Jesina Lopez

Jesina Lopez

Lakeland, FL

My story begins before I was even born. My mom(an American citizen) married my dad, that at the time was an “illegal immigrant” from Mexico. My dad worked very hard (and still does) in the fields since he first came here. He obtained his Resident card 35-40 plus years ago thru his employer. When I was old enough to walk, talk and hold a strawberry pint basket I helped my parents work.

Eventually when I got into high school I got “a regular job in a grcery store” at age 15 after school. My parents stopped having me work in the fields and we stopped traveling up north to pick fruit up there during summer break so that me and my siblings could focus more on school and be more stable. When I was 17 I met the love of my life(Gera) who was 22 at the time. I knew in my heart when I first met him that he was going to be my husband. I know that sounds soo corney but I swear it’s true. We had our son within a year from that. Our daughter came 3 years later.

In 2004 I had paper work submitted to immigration petitioning for my husband but because of an atorney’s errors and lack of professionalism his case was denied and closed. We attempted again in 2008 to resubmitt to immigration via a new attorney.As this process was beginning my husband had a legal problem and was given 6 months probation for a misdemeanor charge. He completed and payed all that was requested of him. The last month of his probation he was asked to come in on a second date(which was unusual considering his P.O. had pretty much said that he was done on a previous date that month).

My husband and I kind of already had a sense of what was going to happen but we knew if he did not show up it would be worse so we went. I can say that that day was the worst day of my life and the begining of a horrible nightmare. There were 2 ICE agents waiting for him at the probation office. Of course I was just in devastation and an array of utter disbelief and saddness and panic. One of the agents was unsympathetic, sarcastic and errogant. After my husband was taken I was left with such a feeling of emptiness and pain. I had to tell my kids there dad was taken by ICE and I was not sure what was going to happen. Thank fully after 2 months of my husband being detained in Miami and Key West he was granted release on bond. But our ordeal is just beginning we still have pending court dates to continue this process so we are in limbo and unsure of what the future will hold but at the same time so glad that my husband can be home with us during this process and cherishing every moment we have together as a family.

I have always had great patriotism and I still do. I love my country with all my heart and soul and I want my kids to feel the same. I sometimes ask myself how is it that my country that I love and cherish so much is willing to take the love of my life and my childrens father away from us or on the other hand be willing to let me and my children go to a drug war filled country full of violence( that we have never encountered) a country that we have never gone to and limit my childrens opportunities, well-being and health.

I find this whole situation surreal and horrific at the same time. I pray every day and do not lose faith that my husband will not be deported and my family can remain intact. My husband does not want to leave his children or me he wants to be with us and continue raising our children here in their country so they can have a better life than he did in his country. But it is ironic how our government emphasizes the importance of family unity and the importance of both parents being in the home but yet it is ok to force our families to be single parent homes or make us choose between our spouses and the father or mother of our children and our country because they do not want to extend any type of exception for immigrants with U.S citizen spouses and children. To me personnaly this is an impossible choice.

I love my husband and want him to be with our children but I do not want to leave my country I think this is just wrong.What is going to happen with these children 15 or 20 yrs from now that are either motherless or fatherless because of this injustice. They will know that their goverment took from them their mom or dad. We already know the poor outcomes of a large number of children that come from single parent homes (that are by choice) what will the future hold with resentful, hurt and angry children that their parent was not there because they were forced to be out of their lives and country? I hope someone out there reads this and has a more sympathetic and open mided view on what this broken and devastatingly unfair immigration laws are really having. I also ask that before criticising and being judgmental inform and educate yourself on the reality of this system once you realize how messed up and unfair it is and the real impact this has on American citizens lives I hope you will let your voice be heard to change these horrendous laws that are ripping families lives apart.

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