Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tired of Enduring the Paranoid Fear

Today a man stood in my kitchen. He was dressed in fluorescent yellow, wearing a hard hat. We had just finished a bath and the two my babies were at his feet, dressed in nothing but their underpants. It is mid morning so I am in progress of our household routine. I have every window open, and every door unlocked. The garage is facing the morning sun which is shining in with the fresh air as I continue to load the washer and dryer that dwells.
     “Hey I just wanna let you know I am turnin’ off your gas mam, okay? I see your meter is runnin’ real fast and I just wanted to make sure that you weren’t cooking somethin’.” He stood there in my kitchen, beside my glass top stove. I stop dead in my tracks, not expecting to look up from my fast paced strut that I acquire while I am on the house cleaning mission of the morning. My clothes are half together, for I am not expecting company today. I make eye contact with this man as he renders me helpless, as I assess the situation with my children, who are both standing at his feet looking up at him.
        “Okay no problem…” is all that I can manage to say. He stalls a minute, then turns, walks out the back door and goes off into the woods behind the house.
    There is not a  “gas” van or car on the road, no ID, no knock, just a man in my kitchen with my babies. Immediately I close everything, locks in place, and finish cleaning. Thoughts run through my imagination. “Have I attracted the white supremacy, government, some weirdo in my blogs or in my school as I try my best to educate people on the fact that their beliefs are based on half truths?” I wonder if it is worth it all. Then I remember my past.
    I lived for years in confidential addresses with my two middle children because my ex-husband wanted me dead. Our “case” or should I say our lives, were so attractive to the various agencies that stepped in to evaluate and analyze our predicament that we were living in. My ex-husband was my neighbor-boy, lifetime friend, who had gone off of the deep end. He was addicted to pain killers of every shape color and content for almost three years heavily, as in, he could not make it through each day without worry of the six or seven pills of “whatever effect” that would wear off in a couple hours that he would need to ensure that there would be more waiting. Our family was revolved around his habit. We walked on eggshells, and in poverty because in the street drug world, “one” pill can be anywhere from five to fifty or more dollars depending if it is a roofie, vikes, zaney bar, oxy, blue morphine, perks, valium, demerol, darvies, selmas, kolatapin, on and on and on…. Like I said depends… I knew from looking at him what he was on and approximately how much and the dollar amount that would have been gone, for years… I was aware of my surroundings at all times. I had to be sure of my safety. There was never a set rule to follow. The rules changed every day. I only had to do one thing, and that was to not feel. When I felt something, my eyes would express that, and that was my folly. His twist on destroying anything that lived inside my soul was relentless and I knew to keep my soul as far away from the surface as I could, acting as if in a play, every day of my life… never crying or showing anger, no happiness or laughing… only complete and careful manipulation in order to stay alive literally. 
     Then he switched to crack which anyone who knows, the power of the pain killer addiction is the most powerful addiction to overcome, almost impossible. However if a person smokes enough crack, somehow it can wipe out the pills eventually. He had this new guy around (who eventually OD’ed and died), who was about five foot four, long stringy black hair, with a wife that was known to give head out back of the bar. She was toothless and a crack head. We used to have to go to the bar, with my kids, to check in on the weird friends of his in the roadside Harley bar, with at the very least one hundred bikes parked outside. Around back of the bar was a campfire that seemed to burn nonstop. I sat with the babies on a log, while he did whatever he had to do. This guy had a huge knife collection that he displayed just as my ex had displayed a different piece of a rifle or shotgun that were throughout our home, leaning in every corner. There seemed to be a common interest between them of their weapons, constantly cleaning and stroking them, possibly wishing to use them. This is all but a small fraction of exposure to the dark side and a passing moment of our entire history. I think it was worse when we were actually in the car and he would pull into the worst slum neighborhoods, pick up some random guy on the corner, and drive to wherever, especially when he would get out of the vehicle and go inside. What a vulnerable feeling that is. He has had fights through car windows, guns pulled up to his head, and still he felt we were a normal family… I could not wait to be free of it.           
