Please don't deport my husband: part two
(continued from last issue)
ICE agrees to not take my husband into custody, but rather they will put him on an Order of Supervision. This will allow us time to “prepare” for his deportation from the states and they will give us regular reporting dates until that date is set and carried out. How can I prepare? I am 7.5 months pregnant with my 5th child. There is no preparation for this.
We call our attorney and all agree that this is best. We then invite the ICE agents, our enemies, or foes, into our home. Sit them at our table. Offer them drink. And sign the papers stating when we will next report.
The following Monday my Doctor admitted me into the hospital. I had my daughter 8 weeks premature four days later by emergency c-section, due to stress related conditions. Um, YOU THINK! We visited her daily in the NICU and prayed for everything to be ok with our little 3 lb 11oz Camila Maria De Jesus. We were just so thankful for so many things; that Luis had not gone to the store that day; that they gave us an Order of Supervision. All so that he could be here for the birth of our little miracle girl. So many things to be thankful for on top of so much heartache and worry.
We went to our first appointment with ICE while she was still in the hospital. We told them what happened and they were actually great about it. They told us not to worry – to deal with our daughter first and setup a follow appointment with the office that handles folks on Orders of Supervision.
During the time between visits we did finally get out Camila home. Such a wonderful gift but hardly enjoyed with all the stress surrounding us. We used the time between visits to work with our attorney, and I called on two others to get 2nd and 3rd opinions. All agreed that basically, there was nothing we could do to stop the deportation. Nothing, nada. In short, we could keep attempting to keep ICE at bay and do our regular check-ins but eventually, and we knew not when, he would have to return to Mexico.
At that time, I could apply for hardship waiver. A hardship waiver is NOT my children will be left fatherless. Or I will lose Mi Amor, my husband, mi esposo, mi mejor amigo. No, no, a hardship is much, much harder to come by. We would be truly out on a limb. And these waivers can take anywhere from 6 months to years to process. All while you are separated. All while you know that if the hardship is not approved, then he would be subjected to the 10 year ban on returning.
Moving to Mexico is not an option. Mexico is in the middle of a war with the drug cartels. They rule the government and every other enterprise that is available for the taking. My children would all be in danger as would I. No, the Gringa, would not be going to Mexico. We would just have to fight the fight the best we could and pray. And pray and pray and pray.
We went to our second check-in on December 15, 2011. We were prepared to check-in and get a new check-in date. Rather, we were told to return on January 17th, 2012 with his Mexican passport in hand and an itinerary outlining when he would be deporting to Mexico. Otherwise, ICE would personally handle it for us. Not in a nice let me book that flight for you way, more as in a, put your hands behind your back way.
We left. In shock. As we got in our car I knew I could not drive. I needed time to process. I got out the car and told Mi Amor that we should get a coffee first and think this over. This is what I do. Think. I needed to think.
We grabbed a coffee and sat on a bench in silencio. Just then I saw the original 2 ICE agents walking to lunch. I stopped them and they asked how the baby was. Yes, you heard me – they asked about my sweet Camila. These guys had felt our pain and understood. And we understood that they are doing their job. And at the end of the day we are all just people trying to make it the best we can.
We informed the agents of what had occurred and where we stood. I told them the info I had received from 3 attorneys and they shook their heads and said they thought I should possibly speak with another attorney. They gave us a name of one they work with frequently on deportation cases and we called.
I met with Stephanie Nodine of Torres Law Firm in Charleston, S.C. the very next week. I knew right away she was the attorney for me. She’s a thinker. Not a in the box thinker. A let’s really listen to you and consider all the options kind of thinker, Mama like.
So Stephanie recommends that we file a motion, a Motion to Reopen. In essence, asking the court to set aside his deportation order and re-open the case as he was not notified. The angels begin to sing. The birds chirp. The sun just barely glimpses my way. We have a hope. A small hope, but that is all a girl like me needs to hold on to.
So we have filed the motion, and this effectively puts a “stay of deportation” on Mi Amor. They cannot come and take him in the night. They cannot say “put your hands behind your back”. At least until the Motion to Reopen order is decided. They can say no. Even though he was not notified and we have the proof – as the government does – they can still say no. My family can still be destroyed with the gavels pound. Pero! But, it also could be approved.
If it is approved, then we have a fight of a chance. Of course, he would still have to return to Mexico and apply for the hardship waiver, and we still face a long separation, but we are willing to fight the fight. We will continue.
I begin an online petition asking everyone I know – and people I don’t, to sign it. And they do, boy do they. The outpouring of love and support is overwhelming. It gives us hope. It keeps us going. It’s all a girl like me needs.
Then the big news – the hugest news of all! Obama has signed in a New Rule. The new rule states that if you are the spouse or child of an American Citizen and will be applying for a hardship waiver you may now do so from the United States. You do not have to return to your home country. You do not have to leave your children fatherless. You do have to separate from tu Amor.
The Motion to Reopen could be denied. The hardship waiver could be denied. This could all be for nothing. But how can it be? I told you I could look into those eyes forever and I meant it. My marriage and my family are everything to me. I will not give up. I won’t just accept this. I won’t take it lying down or even sitting up. You will find me fighting and arguing and speaking out on exactly what is wrong with our immigration system.
My husband was wrong. He made the poorest decision of his life. Maybe you think I am wrong because I loved and married him anyway. Maybe I am. But my babies are not wrong. Having a wonderful, loving father is never wrong. No matter what papers he didn’t do, or what line in the sand he crossed.
I need my husband, the same as I am sure that you need your spouse. My children need their father, the same as I am sure your children need their father. The color of our skin has no matter in my home. Nor do the lands that we were born in, or the languages that we speak. We are a family – la familia. And there can never, ever, be anything wrong with that.
Viva La Familia!!! To be continued.