I am a US citizen married to a foreign national, suffering with no way to adjust my spouses status and live a normal life. I was a young, dedicated, athletic teenager. I was the first to graduate from high school in May of 1999 and have always dreamt of having a family. I met my husband in May of 1999 two weeks before graduation. We knew that we wanted to get married after 6 months of dating. After 10 months of dating we found out we were expecting our first child. My spouse came to the US in October 2000 to join mer. He was 18 years old and I was 19 years old, with no guidance and ignorance of the law. We did not know how he could be with me, and so he found someone to help him cross to come over. We did not know any immigration laws, much less federal offenses since we both were young and free from any type of criminal record. He crossed with a group of people coming from México by walking across the border and claiming to be a US citizen. As soon as he crossed we married in Pharr, Texas. We found a lawyer to start the immigration process from his boss. As soon as my husband arrived, he did not waste time to start working for our little family.
Our I-130 petition was submitted in 2001. As we waited for a response, we both continued to work with no government assistance. In December 2003 as he was going to work he was stopped by a police officer for a minor traffic violation of going 30 mph in a 20 mph zone. The police offer called immigration during the incident. I tried to go pay any fines to take him out, but they had released him to immigration. I went to the immigration office to try to stop his deportation, but they did not help at all. I contacted a lawyer who advised for him to sign the voluntary departure. This was all days before our daughter’s 3 year old birthday party that we had planned for the weekend. She is now 12 years old. He was deported in December 2003 and that is when my daughter and I, both US citizens, began to live a nightmare of a life time of struggle.
After his deportation I saved money to go to the interview for his I-130 petition. In June of 2007, we had our interview. We were excited and made plans for the future. Little did we know that it was not going to happen. We arrived to Cuidad Juarez with dreams to reunite our young love along with our 7 year old daughter. As we arrived with all our documents in order, we had no clue what to expect. I was not allowed in and was asked to wait outside the building across the street as my husband went in alone. He was sworn in to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He told the truth on how he crossed and answered truthfully how long he stayed in USA. He was punished and told that if he would have came another way he would have a chance. He made one mistake and that was declaring that he was a US citizen. For that one mistake, he faces the following bars of inadmissibility: 212(a)(6)(C)(ii) – Which prohibits visa issuance to any alien who has entered the United States or attempted to enter the United States by declaring orally or documentarily to be a citizen of the United States. No waiver available. 212(a)(9)(B)(ii) – Which prohibits visa issuance to any alien who was unlawfully present in the United States for one year or more.
My husband felt helpless to support us. Mexico was no longer the same when he left as a teen. It has been taken over by drug dealers and cartels battling for power and with no care in the world who they take down in the process. Anyone that is known to be a US Citizen or family of US Citizen is a target for kidnapping, extortion, or even just violent attacks. Going to Mexico is not even an option, as my husband should not have to be apart from his wife and own children.
Please consider families like mine in upcoming immigration reform. Please vote to preserve family unity in Section 2313 of the Senate Immigration Bill. Please vote No to the Grassley Amendments 21 and 22 that will hurt family unity.