Wednesday, July 29, 2015

His One Year Anniversary

July 25, 2014 - A huge day in the history of our family. Jose crossed the border from Mexico into the United States of America with a visa in his passport. Only an immigrant to our "great" nation can truly understand that feeling. I've been there beside him for almost the last decade and I can't even grasp what this truly means for him. There will be no more long walks across the scorching desert to try and cross an invisible line between poverty and providing for your family. La migra doesn't invoke fear in our hearts, at least not as much. One year of permanent residency has come and gone in almost the blink of an eye.
Jose has been able to take two trips home to visit his family and his two sons in that time. After not seeing your family for 12 years, you cherish the ability to step onto that plane and go see them just because you can.

Our next step is applying for United States citizenship on his three year anniversary July 25, 2017. We can actually submit his application 90 days prior to that. The process will take approximately 6-12 months and in the meantime he needs to drastically improve his level of English and learn/memorize the 100 Civic questions for the citizenship exam. Most Americans can't even pass this test! Then we can apply for his oldest son Michel to come to the United States and once he crosses the border, he becomes a US citizen as long as he is still under the age of 18. We will apply to permanent residency for my mother in law which will take another year and apply for both of his sisters as well. Even though Isabel and Maria might get approved in a year or two, they have to get in the proverbial line. That line is currently backed up to petitions approved in March of 1997. It's only about 18 and a half years long. Heck, by that time, we might be able to get them tourist visas since they will be old and crusty and not pose a danger to overstay their visas according to USCIS.

So slowly but surely we are getting there. I am most depressed about the fact that US Immigration is going to play a role in my family's happiness for several more decades. What a depressing thought!

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