Gloria Villatoro’s gratitude.

Gloria Villatoro is an incredible woman.

Yesterday, after 20 years in the U.S., her husband, Pastor Max Villatoro, was deported to Honduras and away from Gloria and their 4 U.S. citizen children Anthony, Edna, Angela, and Aileen.  Max’s banishment from the U.S. was unjust. The life he built in his Iowa City community as a father, husband, religious leader, hard worker and friend cried out for compassion, and for smart, not senseless, enforcement of the immigration law.

Speaking with Gloria yesterday as the horrible events unfolded I wondered how I would react if I were in her shoes. What would be the first words out of my mouth if my family, like Gloria’s, had just been ripped apart by a flagrant injustice?

I honestly don’t know.  I can only hope that I would have responded like Gloria–with strength, resilience and, most importantly, love and gratitude. In the afternoon of what had to have been the worst day of her life Gloria sat down and quietly said “Thank You.”

Dear friends,

Without a doubt we are sad because of Max’s deportation. But I want to thank each of you for all the hard work you have done on our behalf. Thank you for supporting my family. So many of you, without knowing us, have done everything within your power to avoid Max’s deportation.

Thank you for all your efforts– for the calls, the letters, the signatures, the prayers, the songs, the caring thoughts lifted on our behalf.

Even though they’ve deported Max, we’ve come to know a community that is united, that can raise a great voice when we witness injustice. We must keep moving forward and see what God has next for us.

I am so grateful for all of your support.

Trusting in God,


for the children, too- Anthony, Edna, Angela, and Aileen

Gloria Villatoro is an inspiration to us all.

About David Leopold
Past President American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), In-the-Trenches practicing immigration Attorney, Blogger, Activist, Photographer, Educator, World Traveler. All opinions are my own.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: