Vanessa Perez

Vanessa Perez

Bristow, VA

My husband has been ripped from my side. I haven’t kissed him in five months because of the Delegation of Immigration Authority Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

I gave birth, alone, to our beautiful daughter in October; she’s our first child. Since he’s been gone, I have had to work hard to support myself and our daughter. Recently we were married and though our wedding was performed through a pane of glass in an immigration detention facility I could focus on nothing but becoming the wife to the love of my life. My husband finally met his daughter, face to face, though he couldn’t hold her. He’ll be returning to El Salvador by the end of the month. Coming here to the US in the early 2000s, he was simply seeking to better his life and further his opportunities.

After all, America is the place that provides all the resources to build a better future for yourself. Because of his absence in our family’s life, I will now shoulder the financial burden for the three of us. I’ll have to keep two jobs just to pay my bills, provide food and diapers for our daughter and also provide my husband with money to live off of in El Salvador.

Since his incarceration I’ve suffered a great amount of emotional damage. Nights are hard to get through, every time I see his picture I cry. I can only hope our daughter will know her father by the time she is one year old (we’re working on a spouse visa). Being American means succeeding in life, with a family by your side. Too many families are being ripped apart and are now living in poverty because of failed immigration policies.

We should truly be Americans and welcome those different than us. They truly only make us better — I know my husband makes me better.

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