There are many sides to the immigration story. Unfortunately I’m not as eloquent a writer as Mr. Vargas, but I too have been effected by the broken immigration system.
I am a US citizen who married a national of the Netherlands in 2003. We applied for an immigrant visa for him and it was denied because of a ticket for marijuana in 1993. His record has been expunged in the Netherlands.
At the time I thought this was a speed bump. If I/we worked hard and jumped through their hoops, we could overcome this obstacle. Isn’t that what we learn in school here? Work hard and you can achieve anything.
After many tries, contact with everyone we could think of, hundreds of letters and phone calls and e-mails, we’ve come to understand that there are no more possibilities. Everyone we contacted was very sorry – but there was nothing they could do. What this means is, since we want to start a family, I’ll have to move to the Netherlands. I’m 40, we’re running out of time. We’ve put off having children til this was resolved. We don’t have the luxury of waiting anymore.
In 135 days I will be leaving to be with my husband. I will close my business, sell everything off, and get on that plane. It sickens me that I have to leave. I don’t want to live anywhere else. Naturally there is more to this story, and again I apologize for not being a ‘writer’. Should you have any questions I’d be happy to answer them.
I don’t mind so much that I failed personally, I do mind that I’ve failed to make a difference.
Thanks for your time.
submitted to Define American on June 23, 2011 at 10:33
We hope to share more stories that "define American" and beg critical questions about the state of immigration in our country. Submit your story here. Names are changed to maintain anonymity.