NEWS BLOG (WSAU) The
case of Connie McCallister
is strange, sensational, sad… and also surprisingly simple.
Since we don’t know otherwise, let’s assume her story is
true as reported. It sounds like there are missing pieces. In 2004 as a
16-year-old girl she went to a party with her 22-year-old boyfriend. She claims
she was drugged and woke up in Mexico…
taken out of the country without her knowledge and against her will. She claims
her boyfriend abused her. While in Mexico she left him, and took up with another man --- who
was also abusive. She changed her name so her attackers couldn’t find her. She’s
since gotten married, had three children, and was found by a missionary working
in a farm field and in generally poor health. In a decade, her case was largely forgotten here. Now she’d like to return to the U.S.
It’s strange that she’d disappeared for so long and hadn’t
attempted to return to America
sooner. The explanation may be that reaching for help may not be so easy for
someone in poverty and appears to be dependent on the sketchy men in her life.
The simple part about this case is bringing Connie
McCallister home. She’s a U.S.
citizen. As an American her children are U.S. citizens as well, even though
they were born in another country. If she wants to come back to Wisconsin, she has every
Laurels to Trinity Lutheran Church
in Athens for
starting a fundraising campaign to help bring her home. She will need money travel
expenses and will need assistance in re-starting her life here. I’m hopeful
that the larger community will show compassion for her and will donate
This case is also a test for the U.S. government. Will the
government will come to the aid of a helpless citizen in trouble? Or will
Connie McCallister’s case get bogged down in red tape? She surely has no
passport. No papers. Her kids are probably undocumented. It’s unclear if there
will be a custody fight. We don’t know if she can get to an American consulate,
or to the border, or how her travel arrangements would be made. It could take a
very long time to get all these issues sorted out. I hope that doesn’t happen.
Our big American bureaucracy needs to show compassion. Hopefully
Senators Ron Johnson, Tammy Baldwin, or Rep. Sean Duffy will take up Connie
McCallister’s cause. We’ve bent the rules for others:
Hip hop singers mysteriously are allowed to vacation in Cuba.
We decide not to enforce deportation rules when illegals are
caught in our country.
We look the other way when foreign students’ visas expire –
even the ones who turned out to be the Boston Marathon bombers.
Why not Connie McCallister? An American citizen is in dire
straights in Mexico.
If it’s her wish, she should be on her way back to the United States –
Contributions to the Connie McCallister trust fund can be
Area Credit Union
Athens, WI 45511