This is my family. This is us. And just as you see us pictured is how my son, Leo, met his father for the first time.
Earlier this year my husband, who has been an undocumented immigrant for 18 years, finally received his immigration interview after 3 and a half years of waiting and thousands of dollars spent. We have been married for six years and now have two children together and yet there is a long process you have to go through when applying for your spouse. No, they do not get an automatic green card for marrying a US citizen and no, it does not make the process easier for them.
In March of this year we traveled to Ciudad Juarez for his immigration interview thinking we would all be returning home as a family. We thought we would finally have peace of mind and continue building a future together. I would no longer need to call my husband hundreds of times a day because I was worried that he might be detained. Or worry if he didn’t answer the phone or didn’t come home at the time he’s expected. We were confident in our paperwork, our lawyer, our history, and our family. In a matter of minutes, after three and a half years of waiting, our world was turned upside down. He was DENIED. He was denied for a reason that even our lawyer could not understand. This had NEVER happened to her before. We have struggled for the last 8 months and unfortunately things keep getting harder and harder. We fight and pray every day to get him back home and we will continue to do so until he is.
And I say home because this is HIS HOME. My husband left Mexico when he was only 19 years old, seeking a better future for himself and for his family, especially his mother, in Mexico. And after 18 years, the U.S. is his home.
In one day, he was stripped from everything that he worked so hard for: his family, job, house, dignity, hope, and overall his future. OUR FUTURE. He was thrown back into a country that he is completely unfamiliar with and no longer recognizes.
I was forced to become a single mom when I have a husband who wants nothing else than to be present in our lives. My husband yearns and fights back tears everyday not being able to be with his family. It’s difficult to see how it hurts him not being able to be with his son on his birthday, with his wife during her pregnancy, and present during the birth of his second son.
I share this because I want people to understand that separation of families is not some faraway idea you hear about on T.V. It’s real. This is what separations of families looks like. We all have different stories but we are all affected by the same thing – separation. And if you have never met a person that has been affected by the immigration issue first hand… now you have. Now you know someone who has lost everything and is fighting every day for her family, for her husband/best friend, and for her life.
This process has been beyond difficult for all of us and we do not know when it will end but we have hope and faith.
But I am not going to lie, I have great days and I have bad days and those bad days are pretty tough. And I would not be here without the support and love from my family and friends. Despite our struggle, we’ve been truly blessed and could not have asked God for more amazing people than those who’ve gathered and lifted us up when we most needed it. I am a person of FAITH and I KNOW the God I serve. My faith and hope will always be the last to go and as long as I have those two, I know my family will be reunited once again.