Sometimes couples who have been together for many years are separated by mishaps in the immigration process. Such is the case for a foreign woman who married a man in the U.S. She traveled home to fix her immigration problems and got stuck there, unable to return to her husband. Couples in San Diego may be able to relate to their plight, because it appears to be an increasingly common issue.
The woman arrived into this country when she was only 10 years old. Her mother, fleeing from domestic violence, brought the young girl and her sister across the border close to San Diego without proper documentation. More than 10 years later, she met her future husband while he was stationed with the United States Navy. They eventually married, and the woman decided she wanted to become a legal citizen.
They hired an immigration attorney who explained that the woman would have to go back to Mexico to obtain a visa that would allow for her to re-enter the country legally. She visited the United States Consulate to begin the visa application process, but when she was interviewed by a representative from the Department of State, the interviewer concluded the woman had previously entered the country illegally. If actually documented, it could result in the woman being barred from ever returning to the United States.
The woman later unwittingly signed documents admitting to the purported immigration offense when she was a child. When the couple’s lawyer appealed, the Department of State did not budge. A congressman attempted to intervene on the couple’s behalf but was also unable to help. The woman is now working in Tijuana, trying to find a way to reunite with her husband.
Hopefully, the woman will find a way to re-enter this country legally and be reunited with her husband. Her case highlights the challenges that so many immigrant families face in this country while raising the question of whether immigrants should be penalized for something they did as children under the direction of their parents.
Source: poststar.com, “Couple separated by immigration snafu,” Don Lehman, June 10, 2012