     Life was full of entanglements of society. Concrete truck arrived one morning on time and it was poured into the form that would be the base for the enormous water fountain that was due to be delivered from Europe for this new condo neighborhood in Florida. It was a wealthy establishment construction taking place throughout.  The plans for the fountain were to be at the entrance, in the circle drive in front of the clubhouse, and then another pad in the courtyard within the center of the clubhouse for another smaller fountain. That’s all that we had to do… “get ‘er poured”… however, the important thing was for it to be precisely level to hold the enormous fountain. My ex was on a binge and as many times before, had no help because of an undependable crew and his troubled guidance over them. He spent the night smoking crack so in the morning, there was me, stuck with helping him in all of his fragile glory, pour this big money job. We got the concrete down, the babies sat and watched, as did about six or seven men in business suits. I kept looking over at him and he was sweating profusely. There had been several occasions that he had heart palpitations for hours on end after his binges, so I was wondering if he would fall over dead. Then he said “I’ll be back” and off he drove in the truck.
      Time went by and my kids were bored. They were only maybe two and three years old, out there with their mom trying to think of what the hell she was going to do… I had to handle the concrete many times before this so I knew how, but I was not on the same level as he was in skill, which was top notch, as to why he got so much business. The time came to start the straight edging and toweling of the concrete, after I ran the bull float over and let it set up first,  all the while these men in suits watching me, whispering, looking concerned. I tried not to show it though, especially when the kids kept running off. I would glance up to see if the truck was back, but he never came back. I had to finish the job acting like I knew what I was doing, talking the language of men, with quick concentrated moves of finesse.
        I received a call a week later telling me that the fountain arrived and the pad was not level enough and they wanted it to be re-poured. I said to them that the money that they paid him had been long gone. The threat of lawyers and credit were mentioned but my only answer was “You are going to have to stand in a long line.” Pressures build when you are the only parent making the responsibility calls like dinner and bills and normal society functions. Add that with a huge guy that was consuming everything in his path like an F5 intense funnel of furry, telling me calmly, “You know that if you leave, I will kill you,” out of the blue, as it were normal conversation in marriage. He could possibly see from an outside point of view that we were horribly abnormal and antisocial with our Bonnie and Clyde personality disorders.
      There were may nights that he would never return home from work, instead he would show the next morning or in the middle of the night, wide eyed, on a thousand dollars worth of crack, fragile and weakened by the let down of the euphoric past twelve hours. He always had a woman accompanying his binge, and most of the time I knew which one he manipulated at the time. This may be why we had to keep moving around so much… other than the obvious evictions. His concrete business and ability to sell awarded him endless supplies of large amounts of money. I was owned, and could never leave, and I was made aware of that every day.
    The downfall that brought window of opportunity was that while he was weakened by his addiction, I was strong, patiently watching him, waiting for my time to go, every minute of every day, day after day, year after year. His mother came to stay for a holiday. He and his sister, a child protective agency case worker with a Masters degree in psychology, were on a binge together, constantly disappearing, while I was left to entertain the mother with my children. She was dysfunctional herself with a love of Stoleys, however, unaware of the depth of the true situation with her own children. Turkey dinners with family, complete with the trimmings of table placement and side dishes, can bring long distant relative visits a feeling of love and bonding with their children. So when she handed him a twenty to go pick up a turkey baster around , I knew something that she did not. She just left the gate open and he ran for it. We did not see anything of him until the next day, Thanksgiving was over, and he was weaker than ever, with now his mother’s attack. I had my chance and I took it. After she left town, I contacted someone to help me and I was put into a confidential address for the following year. His rights were taken from him in all aspects, he stalked me, he installed fear into every lawyer and county agency that worked with me and most would only come to me because they did not want me to be seen coming in and out of their offices, because of him - including the psychologist that took my case only because I fell apart in his office. He was only to evaluate me for the drugs that were in our family life, to see where I fit in, and concluded that I had no addictions, but had some deep trauma of abuse. He took every Friday morning for three hours for six months to talk to me or listen to me. He also evaluated my ex as psychotic when they caught up to him on one of his multiple stops in the local detox, which is where his divorce papers were finally sent. The counselors at the shelter installed the paranoia that protected me, telling me how the last girl in a similar “owned” situation three years before was without children because her husband murdered them to hurt her, on Christmas, that was who they compared us to… the woman that I was without anything left of myself. I was owned.
