Reunite A Couple Separated By Broken Immigration System
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I. The Story
Our nation's oppressive immigration system currently separates my lover, and I. Ivan came to the U.S. legally as a child with his family and grew up here in Louisiana. Our relationship dates back to when we were in high school. In 2012, Ivan, 17 at the time, departed back to Mexico to go to college for engineering. After a few years, he tried to return to the U.S. legally on many occasions; however, he was denied a visa every time.
After exhausting his legal options, Ivan decided to cross the border. Consequently, he was caught, deported, and barred for only five years (with an option for a waiver). So he and I decided to make the best of the situation.
After talking to lawyers to move forward, we learned the deportation secretly triggered another, far worse penalty called, The Permanent Bar. The bar states that he cannot legally return for ten years with no option for a waiver because he is being punished for unlawful presence he accrued as a minor growing up here in the states.
His childhood upbringing in the U.S. was out of his control, and it is asinine for him to be banished ten years for it after committing one misdemeanor offense (setting foot on some dirt). The law does state no period in which an alien is under 18 years of age shall be taken into account for unlawful presence; however, the U.S does it anyway to apply this particular bar. The lawyers have stated not even marriage (the best option) would ensure an immediate return with The Permanent Bar involved. It is unjust, unorthodox, and inhumane.
II. What We Hope to Gain:
One thing we hope to gain from this petition is sensible, humane immigration reform from Congress to eliminate and rethink these draconian immigration bars.
Americans should not have to be forced into exile or have to endure separation from their parents, children, spouses, and friends for so many years to decades. Such a punishment would be fitting for a violent offender or drug trafficker, but not for immigrants of good moral character. Congress should provide a reasonable solution to deported immigrants for humanitarian purposes so that millions of Americans are not grieving over the absence of their loved ones for a decade.
III. The Stakes
We are just 22 years old. If nothing is done to help, we will be at least 32 years old by the time he can legally return. I love Ivan unconditionally. He has many friends and family here in Louisiana that miss him. He deserves to be a U.S. citizen, and we deserve to be together in the nation we both know as our home where we can live happily, build a future, get married, and carry out our long-term goals together.
Life is too short and untimely to be torn apart from loved ones.That is why I urge our elected officials to fix the draconian one size fits all immigration laws, so he and others can return to be with loved ones. Signing and sharing this petition would be greatly appreciated as it may eventually change our lives.
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