When Love and Immigration Law Collide

Today, I want to tell a story with the intention of putting a human face on the problems that immigrants face.  Inspired by an article in the Arizona Republic, which purposefully obscured some facts in order to protect the identities of the subjects, I will attempt to fill in some of the holes and to expand.

Once upon a time, not all that too long ago, Viviana was a carefree Latina-American high school student in the Valley.  Rodolfo was an ESL (English as a Second Language) student from Mexico studying at the very same school that Viviana attended.  He knew that learning English was important, whether his future be in Mexico or America.

Viviana and Rodolfo meet, and yes, they fall in love.  And as teenagers are wont to do, they don’t consider circumstances.  It never occurs to young Rodolfo to hire an immigration attorney in order to get his status changed.  He simply allows his student visa to expire.  And silly Viviana and Rodolfo think that when they marry, Rodolfo will become a legal citizen of the USA.  I mean, that’s what most people think, right?

Wrong.

When Viviana and Rodolfo finally hired an immigration attorney, they learned the hard, cruel truth.  Because Rodolfo had overstayed his student visa, because he violated American immigration law, because he was illegal, he would have to return to Mexico and face a potential ten year ban from ever legally setting foot on American soil.  Needless to say, Viviana and Rodolfo stayed in Arizona.  What would you do?

Today, years later, Viviana and Rodolfo are home owners here in the Valley and have a young child.  They are upstanding citizens, yet they live in constant, perpetual fear of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his immigration goon squad.  Are they going to take Daddy away?

Viviana and Rodolfo want to play by the rules, but the damn rules don’t make any sense.  How is America a better country by separating a husband and father from his wife and child for ten years!  Just because, as a young man, he had an imperfect knowledge of immigration law.  He overstayed his student visa.  That’s his crime!

Can anybody honestly argue that the punishment fits the crime in this

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Published in: on May 26, 2010 at 4:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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