My name is Kathryn Balleh. I am from Boise, Idaho, but I currently live in Istanbul, Turkey. I am making this fundraising campaign on behalf of my husband, who has this message:
We are Bashar and Kathryn Balleh. We met in Istanbul, Turkey, and it was love at first sight. Despite our cultural differences, we got married in January, 2017, just months after meeting. Knowing that the only way to make sure we would not be separated by war and conflict would be to attain equal legal status, we soon thereafter we applied for my spouse visa to move to the U.S. and start our new life together.
However, the travel ban proclaimed by Mr. Trump and confirmed by the Supreme Court has made our plan impossible for the time being. The ban affects all visas for people from my country, including my immigrant spouse visa. There are waivers if there is "undue hardship" made clear in the visa interview, but less than 1% of qualifying cases have received such waivers.
We will wait in Turkey until we are able to immigrate to the U.S., or Canada, or any country that will take us both as equal citizens. For now, we are in Istanbul, Turkey.
But Turkey is not secure for us. Each of us apply to renew our residence permits each year, and it is up to the whim of the Turkish government to let us continue to stay or not. This system has been generally predictable, but with changing politics in this country, we can no longer be certain that we will both be able to live here.
While we have visited my home country together before, that ability has now expired. If I am not granted a residence permit, I am unable to return to my home country. That is why we are starting this GoFundMe. I need to pay $10,000 total to be able to insure that I have a safety net in case of deportation in Turkey.
Having this fee paid will mean that we can live with a sense of peace and security in our already unpredictable lives. It will allow us to visit my family freely, and to live with more freedom of movement.
This fee for me, and for all people from my country living abroad, represents a huge obstacle that we all work to overcome. If I can overcome this obstacle in my life with your help, I will be one step closer to living like a normal human on this planet. I don't have the words to adequately express my gratitude just at the idea of this.
Thank you so much for your support, for helping me and my wife get our lives onto a normal track. Thank you for your help.
Bashar and Kat
Kat again: I will withdraw the funds raised from my US bank account, which I can access in Turkey, and I will be responsible for transferring these donations to Bashar, who will use the money as a safety net in Turkey. It will be used for travel out of Turkey if needed.