My name is Nicole and I am steadily becoming the poster child for bad immigration policies.
I married my husband Mohamed back on August 24th, 2005, and on November 24th, 2006 gave birth to our daughter Joli. When I met my husband I knew he had some immigration problems, I never thought that these problems would become the hellish nightmare that I live today.
Many times I ask myself, “What did we do wrong” – I haven’t killed anyone, or sold drugs, or done anything illegal in fact. The only thing wrong that my husband did was miss a court date, plain and simple.
In fact, the reason my husband missed his court date was due to the court not translating his papers verbally in Arabic as the law states they are supposed to, and he was confused between the words September and December. But the government refuses to agree that they made a mistake, although my husband had appeared at several court dates prior to the one he missed.
Beyond not having proper notice, my husband was also at the time going through a horrible and bitter divorce, that made him severely sick during the week of his court date so even if he had known the correct day ,which he didn’t, he was so sick it still may not have been possible for him to attend. Since we got married I have tried, to no avail, to reopen this old case and move on to adjust his status. Every motion, appeal and waiver has been denied for one reason or another.
It seems as if the government shows no mercy to us and to our family.
My husband was deported back to Egypt after voluntarily going to a meeting with ICE. My husband went to this meeting because he was in no way trying to avoid the law or evade the government but just looking for a fair chance to stay here legally with his wife, daughter and three children from his previous marriage. Immigration has made everything we have tried to do impossible. I filed an I-130 and it was approved, he had an interview in Egypt on April 17th and that was approved but of course we needed a waiver to the 10 year bar. This waiver was denied as was our 212 waiver because he missed his court date which apparently is punishable by a 5 year bar that cannot be waived unless you can prove you missed it for a reasonable cause. I feel that we have proven a reasonable cause for missing this court date, yet, again the government does not.
When my husband left, my daughter was 3, soon she turns 6. This is the most horrible punishment to be separated from someone you love for so long, my whole life has been put on hold, and I don’t even know when I can return to some normalcy because he is not here.
Now, on top of everything else I was in a serious car accident on September 30 2012. I am suffering from 2 herniated disks and a bulging disk and have a hard time performing daily tasks and need my husband now more than ever.
In these immigration denial letters my daughter, myself and his children are often referred to as “equities” I am not an equity or property I am a human being and as such deserved to be treated as one. The treatment of my family by the United States Government has been cruel and inhumane at many times.
Deportation of a loved one is a pain I can only imagine is matched by Death itself, I seek solace that at least I can talk to him and maybe see him once a year. But there are times when a loved one is needed for support, companionship, affection, attention, these things cannot be replace by the phone. Many nights my daughter cries herself to sleep, telling me she won’t be little forever and she wants to sleep in her dad arm’s while she’s still small. I am not here to say my husband has not made mistakes, in fact he has, I am saying the punishment in much greater than the crime, that we need to assess the system and the punishments that are affecting the lives of our citizens and our children.
If my husband was to abandon his children and wife voluntarily the government would help me receive financial support from him at the very least and many people in society would look down upon him, as a “deadbeat dad” yet somehow the government feels justified in creating this situation itself. Immigration often claims Family Unity is important, yet never backs it up with decisions that show empathy and compassion for the families that are being torn apart, for the children who grow up fatherless or motherless or sometimes worse in foster homes while both parents are deported.
As a nation built on immigrants why now do we choose to hate and divide, and ultimately destroy the lives of so many here now?
To stand with Nicole and her family, text “Justice” or “justicia” to 69866 and learn more about how we can Keep Families Together.