Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Our Immigration Journey

I met my husband Santos Murillo on June 23, 2003 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I was outside in the yard playing with my daughters Desiree and Kaitlyn Johnson. I was going through a nasty divorce from my first husband Joe Johnson.

Santos was there for me and my daughters. Kaitlyn was 8 months old and Desiree was almost 3 years old. My divorce was final in December 2003.

Alexandra was born May 9, 2004. Santos and I married on January 7, 2005 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. We thought we had to be married for two years before we could file an paperwork to fix his status for immigration. We filed the I-130 paperwork in January 2007. Our I-130 was approved in record time in March 2007.

Santos and I drove back to Aratzipu, GTO, Mexico on November 21, 2007, Thanksgiving weekend.
Desiree and Kaitlyn Johnson had their last names legally changed to Murillo on March 12, 2008 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
His interview was on June 12, 2008. This is when we found out that he had received an INS 212 9c bar. This means that he can't come back to the United States until he has spent 10 years outside the United States. I contacted my Michigan Senators at the time Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin. There was nothing that they could do to change the part of the law that banned/barred my husband from coming back to the United States.

I also contacted Laura Dogu at the US Consulate in Ciudad Juarez Mexico to see if anything could be done. She wrote me a letter explaining that my husband Santos couldn't reapply for his Visa until January 2018.

So I was faced with the reality that I was going to being raising three children by myself. In August 2008 I found out that I would be laid off from my job at Commercial Entry Systems, Inc. in Kalamazoo, MI in December 2008. So I started the process with Family Court in Kalamazoo, MI to get permission to move my family to St. Louis, MO so I could find work and have family to help me out. The process took 18 months and we moved on November 13, 2009.

We have visited Santos in Mexico. We have drove to Nuevo Laredo and Piedras Negras. I have gone to Leon, Ciudad Juarez and Cancun to visit him as well. The children haven't seen their father since March 2011. Our son has only seen his Dad one time in March 2011 when he was 10 months old. The children talk to their father weekly by telephone. He is in a very small town that doesn't have internet service so there is no Skype or emails. Mail takes about 4 weeks to get there.

We are hoping for Immigration Reform in 2013 so our family can be reunited!

I'm a member of American Families United!