Catherine Sparer-Morales

Catherine Sparer-Morales

New Haven, CT

I’m a classic American – some of my ancestors came here when “here” was British colonies, some just a few generations ago. I have two adorable kids, a great job, and the knight-in-shining-armor husband that little girls dream of as they plan their future weddings.

He’s fun-loving, family-oriented, intelligent, creative, and thoughtful – the kind of guy who’ll help you move or fix your stereo. Everyone who knows him counts on him for something, and he’s never let us down. When we got married, I figured we’d sort out his citizenship eventually. In the meantime, I left SSNs off of paperwork, kept the car insurance I had from when I was single (a little white lie that still haunts me and costs us double besides), and we’ve been pretty lucky. Of course, since he came from Mexico without a visa, we never did obtain legal residency for him (although most people assume we could!), but we’ve managed just fine.

That’s not to say it hasn’t been stressful – when our daughter was a baby, terrifying thoughts filled my days at home (“Will today be the day he doesn’t come home? Will he get to make a phone call? What will I do?”). And when New Haven introduced a controversial ID program, the INS swooped in like a hawk. Rumors flooded the city. Good friends locked their doors in fear, and community groups rushed to inform everyone of their rights (“The police can’t enter your home without a warrant! If they produce a warrant, only the person named should come out of the house!”).

Thankfully, we went unscathed. The worries have (mostly) faded into the background for me, and my husband claims not to worry at all. What weighs on him most is not having seen his mother or siblings in 13 years (although I’ve been to visit them three times), and not being able to finish college or fully pursue his career.

Now, I can almost feel some redneck barking over my shoulder “Well, who told him to come here? He should go back where he came from!” But I’m the one keeping him here. Our children are keeping him here, and I want what’s best for us. So here we are, keeping this well known secret, waiting with millions of others for a busy and burdened government to decide our fate. All my love and best wishes to all of you in the same boat!

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