    Since then I have had another life full of immigration woes and foes. Tired is the only word that I can think of… wondering when I can just relax already. I used to walk through my life scared; I never went in public because of fear of him being there. I kept the curtains drawn, the kids inside, and many things – too many to list - to ensure our safety.
     And now this man stands in my kitchen. The size of his body is not something that I would be able to overpower even on a good day. I am reminded of my paranoia from the past, the life of living in fear, of constantly looking in the rear view mirror, of scanning every store upon entering, of hurrying across wide open spaces, and always with an eye on the babies, no matter where we are, holding them close. We have been through so much. It continues to be victim and player, just line ‘em up it seems…I am so numb.
       Now left with decisions of tomorrow, how far do I take the argument against so many who insist that our survival as a family with an immigrant husband do not make it. It crosses my mind of the stories I’ve heard. I guess we will be ok.
I do not want to live paranoid. I just want a normal life, with a house that has a fence around the yard and a swing set in the back and lots of flowers, fruit trees, and pets.

I really miss Ricardo, and wish he were allowed in the country to protect me, laugh with me, cry with me, "us," his family that he loves, so much. (ugh)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beginning Prayer

February 1st
Please God, help us to know your will, gently direct us on the path that leads us to you.
Use me to help provide wisdom to those people who do not understand the hearts of the family of the undocumented Americans. Please give me the words for hope for my friends.Help us to forgive the government for wounding us so deeply and personally. I hope you will keep me and my family and all my friends' family safe from the white supremacy people too. Please show us the right way to go about doing your work and let your love move through us.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Do you wanna dance?

        The following is a research project that I wrote for an English class this past spring. I felt the need to share this morning with more people than just the English teacher and teacher's assistant. It is factual and cited information. My view on the deception of why the public is not aware of need for family unity, despite America having the apparent perception that the United States is family oriented, and how we continue to struggle with getting our stories in the media for that public support, as fellow American brothers and sisters.

Immigration: Social Media’s Taboo Topic
        Children are often self-centered, opening doors for fairytales; just as with age, brings experiences of mistrust, broken dreams, and painful realities that break the hope of happy endings.  The demand for family unity within immigration reform is fought by the child-within those who are the oppressed—counting on the magic of wishes.  A concept of freedom in America is handing those who reside within, freedom to search and love their soul mate.  It is one of many differences from the other countries of the world, as such is freedom to seek opportunity.  Every religion in America, although diverse, harbors the American lifestyle value of the importance of family; just as the most heinous crimes committed in America are against family and its values in every sense.  Why then is America turning its head away from the need for family unity through immigration reform?  In today’s social media from television, and radio broadcasts, to written articles, are feeding the American public, in regards to the topic of immigration reform, a narrow margin of words used repeatedly such as illegal, criminals, and deportation. If the truth were known, what would America do?  This is the research of data, to formulate a conclusion for the public, to make an informed decision.
        The value of family unity and the separation or break down has been discussed within America’s walls frequently.  The right, the human right, to love, to raise, and to protect our families within the protection of the American government has been flat out denied, and has been remarkably supported by the media.  The media has proven to side with those who claim to be true Americans, while at the same time denouncing our plight as to say that we are traitors to the American dream.  Our families’ value should hold more value than the monetary gains of the enormous hand of power that holds the media from informing the public of their personal agendas.  In America, the popular social media brings influence and information to the American people and without the support of the people through the portrayal of the American value of family unity through immigration reform, the high stakes that have been placed in order for the families involved to live together, is a battle, seemingly against the monetary and sometimes racist gains of powerful entities, and the use of their power to subdue the media, ensuring the direction of their own falsely claimed American agendas.
