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Love without Borders

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My wife and I met at a Mission. She and her three children had come to the U.S.A. from Mexico, refugees from the cartel violence, in 2013. The details need to stay unspoken, because it is still a very real danger. Her and her three children were welcomed in at the Mission and given room and board in return for volunteer work at the Mission and in the service projects and Ministry Outreach Events it took part in. 
   I came to the Mission, from the street. With much the same type of agreement. I had spent almost two years living in the city streets, in heavy addiction. When I came to the Mission it was because one of the missionaries living there had been reaching out to me. He had been working with me some time already, and I had come to the point where I was ready and willing to accept help in getting recovery from my addictions and getting my life on track. There are innumerable dificulties facing a person in the situation I was in.  But that is a story for another time. For now we will suffice it to say that "Through God, all things are possible".  He knew what He was doing in bringing me to the Mission. He brought together all of the programs and support in ways that boggle the logical mind. He also brought me my hearts desire. A Family.
   When I returned to the Mission after going through a residencial rehab program for the purpose of detoxing from methodone. Norma and I (not my wife at that time) started to really get to know each other. As we learned each other's  languages,  we also learned more about each other and the dificulties we faced.  As we got closer as friends, the children and I got closer.  And a beautiful thing happened. We started falling in love.  We tried denying it for some time.  We didn't have time for love, we thought.  I was in Missionary training classes, an intensive supervision rehab program called "Drug Court", working whatever jobs I could, fulfilling my responsibilities at the Mission, and trying to get my life together, all with no vehicle or even a valid drivers license. Norma was a single Mother with three children, trying to keep her children safe, working a full time job, filling the reponsibilities at the Mission, and getting on her feet, a stranger in a strange land.
   But Love will not be denied. There is no stronger power in this universe than love.  The more one tries to deny love, the stronger that feeling becomes. We soon figured out that there was no denying it, and that we were destined to be a family. We desperately needed each other, on the level of our very soul. 
    We got married Nov, 7th, 2015. And nobody who knows us has any doubt who is Daddy for my children. (I may not have bioligical children, but I have three beautiful, loving children all the same).
In March of 2017 we submitted all the Applications for the Residency, four separate  I130 Petition for Alien Relative (the application necessary to gain residency through marriage) and I485 Petition to Change Status (the application necessary to change status from alien to US resident), one for each child and my wife. The total cost of which was slightly under seven thousand dollars, and that is doing all the work ourselves. The papers were outside normal processing times, but in November of 2017 we went to the interview at Homeland Security to finish the long process. When we arrived to the interview,  the officer informed us that due to the removal proceedings scheduled, we would need the Judge to approve the change of status, or close the removal proceedings in order that Homeland Security could approve it. However our I130 Petition for Alien Relative, was approved for my wife and all three children on that day.  In January of 2018 we went to court and were informed by the Judge, that we needed to submit a petition to close the removal proceedings, also that I could write it myself, and that even if the goverment wanted to fight it, she could close it. And the court was reset. In March of 2018 we went to court, having already submitted the petition to close the case.  Going by what the Judge had stated, we arrived with a feeling of joy,  thinking at long last, we would be able to finish this and move on with our life as a family.
   We left that day with very heavy hearts. When we entered the courtroom, the Judge spoke to us off the record,  was very apologetic, very nice about it, did try to find a solution. But. She informed us that since ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) had decided to fight our petition, there was nothing she could do, the exact opposite of her words in January. The ICE agent was very disrepectful and flippant. Refusing to give any input when asked by the Judge. At one point the Judge asked him  if we could petition to withdraw asylum. To which he stated dismissively, "they can try,  but I doubt we will allow it". It was very clear to me that the Judges hands were tied, and that ICE simply wants to deport people. There is absolutely no reason to stand in the way of our residency. My wife has no criminal record of any kind, not even a speeding ticket. And there is real danger to my wife and childrens lives if they return. Recent events make it a clear and present danger.
    We have tried to do everything the correct way. Paid all the fees, submitted all papers, made every appointment, got the medical exams, biometrics,  and my wife entered legally by seeking asylum at the Mexico border. Leaving the bridge a VISA number. Why on earth would the US goverment want to punish us for doing things the right way? It seems like they would want to demonstrate that doing things the right way would end with a good result. Especially with current events and public interest in Immigration.
    Upon consulting with lawyers, I have found that there has been a recent change in immigration law which allows ICE to do this,  explaining the difference in the Judges behavior. Now we have very few options, one is let them deport my wife and children, putting them in risk for their lives. Never.
Or we fight in the court rooms using lawyers we cannot afford. We spent everything we had on the original applications, and our first home. Our home is still not finished, it was a fixer upper trailer home. We need to run the plumbing, electrical, and put siding and a roof in one area, as well as replace a couple windows, before it will be livable. But it's getting there.
Due to the removal proceedings, my wife can not work. If we pay for a work permit, it lasts only until the next court date. And it takes about that long to arrive, if not longer. No value there. I work at the local christian television station for minimum wage. Driving 40 miles one way to work each day. As the sole bread winner for a family of five, you can imagine how little extra we have left after costs each month.
We spend our extra time helping people. I reach out to the homeless and drug addicts and help them in much the same way as I was once helped. I take groups both large and small into the homeless communities to help in practical ways such as bringing food and basic necessities. And also to visit with these people who rarely have a chance to have a genuine conversation with a human being. I have found this to be extremely valuable, not just for the people we are reaching out to, but also for the people who are reaching out. The youth groups are the best example of this. I also work with a number of local rehabs. I go and share my testimony, to show a tangible example of how real the hope of recovery truely is. You see, it is very difficult to believe possible when you are locked into addiction. Also, I help with the Bible studies and Mens groups. Whether you believe as I do, that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. All recovery circles agree that a spiritual life and personal relationship with God, is necessary to be successful in recovery. Some phrase it differently is all. And so, I give an access to this facet of recovery, even in the rehabs that can not incorporate such into the scripted program.
My wife spends her time, helping the elderly in the community, and victims of human trafficking. We work with a number of Ministries who reach out to, help rescue, and even rehabilitate these people who need so badly to see that there is good in this world. My wife has a real heart for victims of Human Trafficking, and woman victims of Violence. And in befriending them, she can help build them up as people, to see the value in themselves. She can speak into their lives in a way that many can not. This is a Ministry type that is always short handed, and so many times she will take practical roles such as supervision, or on site point of contact. Even teaching how to cook.
We truly spend our time giving and building up the community. We are not trying to do anything wrong, we simply want what we deserve and have already paid for in the residency. It is tragic that anyone should be put through this when trying to do the right things.
For this reason, and although I am ashamed to need it, we need all the help we can get. This is going to be expensive battle, an emotional struggle, and very stressful. But we feel that on a National level, this can't be allowed to fail. To allow them to set a precedent, that applying for US residency/citizenship in the correct manner leads to deportation, families seperated, and large amounts of money lost, would be more than just tragic. It would be truly devastating on an international scale. If US immigration needs reform, this is certainly not the direction it should be going.

In our Fundraising Goal we have estimated the costs of the lawyers bills, and costs of following the strategies outlined by the lawyers we have spoken to. And a small amount towards the last details of getting our home set up.

We thank you from the heart for any donation, big or small. Even if you can not donate financially, Prayers are extremely welcomed. And we pray a special blessing upon each of you reading this, and for any others who may be in similiar circumstances. May God bless you and Keep you.
-Luke Bowman


  • Daniel Mazur
    • $50 
    • 6 yrs


Luke Bowman
Fabens, TX

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