Thursday, April 09, 2009

Still a family without a country

I'd love to have posted on all the fun and interesting moments that transpired since the last post. Unfortunately, due to my slacker nature, I'm now forced to jump straight to the very important and not so pleasant news that defines my family's reality.

Where to begin? As you all know, or for those who don't, last October Carlos and I received the final word from the US Consulate in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico. He is not eligible for a visa to live in the US as my spouse, and he also isn't eligible for the hardship waiver that US citizen spouses usually get to file when their loved one isn't eligible for a visa.

All this because of one unfortunate day when he was 16, when he was forced by a parent to seek entry to the US using a relative's US birth certificate instead of the visitor's visa he already possessed. Under immigration law -- INA 212 A 6 C ii to be specific -- a false claim of US citizenship carries a lifetime ban with no waiver. Still, the fact that Carlos was ineligible for the waiver was a surprise to most who knew our case, including the wildly successful immigration lawyer who we consulted with prior to attending the interview. Evidently the immigration world had been misinformed, because everyone was under the impression the consulate would not be applying this law to people who were minors at the time the incident occurred.

So, we fought it. In November, the Wildly Successful Immigration Lawyer proved her ongoing excellence by sending a beautifully crafted appeal to the Department of State in Washington. Basically, the argument was that since Carlos was too young to consent to the claim of citizenship, and because it happened against his will, that section of the law should not be used against him. Unfortunately, weeks later, the appeals people in Washington decided that INA 212 A 6 C ii does not require the person to have intended anything. They simply had to commit it. In other words, case closed.

On to December. I attempted to get some help from Senator Durbin's office. This is the man who not only ranks at the top of the power structure in the Senate, but also sponsored the DREAM act, which seeks to provide legal status for people brought into the US as minors. People like Carlos. Sadly, after weeks of attempting contact with Senator Durbin's caseworkers (when they did call me back, I was in the middle of giving birth to Lucas), they ultimately decided they couldn't provide the letter of support I was requesting from them.

Now we're at March. I turned to my local congressional representative, Bill Foster. Within days, his immigration caseworker had mailed an absolutely amazing letter of support. I put this letter on the top of a 60-page packet requesting a Humanitarian Parole from Washington and prayed this would be our chance to get the family together in the US for at least a few more months.

March 16, I sent the packet. March 31, Washington sent their form-letter response. Denied.

We are no strangers to denial at this point. Still, it hurts a little every time. And not just when we think of the time and money that's been wasted. It's so hard to accept that my country thinks this little of the life I've worked hard to build, of my skills and abilities, and of the investments that so many others have made in my future. To reduce my entire experience to a form letter denying my family a chance to exist together in the US for something none of us could help or choose? Just seems beyond heartless.

So now what? Well, we applied for Lucas' passport and once that's here, I hope to book the tickets and fly to Mexico so Carlos can finally meet his son. After that I'll come back, prepare to close the book on our story in the US, and head out into the unknown again...

13 comments:

dad and mom said...

Amy we will continue to encourage and support you, Carlos, and Lucas through the journey ahead. We love you and believe God will open a way for you. Dad and Mom

Amanda said...

Im so sorry to hear that all your different attempts failed. I know from experience that it doesnt get easier to hear them deny your life as an American. Try to enjoy your trip to see him and good luck getting ends tied up in the States.

Anonymous said...

exp008
amy
i am terribly sorry! my heart goes out to you.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for you Amy.

I can't begin to imagine what it is you are going through. Please keep your faith and believe that all of this darkness will give way to bright light...although that thought is much to foreign at this moment.

Please know that I will keep you in my prayers. God Bless

Brigette said...

Amy, I am so sorry for all you are going through... this just makes me angry. A 15 year old can rape someone and be tried as a juvenile, but they want to hold Carlos responsible as an adult for something he had no control over. Our immigration system sucks. Stay strong. You have lots of people praying for you.

Love,
babyblue

aprilstorm said...

Amy,
I want you to know that i pray for your family every day!!! I hope that one day you get a wonderful surprise answer and Carlos will be home with you and Lucas. I can't even begin to know the pain you and Carlos are suffering. Stay strong and keep your head held high!!! Remember we are here for you!!!!!

Love,
Sandi aka aprilstorm

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that you and your family were denied the right to live here together. You and your family deserve to be happy, and I hope you find happiness even though our county has failed you. Stay strong, and persistent.

Anonymous said...

I am soo sorry that you are going through this. I wish something could be done to reunite you and your husband. You deserve to be with your husband here! My heart goes out to your family and hope you guys can reunite soon.

Anonymous said...

Amy I am so proud of and inspired by your strength throughout all of this. My husband has a 9c ban which pains me to the very end, so to have a life-time ban seems unimaginable to me. But it is situations such as your own that make me want to move out of this country and never look back. I know why my husbands situation is difficult. It is difficult because he made it difficult. He consciously EWI multiple times as an adult, and consciously chose to drink and drive... twice.

However, you and your huband have done nothing but be upstanding citizens. The US should want people like you in their country, as you are what this coutry is all about. So it shames me the way that you have been treated. You deserve so much more.

I suppose that the only thing I could assume from you situation, is that this is what God wanted and needed as a part of his master plan. I have faith that you and Carlos will prosper no matter where you are because of your intelligence and determination.

I wish you the best.

Emily Cruz aka Emi83184

Anja said...

Amy,

My prayers and thoughts are going out to you and your family.
Stay strong.. you have alot of people that support you.

Anja

Abby Lee Macias said...

Hi I came across your page. My husband was also denied to come to the US. He has never been here, we met in Mexico and lived there. We are applying for a wavier and we shall see if it works? He can't get a visa. Not feeling to good about it. We have a lawyer and going to try. This will be our last time trying, then I am giving up. I am tired of fighting. The US will lose a bilingual Special Education teach and it will be their lose, I will go give my services elsewhere. But nice to read your page. I feel what you are going through and it is a struggle everyday. It is so hard, but good luck and keep in touch. It is nice to find others that are going through this with me! Our immigration system does suck, and it is so unfair, it makes me so angry!! But Good luck, I guess keep thinking good thought about his case.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I just am reading your timeline after several months of being a member of the forum. You are a very brave woman and I admire you. It is unfair how your husband is banned for life. He was a minor! I hope that you will fight this until the day you die, even if you decide to move to another country to be together. Very unfair and poor Lucas deserves his father. I will keep you in my prayers and I will pray that this decision will be overturned!! God Bless.

Anonymous said...

ANOTHER MADDENING STORY! THIS BOILS MY BLOOD! IT DEMONSTRATES EVERYTHING THAT IS W R O N G WITH THE SYSTEM IN THE U.S. AND YES, I AM SHOUTING WITH RAGE!!!!! Dividing families is NOT American. This MUST STOP! We need to make sure THESE cases are covered under immigration reform and are given priority. Damn Uncle Sam! I am posting this in our Facebook group "Esposos y Esposas Exilados."
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=107978799224756&ref=ts
El Chupacabras, a fellow exiled spouse

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