Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tic-toc our time is almost up

In September my husband will be in court. I don't know exactly what is going to happen but I've been getting really anxious about it. I feel like the clock is counting down (tic-toc, tic-toc) and we will know what direction the judge will set our lives on.

It sucks, Jose has been home for almost a year and a half and most of our family and friends our immigration woes are over. They are actually surprised that after all we went through the last few years the government still wants to deport my husband. It comes to show how most people don't know how our immigration laws work. Some actually thought he was now on the path to legal residency and were very surprised to find out he is not.

I'm feeling nervous a scared. I look back on this last year and I don't know how Cairo and I would have survived without Jose being home. The fact that he has been working has helped tremendously financially. Not to mention his presence alone has helped so much with taking care of Cairo. Jose is my support system, he's my family and life without him is just back breakingly difficult.

I read on immigration news as much as I can and sometimes I get excited thinking finally we will have CIR and hopefully it will help my family. Then I read about how those who would benefit from the proposed laws are people without criminal history and that's when I realize there aren't any politicians out there who are looking out for my family. How is "criminal history" defined? Where is the line drawn? Is someone who has committed a none violent crime a "criminal"? What if the case is vacated? Does it matter how it was vacated? Why is it that these politicians, even those in favor of CIR insist of making these distinctions?

My husband is no angel and he has made mistakes but he is a good man and a good father. He does the best he can to do right by his son and myself. He is not the same person from 5 years ago, or 10 years ago or 15 years ago. None of us are, we grow, we learn, we evolve. Why does that not account for anything? Why can't they see the person who may have made a mistake years ago is not the same person who is fighting to stay with their family now?

I'm scared that if and when CIR is passed, we will fall through the loop holes. I'm scared that our family will be split up again. I'm scared of how that will not only affect me but how that will affect my son.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Nuns on the bus.

When Jose was moved to McHenry Detention Center I was attending the Broadview prayer vigils. I met several Sisters of Mercy and there was a moment when one of them, after hearing my name, told me she knew who I was. As it turned out these Sisters visited the McHenry Detention Center and visited the immigrant detainees. During their visits, which were in person and not through the video/electronic visitations, they would pray together and asked who the detainees wanted to pray for. There was one man who would always ask for them to pray for his wife, America. I get a knot in my throat just thinking about it. Jose would always ask them to pray for me and our son, without fail.

I became familiar with the Sisters who visited Jose and asked them, at one point, if they could give him a hug for me. They certainly did and Cairo and I got a hug back :)

I got to know these Sisters. They are the reason why priests and nuns are able to board the deportation buses at the Broadview immigrant processing center and pray with the deportees before they are taken to the air port. They are the reason why their is a law in the state of Illinois that allows them to enter the McHenry Detention Center and pray, in person, with immigrant detainees. They are also the ones that connected me to Jose while he was detained. They would tell me if he was well and how he was doing in between our weekly phone calls and video only visits.

They started tour called "Nuns on the bus" and they toured the southern states speaking out in favor of immigration reform . Their tour ends today but I thought it deserved a mention :) You can read about their adventure here.

Woah, it's been almost a year since my last post here.

Life just got in the way and I've kinda neglected posting on this blog. Truth is nothing exciting has been happening for us on the immigration front. We are still scheduled for court in September, we are just anxiously waiting.

Now that my son is on summer vacation I've been trying to go to the Broadview Immigration Vigil every Friday. The last time I was there, two weeks ago, I met a young woman whose significant other was being deported that day. She's about to give birth any day. I gave her my number in case she needed someone to talk to. She mentioned she didn't have anyone here. Her family is in another state. I really hope everything turns out ok for her.

I have to say, even though Jose is home with us, my heart aches for these families who are being torn apart. It's horrible watching the buses leave and the children and wives and husbands of those being deported standing there helplessly, crying. There just has to be a better way of handling this.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The eye of the storm.

What can I say? Things are good now. Jose started working, thankfully, I still have my job and Cairo is on summer vacation. Things seem relatively normal. Every now and then I remember this is not over. We still have to be back in court some time next year, then I get a little scared because I don't know what is going to happen then.

I don't really say anything to Jose, but I'm afraid that our life as we now know it is just the eye of the storm. It's calm now but that day will be here when we least expect it and we can be thrown into all kinds of chaos all over again. Cairo and I are still going to therapy. He's doing so much better, he's started being ok being away from us over night. It's a slow process and he's a smart strong little guy. I'm sure he's going to come out of this ok.

