and said, "I expect next week if we don't have some remedy for this, then I'm going to start kicking down some doors."
Kathleen Lopez said, "When I heard he was going to quote, 'knock down doors,' I was like, 'yes finally.'"
But Action News obtained a copy of an email from the U.S. Consulate to Senator Nelson's office. It states: "Unfortunately...there is no provision for a waiver based on extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse...We regret that our response cannot be more favorable"
Senator Nelson's office told Action News Thursday that they are still working the Lopez case and "continuing to explore every option to see if there is anything else that can be done to bring Cesar home."