20 moments that prove Ugly Betty was ahead of its time

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Ignacio Suarez and his immigration issues

Another hot button issue in the United States right now is immigration, especially from Mexico. With the current Trump administration’s strict immigration policies and the horror stories coming out about families being torn apart trying to cross the border, the story of Betty’s father’s struggles are still painfully relevant today.

Ignacio is seen as a loving, caring father to Hilda and Betty. He loves to cook and he will do everything he can to support his children, especially since losing his wife Rosa. But the girls learned in season 1 that not everything was as it seemed. When Betty tries to deal with Ignacio’s HMO problems, she’s informed that, according to their paperwork, Ignacio Suarez is 117 years old, and dead.

Ignacio had been using someone else’s social security number because him and Rosa fled Mexico and entered the United States illegally back in 1976. Throughout the first two seasons, the Suarez family are plagued with all kinds of issues that illegal immigrants and their families face all around America. Ignacio gets arrested by Immigration, and then he’s assigned a case worker who becomes a total nightmare (played by Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer) and takes advantage of poor Ignacio.

They also hire a lawyer who scams them, and then after everything they go through, Ignacio’s case is declined and he has to return to Mexico to await his green card.

It’s also discovered that Ignacio didn’t just go to the US to start a new life, but actually because him and Rosa fell in love while she was still married, and Ignacio was their cook. When Ignacio saw her husband being abusive towards her, he couldn’t stand it anymore and he beat him to death (or so he thought).

Eventually, Ignacio legally became a citizen and was able to return home to his daughters and nephew, but it wasn’t an easy process. This is a problem that so many immigrants face, but not all of them end up back home, safe with their family. Ignacio’s ending may have been a happy one, but Ugly Betty didn’t sugarcoat how he got there in the first place.