Steve & Sharon...illegal aliens in Mexico
09 October 2011 | San Carlos, Sonora Mexico
On Wednesday October 5, 2011 I had to send the following email to mine and Sharon's families;
Good morning everyone,
Before we crossed the border into Mexico last week we asked several people where we could get our Mexico tourist visas. We were told different things by each person and we were never allowed to purchase what is now called a tourist permit (FMM card). We have made several attempts to purchase the permit here in San Carlos/ Guaymas area, as we were told that we could do by the US Federal officer who boarded the bus. We have left messages for the Mexican Embassy in Washington DC (202-736-1008) and have not received a call back. It is important to know that the voice mail message for their Embassy clearly says " US citizens are not required to have a visa, ONLY a valid Passport". We have also been to the local Immigration office in Guaymas where we were unable to buy the permit, but were told that we did need to have it.. Yesterday we contacted the American Consulate in Hermisillo ( 622-289-3500) and were told by a very uncooperative person that "there is nothing we can do for you, you are in the country illegally and must return to the United States and get the proper paperwork". This person (asshole) didn't even know the proper name of the form and told me that " we are only here to help Mexicans obtain visa into the United States"...nice.
In the next couple of hours we will be taking a city bus back to the Tufesa Autobus Terminal in Guaymas and we plan to take the 11:20 bus back to Tucson. We do not expect any problems other than a possible fine, however since we are now Illegal aliens here in Mexico there is the possibility of detainment or deportation (highly unlikely).
We should be back in Tucson by late tonight or early tomorrow morning and will email you once we are back safe. This email is not meant to panic anyone, but we feel it important for you to all be aware of the complete circumstances.
Steve & Sharon
PS Happy birthday Amber :)
This was a very difficult email to send as we felt it would for sure cause panic, however the fact that we were illegally in a foreign country and had to take a bus 250 miles back to the border and thru a military checkpoint, we felt our families had to know our circumstances.
We are now back in San Carlos, Mexico with the correct Tourist permit and we have learned several things during the past stressed filled week.
1. NEVER count on the US consulate to help you in a foreign country, they were rude, arrogant and offered no help or advice.
2. The Mexican authorities were polite and sympathetic. Considering that we walked into a Mexican immigration office, full of Federal Police officers and told them we were in their country illegally we were damn lucky they didn't detain (arrest) us on the spot.
3. YOU AND ONLY YOU are responsible to have the correct Immigration forms when traveling to foreign lands.
Now that we are legal we are both settling into "the life" nicely. It is currently around 90 degrees and the water temp is in the mid 80's. We plan on being in the San Carlos area for another week or two before crossing back over to Baja and heading south.