MIDLAND, Texas (CN) - An 80-year-old widow who was born in Los Angeles says she is "trapped in Mexico and unable to return to the United States" because State Department officials "red flagged" and denied her passport application, with no explanation.
Maria Celia Lopez sued Hillary Clinton and subordinates in Federal Court.
Lopez says she was born in Watts, Calif., on Dec. 26, 1929. She says she was baptized in Los Angeles in 1930, and a Texas court issued her a delayed birth certificate in 1991. She is registered to vote in Midland, where she lives, or lived, with her son.
Lopez says she applied for a passport in 2007, supplemented the application at the State Department's request in 2008, and was rejected.
She was given no explanation, other than that "the State Department had 'red-flagged' the passport application, and that plaintiff should be 'getting a denial and a return of her original documents.'"
Lopez says she had to go to Mexico in May-June 2009 "due to an illness in the family" and now she is trapped there.
The Houston Passport Agency, in its infinite wisdom, responded to her plea for help by informing her in August 2009 that her "original documents had been archived," though it also sent her the original documents in its letter.
Lopez wants a passport so she can go home. She is represented by Jeanne Morales of Midland.