     “How is it fair that a truly committed, honest, hardworking husband and father could be taken away from our family?  Why is it that my government that was made to protect my rights and support me, could do something to rip apart my family and bring us all to the depths of despair?” (Guzman, 2010)  Emily Guzman watched in horror as two SUV’s pulled up and drove off with her husband in front of herself and son in front of their home on a Monday morning.  The importance of family unity has been discussed within the United States. Family is the base of the American dream.  As the United States Department of Welfare advocates within the guide lines of the importance of the father to the health of a child’s well being, “even from birth, children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections with peers.  These children also are less likely to get in trouble at home, school, or in the neighborhood.” (Rosenberg, Wilcox, 2006, Chapter 2.3) “The only contact Pedro, I, and Logan have together, on a regular basis, currently and for the last 9 months, are phone calls.” (Guzman, 2010)  Unfortunately, at 9 months when Emily made this statement, was less than half way of the total amount of time her family endured this separation.  A recent report established by the University of Arizona on the parents that are placed into the immigration enforcement arena noted,
 “…parents [that] are caught up in immigration enforcement are separated from their young children and disappear into the detention system… the children may be placed in state custody and find themselves in foster care, abruptly unable to communicate with their parents or even know where their parents are.  If parents choose to accept their deportation, they risk being forever separated from their children, since their children will unlikely be unable to accompany them so long as they remain in state custody.  If parents choose instead to fight their deportation, they often remain detained for months or even years, greatly complicating efforts to reunify as a family…”(Rabin, 2011)
     Throughout the history of the United States firework displays, families have gazed upon them together, under the protection of the government, until now. As of 2005, there were 6.6 million families in which either the head of the family or the spouse was unauthorized. There were 3.1 million American children with an unauthorized parent. These unauthorized families contain 14.6 million people. (Passel, 2006)  By spending pleasant, positive time together families build up a reserve of good feelings.  When trouble comes, it has to be shared, with the family, and resolved.” (McGee, 2009) “…I am a mental health therapist.  I treat people with depression and anxiety every day…the common thread is that in their childhood, they felt unsafe, unloved, or abandoned by one or both parents.” (Guzman, 2010)  “When the family is not together, “holding” the missing person in the light and consciousness of the ‘family-being’ can be very significant and powerful.  When a young child goes off to school … or playgroup, when a parent travels, when older children go off to university, they can be ‘held’…” (McNamara, 2004)     
        Sometimes, it can be a compelling story of love and commitment against all odds.  When few Americans break past the silent wall of a people that carry the cultural trait of shielding themselves on a personal level to guard against the wrongs of the world, there is a new discovery, a treasure uncovered.  What has been discovered by some Americans is that beyond the image of the man on a donkey with a sombrero taking a siesta, there is the beauty of a person, equal on all levels, hidden in this unknown mass of people that live among us in America.  Have we lost the interest in our neighbors only of that to which we love to destroy?   
      In a survey that has been conducted among families separated by lack of family unity within the immigration reform for the purpose of this research, fifty- five people responded, all of which are being affected by the current range of problems associated with the lack of concern in the trampled personal rights to be endured and solutions pursued.   The Declaration of Independence states, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” (Declaration of Independence, 1776, para: 1) Families have the right to be protected by our government, but yet many of them are being sent to live “in exile” to their spouse’s country of origin, with the common knowledge of that country as unsafe to American travelers, especially with small American children. 
      The first part of the survey that was given was answered by 48 people.  This was to determine the detail of the situation as it pertains to their families’ unity.  Women, as the American enduring displacement due to the legal documentation status of her husband, counted for 45.83% over the American male standing at 4.17% in regards to displacement due to their spouses’ legal documentation status.  The remaining 50% were currently living together as a couple without any type of displacement issues as of yet, however, living in fear within the United States, that according to one women, “we live in fear everyday that it will be the day that my husband does not come home due to immigration.” 
      The second set of survey questions equate the government issued punishment placed on their spouse for residing within our country, without proper authorization.  This question was answered by 40 of the 55 people asked that live this life of need for immigration reform.  The people that have not received a judgment represent 27.5%, for they have not been through the detention enforcement court system yet.  For those who have received their ban issued by the court, there are 42.5% of families that have received a 10 year ban from the United States. Five percent of families that include American citizens have received a 20 year ban from the return to the United States.  A lifetime ban has been handed to 25% of these families of American husbands, wives, children who may never return to the United States.
         The final set of survey questions, answered by 51 of the 55 people asked who live the life in need of immigration reform, is to show the displacement of the families that have been affected by the ban placed on their spouse.  It shows that most families attempt to keep the family intact, even when it requires a location in another country, with a different culture, language, and economic status. We find that 43.14% of the families questioned have moved to their spouse’s country to live. Another option created is that of a move to a third country as a family with 5.88% of the families questioned with a guarantee of their right to flourish and grow together throughout their lives.  Many families have moved several times at 13.73%, leaving the impression that there is a possible hint of instability in the planning of their family unity, such as a hardship due to the complete disruption of their lives, which is not to be considered a valued reason by the United States court to place a hardship waiver on a ban. (J. Vaughan, July 2003) There are some families that cannot afford to be together, and so they live separate lives, while they wait out the number of years placed by the ban.  This percentage makes up 37.25% of the over all families surveyed.  Families that are not permitted to be together under the protection of our government—this is happening in our country of America.
