The search for love and companionship is a pursuit familiar to many Americans. One woman fell in love with a man that immigrated to America from Mexico and began a family with him. As the couple began to have children, she stayed at home to raise them. The family lived modestly but they got by, until the husband was pulled over.
While Maryland recently granted immigrants, regardless of their immigration status, permission to obtain a driver’s license, the state this couple lived in did not grant this privilege. This means that the routine traffic stop led to the husband being detained for driving without a license, which he could not secure without legal proof of his immigration status. Subsequently, the father was deported back to Mexico.
The children were inconsolable. Their father was gone and they could not understand why authorities took him, he was a good man. The mother had lost not only her husband, but the provider of the family. The family thought long and hard and decided to join the husband in Mexico so that the family unit would remain intact. However, the family could not support themselves amidst the poverty in Mexico and the mother soon returned with the children.
This is a heartbreaking story not unfamiliar to some. Many in Maryland and elsewhere may not completely understand the family-based immigration system. Had the family consulted an immigration attorney, they would have known that the man was a strong candidate for obtaining a green card because he was both the spouse to a U.S. citizen and parent to U.S. citizens.
Any disruption to the family unit can be both emotionally and financially devastating. Speaking to an immigration attorney can help a family secure legal residency for family members of U.S. citizens, and other immigrants.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, “Immigration reform must keep families together, out of poverty,” Maria Rodriguez, May 30, 2013