If you have anything to give this holiday season, please help give our family a chance at being together. My husband and I had been working towards his US permanent residency for years. After thousands of dollars of legal and immigration fees and 3 years of processing and waiting, he had his appointment at the US Consulate for his immigrant visa, but at the interview he was both denied the visa and denied entry back into the US. We were shocked because we thought we had done everything we needed for him to be here 100% legally. Instead of finally celebrating the start of a new life for him and his return to our 1- and 3-year old sons in Utah, we now weep for our family which has been shockingly and painfully torn apart.
We had made an interstate move last summer so I could start my doctoral program this past Fall. I have a 2-hour one-way commute to the university and barely see my kids; he was helping watch them while waiting for his legal right to work so we could afford to move closer to school. I cannot pay both childcare and rent in Salt Lake City and am now forced to chose between sending my two babies to live with their father in a dangerous part of Mexico or quitting my doctorate program and owing all the money that has been paid to me for tuition and in stipend form.
We have one recourse and it is to apply for a waiver to let him become a permanent resident on humanitarian grounds and to keep our family together. However, there are $6,880 in legal fees to finally have the family together, and the process will take about a year. I am working furiously to submit the application here in the US as soon as possible, but I can't afford any more legal fees, especially with my spouse unable to work in the US. Here is the itemized breakdown of our legal and USCIS fees, not including what we need for flights or a hotel while at the consulate: $930 I-601 Filing Fee, $1,000 Remaining I-601 Attorney fee, $325 I-130 Visa processing fee, $535 I-130 Visa petition fee, $230 Mandatory medical appointment ($3,020 Total).
Due to problems with our previous immigration attorney (who was jailed on multiple counts of extortion earlier this year!!), we are using a new representative, who contrary to our old attorney informed us that we could petition right now to bring Mario's son Brandon to live with us. That is exciting news, but it again requires money that we don't have and the process will take about a year as well. Here is the breakdown of fees required to unite him with the rest of our family: $2,500 Brandon's attorney fee, $325 I-130 filing fee, $535 I-130 petition fee, $500 Medical exam and immunizations ($3,860 Total).
I know it's the holiday season and everyone has lots of stress about being able to afford gifts for all of their loved ones, but on behalf of my husband and our children we would be forever indebted and grateful for any amount you might be able to spare to help us move forward in life. I am heartbroken that my innocent babies have been sentenced to live apart from their father for at least a year, but if we are unable to bring him back at all with the implication that my babies must grow up without a father, I won't be able to bear it.
- Alana Peters
- kimberly ochoa
- Heather David
- Tom Carlson