I recently read the article titled:
Immigration: Where love and law collide
and couldn't help but pause many times and say, "Hey! That's my story, too!" I am a female, born in Utah. who has been living and working in Mexico City for the past two years because my husband was denied a visa and given a ten-year ban from reapplying for a visa. We have since married (in Mexico) and we now have a daughter (who was born in the United States). The only way for us to live as a family is to be in Mexico. The best job opportunities are in Mexico City (I am a teacher with a Masters of Education and an ESL certificate). My husband has no formal schooling and it is very difficult for him to find work in Mexico City. If he worked full-time, he would make about 4,000 pesos per month (less than 400 USD). So, I am the bread-winner.
Before we were married, my then boyfriend was an undocumented citizen from Mexico who had been in the United States for about 9 years. We sought legal advice once we were engaged, and were told to file for a finacee visa (they were being processed more quickly than spousal visas). My fianceee left Utah in December 2005 for Puebla, Mexico (since we had to file from his home country for his visa). His interviewed was granted and scheduled for Jan. 2007. At the interview in Ciudad Juarez his visa was denied and he was given a 10-year ban for illegal presence in the U.S.
I was able to stay working in Utah as a teacher at a year-round school and was able to travel about every 3 months to visit my husband in Mexico. I became pregnant and stayed in Utah to have our baby girl (my husband was not allowed even a tourist visa to witness the birth of his daughter). He held her for the first time when she was 2 months old and we were able to travel down to visit him. When she was 6 months old, we moved our lives to Mexico City so we could actually live together (for the first time in our married lives). We have been in Mexico City for just over 2 years now. It is very dangerous and polluted. We really wish we could back in Salt Lake City again amongst our family. My daughter and I travel back to SLC every July to visit our family and friends and to check on our home in Utah.
I really don't know why we ever applied for his visa. If we hadn't have applied, he would still be here. We would have never spent more than 2 years apart waiting for his interview to be scheduled. We would have never wasted thousands of dollars on the attorney and the processing fees for the visa. Most importantly, he wouldn't have missed the birth of his daughter.
Thanks for doing stories that show how the issues surrounding immigration are layered and how current immigration laws affect families.
*Maybe somebody with influence on this issue will read this one day. You know, we've only been in Mexico for 2 years and I know 2 other families who are "Stuck in Mexico" so to speak.....