Shannon Vazquez

Shannon Vazquez

Norman, OK

My husband and I have been together for 9 years and have a 6 year old little boy together. I had moved away from home for a couple of years and met my husband who I instantly fell in love with. I believe that God took us both thousands of miles away from home to meet each other.That was the beginning of a beautiful life together.

Beautiful but also very trying at times. You see, he was born in Mexico and entered into the United States illegally at the age of 18. He made that choice so that he could work to help support his younger brother and his mom, who was a single mother his whole life. He watched her sacrifice and struggle his whole life. He started working during his elementary school years for tips on the beach or in any other capacity in which he could earn an honest dollar to help feed the family. In eighth grade he had to make the choice to continue school or work full time. Work full time won out because the family needed to eat. At 18 he decided that this was not enough. He wanted to be able to provide more for his mom and brother.

He has been very fortunate that God has blessed him with a steady decent paying job. I work full time and go to school in hopes of being able to compensate for the lack of opportunity allowed for my husband. We own our home, which of course has to be in my name because of his status. He speaks English. He works extremely hard. He has never committed a crime. He is an honest, hardworking, loyal man who loves his family with everything that he has.

But we are stuck. We want to be afforded the same opportunities and luxuries that other families have. We want to continue to excel, and to be able to provide a secure future for our children. He can’t be promoted at work because he can’t be granted state licensure and because he cannot obtain a driver’s license. There is always the fear of being found out; of him losing his job and not being able to find another one.

We are tired of living in the shadows.

So what are our options? Our American laws say we must go through a long drawn out very expensive process. When it is time, he must return to Mexico, and we have to prove that it would cause me undue hardship if he were not allowed to return. Well of course it is going to cause me undue hardship. He is my husband. My partner. My friend. The father of my child. It will cause my son extreme hardship. Why should he be forced to live without his father? Why should any child be forced to be separated from their father? A father who wants nothing more than to be there for his own son because his was not there for him. Not to mention financially how it would affect our future and that of our children to have to depend on support from only one parent.

So, we have 2 choices: 1. Continue to live in the shadows of fear and oppression or 2. Do the right thing and face being separated forever. Of course there is the possibility of approval and then being able to move on with our lives like every other American has the opportunity to do. Our attorney gives us a 75% chance for approval. That 25% chance could be devastating. What would you do? As hard as it is on our family, we are going through with it. We have been in the process for 2 years now filing paper work, saving money to pay for attorneys, getting prepared for the worst, but trusting in God for the best.

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