Moral Dilemma


I am living in Mexico and tutoring the Mexicans. I don’t have many students, and they haven’t been regular, except for only one.

However, even so, I have gotten myself into all kinds of moral dilemmas to a point, today, I didn’t even receive communion, because I advised one of the students to lie.

Well, if you have never lived in a foreign country, perhaps this might be difficult to understand. I notice that even in the Bible, it tells us to treat people well, especially widows, orphans, and foreigners.

Well, when one’s a foreiegner, it’s rough!

A lot of people probably have no idea HOW rough. Anyway, case in point. I wanted to tutor this young lady. She’s pregnant, has no health care, lives in some of the worse poverty I’ve ever seen in my entire life (first hand, that is), and I’ve made a point to work with the poorest of the poor.

Anyway, I have tried to encourage her to get medical care for herself and her child. She has come to trust me at least enough to admit she has 2 identities! She told me she was born in the US but also has a Mexican birth certificate.

Now, if I were to go about this all, by the book, legally…I would need to try to help her to legalize her status. I’ve come across an organization here even willing to do that, DIF, which would only charge her for other costs, nothing at all for their legal assistance, etc.
The deadline for this help this year is Nov. 29, I think.

However, she’d need to have all her American documentation ready, none of which does she have. I’ve been told her father refused to give her the American birth certificate when she left, that he even has money and all.

My students are from a very poor state, Michoacán, and live like the indigenous people. They cook outside over a fire. They have tarps hanging, inside and outside the house. I don’t think they own a toilet. They really struggle making ends meet.

Anyway, even if we had all this documentation, it’d take a lot of money to work all this out with Immigration, and she’d have problems with the law. She’d probably end up in the hands of the authorities, in prison, for breaking the law.

She doesn’t have all the money to pay all the Immigration fees and time to wait years while they process all this out.

Now, she has her Mexican birth certificate, somehow. This is where my dilemma comes in. I know she’s not truly Mexican, but I felt so desperate for her. Further, she doesn’t speak English, and she can’t read or write Spanish. I was teaching her the vowels and her alphabet IN SPANISH.

I couldn’t, in my heart, suggest she go through Immigration. I am American here, myself, and it took me about…was it 9 years before I got my citizenship? Granted, she’s got a Mexican child, so it’d be quicker.

Anyway, I HATE going without communion. I don’t know what to do. I’m at a loss. We foreigners, get in these kinds of moral dilemmas ALL the time!

For her previous child, she paid for the birth, herself. I guess she got a discount, but still. She has NO money! So, I said, “May God forgive me, but I think you should get your Mexican documentation together, get yourself your IFE card, health insurance and go from there”!

I can’t go to confession…in that…I do NOT regret this. What do I do?


Stop giving advice of a legal nature and stick to tutoring.


Ok. Thanks.


I think you should discuss this with a priest. It is quite unlikely that he would report either of you to the Mexican authorities, and he very well may help you with your moral dilemma. Please do not be too hard on yourself, especially considering you were doing a charitable act.


Are you there in a government/civilian/church position living your faith? Speak to your confessor/priest he isn’t going to turn you in for not knowing what the right thing to do is…he isn’t going to turn her in either…he is going to give you comfort and guidance we can’t, and more likely than not the Eucharist you dearly missed.


I don’t understand the problem. Many people have dual citizenship, it’s not illegal. She probably is both a Mexican and an American citizen, but it sounds like she can’t prove she’s an American. So why not go with Mexican, since she has the documentation?
I don’t think it was a sin, but you could talk to a priest.
The laws do not outweigh compassion.
My husband is from Michoacan. God bless you for helping the people there.


sometimes, we can get to involved in the plight of others…it’s a natural consequence of being a good person… you,it seems are a good person…
sometimes it’s better not to get to involved, aim her in a right direction,but then let it go…
stick with what you know and serve the Lord in what you know best…


While she may be claiming that she is a US citizen, without any proof, that may not be accurate and questionable at best. Maybe she thinks if she tells you that, she might think that you can get her to the US. I would stay out of it because it involves immigration which may be illegal.





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