A Message From the Family of an “Illegal Alien”

A Message From the Family of an “Illegal Alien” February 14, 2017

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I received a message from a reader whose husband is in the country illegally.

After trying and trying since we were fianceed to get him legalized, after finally achieving a job where I almost made enough to sponsor him (I fell 1000 short this year) and after spending close to 1000 on multiple lawyer consultations alone, Trump got elected.

We were going to fill out the i130, and then the 601a. We knew it was going to be difficult. The i130 is easier, basically just declares your marriage as official to immigration. It can protect you from deportation. The i601a is a waiver that says he can go back to Mexico for his interview and not trigger an official 10 year ban (unofficially forever). Because of course it makes sense to send people to Juarez with the promise that all they have to do to get a green card is do what they’re told, and then you punish them for it. Going through the i601a is helping. Imagine being told that children needing their father is not a reason to be in the United States. Imagine being told that the government doesn’t care that his removal will leave you homeless and possibly jobless.

We were going to file this week. And then I saw how returning Green card holders were treated. And I saw the alien list decree [the executive order that a list of crimes committed by “aliens” should be published weekly]. I listened to Trump’s speech.

If we file the i130, I imagine it will be even easier to be targeted by immigration goons. Because the people who attempt to follow the law are always punished first especially if you cross an international property line.

The lawyer was going to cost 1200. The government increased their price by 535 or something.

The i601a would probably have cost 4k for the lawyer, at least, and over 1000 in government fees, and I don’t even want to know what travel and visits to a government approved doctor (read: doctor who wants you deported) would have been.

But now, I watch legal permanent residents being treated like criminals.

So I have no hope anymore. I am done. I am afraid this will go further than deportation and straight into some modern form of slavery or death.

I am not being dramatic. I know far too much history, and not just Holocaust history. Its like crazy leaders all study from the same crazy play book.

I understand that, at this point, some readers are already typing in the combox that if her husband didn’t want to be trapped in this situation, he shouldn’t have broken the law. But let’s remember that we have no idea how and why her husband came to this country in the first place. Certainly, some people come to this country illegally in order to commit violent crimes. But others come fleeing gangs. Others come because they’re desperate to work, and they’re willing to do backbreaking manual labor that citizens don’t want to do anyway, for less than citizens would get paid. Some people are here illegally because their parents brought them when they were little children. Some are here because they were trafficked.

The purpose of law is  justice– not pettiness, not the slapping of penalties onto certain kinds of actions regardless of circumstances, but justice. Justice demands fair, equitable treatment for everyone, rich or poor, privileged or not, white or not. It demands mercy, especially when enforcing laws would put the criminal’s family members in danger. Any law which is blatantly unjust is no law at all. Requiring someone to spend that much money and place himself in that much danger, and to put his family in danger of homelessness as well, in order to win the prize of citizenship, is not justice. It’s brutality, and mindless bureaucracy for bureaucracy’s sake.

I wrote to her again, after this weekend’s immigration raids, to ask if they were all right.

So far we are okay, since we are not in one of the targeted areas. However, there has been a lot (a lot!) more unmarked cars and they don’t all look like normal police. And they’re in areas with a lot of middle eastern immigrants… There has also been harassment of people with green cards. So, we are very tense and preparing for the worst. We don’t know if we will all go to Mass next Sunday. We are playing it by ear.

She gave me permission to present her story to you, the reader, in case there’s anyone willing to listen to her family’s story.

Ask yourself if you want to live in a country where families are afraid to go to Mass on Sunday.

There has to be an easier way– a way that’s actually just.

(image via pixabay)


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