I’ve been remiss in keeping you updated, but frankly, we’re emotionally exhausted. Solomon is becoming more aware that there are people working against his Daddy coming. Understandably, his anger is surfacing, as it is now 45% of his life span that he’s been separated from his father.
Going through the US immigration process is a bit like riding a roller coaster . . . at seven months pregnant. Your initial excitement anticipating the ride wanes as you wait interminably in line and your feet swell. You pay your fare, strap yourself in, and while you may hope for exhilaration, you often get off the other end wobbly on your feet. “All that money for this?!?” you wonder, as your greasy hot dog threatens to reappear.
Patrick and I started this process in 2003, the year we got married. We’ve learned the hard way that there are trip wires in the system. Whether they are simple blunders of a labyrinthine bureaucracy or that traps are set deliberately, we may never know. There’s a saying among Latinos in America’s southern states, “I didn’t cross the border – the border crossed me.” When national boundaries were drawn, both between the U.S. and Mexico and across Africa during the Berlin Conference of 1884-85, there was no consideration of the location of families and communities, ethnic and cultural ties; only the resources, human and natural, that could be exploited and profited from. Before you laud me for going about this “legally,” I ask you, What arbitrary line would you cross to tuck your child into bed at night?
I volunteer for OneAmerica and Solomon and I had a Divine appointment with Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez, America’s foremost immigration reform advocate. We were at a Citizenship Day in Yakima WA and after discussing with Solomon the merits of Mexican pizza and why he likes his hair long, the Congressman turned to me and said, “Ok, what’s your story? What can we do to get this boy’s Daddy here?” (He also called me an “agitator” – fancy that!) The timing couldn’t have been better as I was to learn the following day that the USCIS had suspended action on our case (without notifying me or my attorney), waiting for “missing evidence.” Considering that we submitted a complete file five months ago, the only thing “missing” is a letter that the U.S. Embassy is supposed to have sent in August 2014. Patrick and I recall that the U.S. Embassy made the same mistake on our case twelve years ago; their mistake that we pay for. The Congressman’s legal counsel is working with our attorney and while they cannot influence the decision, there’s hope that things may be expedited.
We have an ideological “Berlin Wall” on immigration reform and while politicians lob Molotov cocktails over it at each other (especially in this pre-election season), few know better than the Germans that the walls separating families will be forever resisted and, if possible, scaled, as there are few greater bonds than those of love between husband and wife, parent and child. However, the sanctity of the family unit and national security are not in conflict with each other and linking them is a bit like putting a goldfish and a shark in the same tank because, after all, they both have fins. To shed some light on this vast and multifaceted subject, allow me to offer the following thoughts and resources:
Considering God’s heart for “the widow, the orphan, and the foreigner,” it gives one pause when the secular media, comedians and commentators, legal organizations and law firms, demonstrate more compassion than many Christian denominations towards children who have fled violence or mothers who are imprisoned when they’ve committed no crime. For an entertaining and informative (and quite possibly uncomfortable) look at that subject, go 50 seconds into the following:
I regularly get asked by people about the issue of “sealing the border,” as if it’s something you could realistically do, given enough Saran Wrap.
“Trying to enhance national security by physically ‘sealing’ the border is a fool’s errand . . . there are more effective ways . . . focus law-enforcement resources on stopping the flow of money and guns from (my bold-type) the United States into Mexico . . . reform the U.S. immigration system . . . “ (my italics)
For the complete but concise article, click on the following link:
This article is part of an excellent site that I regularly reference: http://immigrationimpact.com/
While I am grateful for your prayers and support, I would also appreciate your contacting your congressman or woman and asking them to promote common sense immigration reform that doesn’t split apart families like mine. Separating the U.S. citizen children of 11,000,000 undocumented people (and even more of us whose presence here is not challenged legally) by deportation and/or detention is a national security disaster in the making. Just ask Solomon how he feels about the U.S. government. When I did, he took a sheet of paper and methodically tore it to shreds and said, “That’s what they’ve done to my family.” How else could he possibly feel?
Thank you for reading this lengthy update. I feel it’s important to begin to use my experience to educate people on the subject of immigration, which is why I spoke about more than just our story and included links for further reading. Tomorrow Patrick has to make yet another long, expensive journey for more documents/scanning, etc. If you feel so inclined, financial support would be greatly appreciated. Go to my GoFundMe site. http://www.gofundme.com/5ls8do
P.S. It was an honor to help this sweet couple apply for citizenship! http://weareoneamerica.org/blog/may-15/2015-citizenship-day