It is very difficult for me to make this account. I try to live a life without fear and pride, however, those are two things I feel while typing this.
I never thought I would be in a situation nor vulnerable enough to ask for support/assistance, let alone, through a social media platform. I never imagined being vulnerable enough to share my personal affairs and hardships, However, under the circumstances we are facing as a family, I cannot allow fear and pride in my life. I am struggling in all aspects.
My husband is a nonimmigrant. He legally entered the U.S with a temporary visa in 1995 ,as a young adult. Unfortunately, he overstayed and did not file the appropriate paperwork in time. When he attempted to change his status to help and move forward in his situation, he was instead, given final orders of removal.
However, he was unable to "remove" himself from the U.S and the U.S could not deport him. His native country would not provide a travel document on his behalf.
When someone is undeportable, they are given "orders of supervision." For nearly 10 years under these orders, My husband has reported to immigration once a year and obtained work authorization, as instructed. He has fully cooperated and has not been in criminal trouble.
He has been gainfully employed and paid taxes every year since he entered the U.S.
Many people do not realize that non u.s citizens can infact establish lawful social security numbers, obtain employment and pay taxes. This is a FACT.
Many people will assume that when you are married to a U.S citizen or have U.S citizen children, you gain legal status. This is FALSE.
It is a process, a lot of paperwork and it has cost a lot of money. Under the circumstances of him having a " removal order" it became more difficult, causing him to be stuck in a complex and dead end system with no clear pathway to adjusting his status, regardless of our marriage and children.
With the new administration and laws, it was recommended that we not even try to re open his case, as you only have one chance. It was recommended to be patient and wait for laws to change and for things to get "better." Instead, it has only gotten more complicated and difficult.
With the new administration and laws, the U.S obtained a travel document for my husband's deport. Something we became fearful of but something we were not expecting nor necessarily prepared for. If you have seen the recent news on these immigration stories and families being "torn apart", we are now one of them.
On Thursday, Feb. 15th, we went to Milwaukee, WI, for my husband's annual immigration check in. Typically, these last 2 minutes. They ask if there are any changes to address or employment. They called his name for his appt. As I patiently sat in the waiting room, I knew something wasn't right. It was taking too long. They informed him that he was being detained and would be deported before March 14th, 2018 I was not allowed to see him. I left Milwaukee on my own and went straight to an attorney.
The attorney informed me she could file a "Stay of Removal" which could temporary delay or stop his deportation. The success rate for this is 25%.
I gave her the flat rate amount she asked for, which was a significant amount of money, especially considering the hardship we will now be facing due to these circumstances.
I proceeded to travel home, emotional about the situation and not knowing how to share this news with our children.
It has been difficult to not have him around, especially for our youngest, whom is a complete "daddy's girl"
My husband is our main financial provider. We no longer have him, as of now. I work part time from home and have no choice but to seek additional employment to provide and keep up with our expenses.
If he is deported, I will need to sell our home and vehicles. Everything about our lives and means of living, have and will change drastically.
Regardless of him being deported or being able to stay in the U.S temporarily, we will be looking at future legal expenses to help him stay or come back to the U.S.
We have 2 children and though a little early to share, I am pregnant and we are expecting in October. It should be happy and exciting news, however, it makes matters a little more sensitive and emotional.
I honestly feel like everything is crashing down on me all at once. I carry a heavy burden. Though it is difficult during this time, I am fully trusting in God and keeping faith that everything will fall into place.
My husband is a great man. I have seen him help many in need and work hard for what he desires. He has been a good father, husband and provider. He has never taken his time in the U.S for granted. He has respected our country and always seeked to live the "American Dream." I cannot imagine him going back to a country he has not been to in 20 years.
Please Pray for our family. Pray for our strength.
My main fear on sharing our story, is that I have witnessed so many people judge on immigration situations because of lack of understanding. Not only that, we are a multiracial family, which unfortunately causes hate and judgement. This is why I have taken the time to explain in as much detail as possible. If you are not in this situation or do not have the knowledge, please educate yourselves. Please ask questions. Please do not judge. This is a very traumatic and horrible experience for anyone going through it.