ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Despite politicians' claims to help, a local family is taking matters into their own hands. Kathleen Lopez of St. Augustine tells Action News she is flying to Mexico Tuesday with her baby daughter and plans to move across the border.
The American born mother has never lived abroad, but feels this is the only way to reunite her family.
Her husband Cesar Lopez, a Christian missionary who worked in St. Johns County, is banned from retuning to the U.S. for a decade. It's punishment from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for living illegally in the states since he was a child.
Action News followed their legal appeals since October 2012, but the Lopez family feels they can't wait any longer. If Cesar Lopez can't be here, the family will be in Mexico together.
Kathleen Lopez plans to continue her appeals for her husband's return. She does not want to apply for her visa in Mexico, so she plans on checking back in to visit family and see their daughter's pediatrician in the U.S. every couple of months.
Kathleen Lopez showed Action News pictures of her month long trip to visit Cesar Lopez in January near Guadalajara, Mexico. The St. Augustine native said it was a momentous and emotional roller coaster when her husband laid eyes on his baby girl for the very first time, then had to say good-bye.
"You feel like a horrible wife and mother because you're pulling your child away," said Kathleen Lopez, "Not because you want to; it's because you have to."
Lawmakers like Senator Bill Nelson are continuing efforts to bring Cesar Lopez back home.
Kathleen Lopez said, "We have hope. But that doesn't always make up for (going) to bed (when) it's empty and when you wake up its empty."