I'm going to the immigration vigil tomorrow. We had been going kind of often but then Jose started to work. Since we only have the one care we're basically up at 5am, we drop off Cairo with Grandma or Auntie, Jose drops me off at the train and then he's off to work. It's nice that I can get out of work super early but poor Cairo is up way to early and he's going to start school soon, which is going to complicate things a little more. The good thing is I'm better at timing myself to get to the right bus or train so I don't miss the other train or bus I need to catch to get home :) Anyways...as I was saying....I'm going to the vigil tomorrow. The Cardinal is going to be there and he's looking forward to meeting some of the families that have been affected by current immigration policy. I'm looking forward to meeting him.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Jose called me at work and said he had a surprise for me. The first thing that came to mind was he most likely tore down a wall or opened up the attic or something crazy like that. When I got there he had a huge smile on his face. I asked him where my surprise was. He laughed, walked into the bedroom and came back with a couple of envelopes. His work permit finally arrived! I was so happy for him! He said he jumped for joy all by himself in the kitchen. With that in hand we went and applied for his social security number.

The guy in the social security office was a total jerk. He explained he had to ask questions and we had to answer honestly and that if we misinformed him in any way, it was a felony and could mean jail time blah blah blah. We said ok. One of the questions was if this was Jose's first time in the United States. We said yes. I mean there was a time he wasn't in the U.S. and then a time when he was and that was it, so to me the answer was yes. Well this jerk went on "reminding" us of what he had told us before..."Do you remember what I told you in the beginning? What did I tell you? Did you hear the question?" He was a complete jerk, I don't know what answer he was looking for but I don't know how the answer can be something other than yes considering Jose has never left the country.  I wanted to give him a piece of my mind but I didn't want to mess up Jose's chance of getting a social but WTF???

Anyway, we are now just counting down the days for when it finally arrives and he can finally get a drivers license and probably get back to work. I pray things continue to move forward in a positive way, that's all I ask.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It's just not effing enough

I read this article on a family from South Africa who were denied residency after coming to the US on an L-1 Visa. It's a great example on how a person can go from being a legal visa holder to limbo status in this country. It shows that not all mixed status people without documents are people who snuck across the border in the dead of night to steal white American babies for drug mules.

What get's me is the comments on this article. Day after day these people cry out "get in line", "why can't you come here the legal way?". Finally we see a family who played by their rules. They stay. They are productive. They create jobs. They pay taxes. They educate their children. They are independent from government assistance. Now that that the family is denied residency the trolls declare "get out!". Even when presented by a family who made it through the line and jumped through the vicious hoops, these people refuse to recognize the failing system.

Here are few comments:

"You've had TEN years to become "legal" .... too busy???

Adios ...."

"I see you as 10x worse of my "illegals" in this country....You should be the first that goes....you did "play by the rules" to get here, but have decided that NOW you disagree with the rules that got you here......


"You have stolen from citizens. Please leave."

They show how ignorant the commenters are about the whole system. The sad part is no matter how sad the story or how well the story shows the broken system for what it is, it will never be enough for the "antis". They will never see the broken system, they will only see the "criminals" who are in their country illegally, killing them and mooching off the system.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cairo and America miss Jose - One year later

Wow, early this month marked the anniversary of when Jose was pulled over. I can't believe the drastic change between then and now. He's been home for 4 weeks now and it's like he was never gone. Looking back I remember the feeling of hopelessness and frustration. Seeing the pain this has caused on my son, who was 5 years old at the time, was killing me slowly. My thoughts ran drastically from one place to another. One moment I would refuse to let Jose go and at another I would think F*** IT, we'll make due in Mexico one way or another. Sometimes I would imagine us there and how we would live, I would get scarred of not being able to provide for Cairo. I would cry at the thought of him trying to make his way back only for him to never make it home. At other times I would envision us here, home, living our lives like we did before. I would see us going camping and on family vacations, cooking out in our yard and playing at the park.

When Jose was gone we didn't really live, being on our own made our lives chaotic. We were always rushing to places, school, work etc... We didn't seem to have time to do anything outside of school and work. I didn't see Cairo being an average child, doing activities at school or outside of school. I didn't have time to do those things with him because we were always rushing. Now that Jose is home life is so different. I feel more at peace, life is not as rushed. Cairo is one hundred times happier. He no longer puts himself on time outs and he's slowed down on ripping his nails off, they don't bleed any more, he's too busy to pick at them.

Both Jose and I had our emotional roller coasters during this time and we both became angry with ourselves and, at times, with God. An experience like this really makes you look at yourself and your beliefs. It makes you ask those questions of why? Why is this happening? Why is this being allowed to happen? It also makes you doubt what you believe and what you want to believe. These questions, which were asked over and over in my mind, in particular when doors were harshly shut in our faces, made me pray even harder. Yes I was angry and doubtful but it didn't make me stop praying and asking for help. This past year was one of the worst years of my life, but now that I look back at it I can see how both Jose and I have changed for the best. Our family is more united than it was before and we feel completely and utterly blessed for this second chance of being together. Now I can say that I am grateful to God, now that Jose is home and in a way this experience has reinforced faith in me some how, yet I wonder how would I feel if Jose was not home? How would I feel if he were in still in jail or in Mexico? Would I still be praying for his return or would the little faith I had before this be obliterated? I hope that question will never have an answer, for now I will keep on praying....for Jose, Cairo, my family and everyone else needing support and love.