We are raising money for a dear friend whose family is currently separated due to United States immigration laws. Amy and her husband, Carlos, have been working to be reunited as a family for the past 7 years. Your help will allow the family to travel to see each other while their forced separation continues.
From her blog:
A lot of people ask why Carlos can't live in the US. Here's where I try to explain that.
Carlos arrived to the US as a teenager in the 90s. He graduated from high school, went to college, we met in 2003, dated for 4 1/2 years, married in 2007. Tired of living in the shadows in the US, Carlos made the decision to move out of the country and a month after that, I joined him in exploring options in Europe and then finally settling in Northern Mexico. In October 2008, while 8 months pregnant with our son, Carlos and I received the final word from the US Consulate in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico. He is not eligible for a visa to live in the US as my spouse, and he also isn't eligible for the hardship waiver that US citizen spouses usually get to file when their loved one isn't eligible for a visa.
All this because of one unfortunate day when he was 16, when he was forced by a parent to seek entry to the US using a relative's US birth certificate instead of the visitor's visa he already possessed. Under immigration law -- INA 212 A 6 C ii to be specific -- a false claim of US citizenship carries a lifetime ban with no waiver. Still, the fact that Carlos was ineligible for the waiver was a surprise to most who knew our case, including the legal counsel we sought before the interview. Evidently the immigration world had been misinformed, because everyone was under the impression the consulate would not be applying this law to people who were minors at the time the incident occurred, as minors are generally considered to have limited capacity to make these decisions or understand the implications.
So finally, after 3 1/2 years of living in separate countries, at the end of the summer of 2011, we all left our lives in our countries of birth, and moved to South Korea to be together. Meanwhile, we re-opened our push for justice, filing a new visa application and attending a new visa interview where we were denied again at the US Embassy in Seoul in November of 2012. This was part of our lawyer's master plan to continue the fight. About two weeks later, we welcomed our daughter, born here in Seoul.
In March of 2013, the US Department of State published a new approach to the issue that has us banned for life; it seems that they will now start looking deeper at the specifics in cases where the immigrant was a minor at the time, and it looks promising for our family. Our lawyer has been a few steps ahead of this change and we are currently finalizing the arguments that will hopefully lead to being cleared of this inadmissibility and on to "simply" seeking a waiver for remaining 4 years of the 10-year ban that was triggered when Carlos remained in the US without authorization after his 18th birthday.
Amy and Carlos are now in different countries and continuing to fight.
UPDATE: On July 2, 2014, the family received news that their most recent attempt to bring Carlos home was again denied by US Customs and Immigration Services. It will be an expensive process to reunite while the next steps are determined. Please consider helping this wonderful and deserving family!
Please donate anything you can and feel free to share with friends and family!
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