Immigration story was pathetic compared with my story
I had to laugh when I saw today’s Summit Daily (“Family torn apart by lengthy immigration process,” SDN Feb. 26). There’s a guy who’s been waiting six months for his family’s immigrant visas and he made the front page.I feel for him, granted, but six months is hardly worth mentioning. I was married March 1, 1999, in Breckenridge. I’ve applied for visas for my wife and two stepsons, three times. (The first two were rejected on technicalities, the third one is still pending).The third time I applied was in 2001. I jumped through all the INS hoops, then the cases were passed to the Department of State (the visa people). Not many people are aware of it, but there’s a fairly new law that asks the applicant to show economic solvency. This is done by showing you’ve earned more than the arbitrarily enstated poverty guidlines during the last three years. To elaborate: If you’re going to support a family of two, you have to have earned $16,000 over the last three years. For three people, it becomes $20,000. For four people, it becomes $24,000.In one of the years I was audited, I hadn’t earned enough and so didn’t qualify. Back to square one. I got frustrated with the whole thing and left the case pending. I left the U.S. in 2003 and lived in Chihuahua for three years. I was able to become a dual citizen faster than my wife and kids were able to become legal permanent residents in the U.S.In 2005, I decided I wanted to have another go at the visas. I hired a lawyer and got the paperwork moving again. My older stepson was given a consulate date in September of 2006, but at the time his passport was expired and we had to ask for an extension. I got a letter from the consulate about a month later, which said they’ll be assigning us another consulate date in a year or so. About a month ago, I got another letter from the consulate that said, due to recent changes in immigration laws, my wife’s case was incomplete because they needed more documents (birth certificates and such). This letter came two yuears after my lawyer sent in the original paperwork.Usually, the Summit Daily is a lot better than this with human interest stories. I mean, someone who’s been waiting on his family’s visas for 6 months makes the front page? That’s pretty pathetic.
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