                    The value of family unity as it is being portrayed (or lack thereof) within the popular social media, Giselle Stern Hernandez replies, “I feel that there are a lot of powerful stereotypes as to what a deported person’s spouse or partner look/thinks/acts/speaks.  There is a powerful gap in terms of race, class, and gender that renders the majority of us partners as invisible.” (G. Hernandez, Personal Communication, May 2011) Giselle speaks out in her Deportee’s Wife, One Woman Show. Within her monologue, she tells the story of falling in love with her Mexican-born husband, and “recounts how in 2001, [her husband] married to her but without a valid visa, was during a single shattering day discovered, deported back to Mexico, and barred from re-entering the U.S. for 20 years.” (McGill, 2009, Extreme Example) During a show in Austin, Texas, at the Riverland Community College, “…she found herself standing before a crowd of 120 people, including four neo-Nazis.  Sitting [about] ten feet ahead of her in the theater’s front-row-center seats were two men and two younger companions wearing black stadium jackets and T-shirts emblazoned with symbols of the National Socialist Movement, a group that advocates the deportation. “Peacefully or by force,” of all people in the U.S except citizens of ‘pure White blood.’” (McGill, 2009, para: 5)
     Studies have shown that there is overwhelming evidence of the media being influenced by the corporate power.  One study done by George Farah and Justin Elga formed the conclusion through simply reading every transcript of the Sunday morning talk shows of NBC (Meet the Press), CBS (Face the Nation), PBS (McLaughlin Group), and ABC (This Week) for 19 months.  “Sunday morning political talk shows promise to clarify the weekly issues and provoke the engaged citizen – healthy ingredients for a functioning democracy.  Yet, as our numbers demonstrate, the shows’ narrow parameters of discussion not only fail to fulfill their potential, [All top 20 guests from June 1995 to May 1996, were white men, with less than 11% women, and 14 of 20 were Republican or conservative] but skew the public and elite opinion-making conversation away from the impact of corporate behavior.” (G. Farah, J. Elga, 2001)
During a radio talk show that Benjamin Reed (Elchupacabras) invited Senator Crapo of Idaho to discuss the “different procedures through the federal government in [the navigation through] the very bureaucratic process of [immigration paperwork].” Benjamin Reed expresses that he is himself living in Mexico, dealing with immigration papers, for his own wife. Benjamin and the Senator discuss the present day situation with comprehensive immigration and Benjamin points out to the Senator that even though the Senator may say that he would agree with a fair means of family unity, he cannot seem to find words to Benjamin’s acknowledgment of the 10 to 20 year bans placed on spouses of US citizens, other than that they need to do it legally. “There should not be favor given to those who have committed the crime of presence in the United States without proper authorization,” seems to be the Senator’s stand, but yet, as Benjamin points out, “exactly what will be done with all the people that are already a part of this situation has not been addressed and there certainly needs to be some type of fair opportunity given to them” (Live interview Benjamin Reed with U.S. Senator Crapo, 2010). Benjamin has moved on and has accepted his new life in Mexico, but says, “I continue the fight; I have not given up, since we are NOT ruling out reapplication at a later date.” (B. Reed, Personal Communication, May 2011)
     The American Legislative Exchange Council is a group that unites state lawmakers…it claims 2,000 or a full third of the nation’s state legislators, as members… with an impressive roster of the nation’s largest corporations.” (Hodai, 2010, para: 1) The council is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit.” (Hodai, 2010, Para: 3)   The group reported revenues of nearly $7 million in 2008, with the legislator and lawmaking members contributing $93,000 and the interest groups contributing roughly $5.6 million.(Hodai, 2010, para:3) “While ALEC refuses to make public full lists of either its corporate or government members, the group’s magazine Inside ALEC, has mentioned members in the field of media and information technology that include the News Corporation, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, AT &T, Verizon, National Cable and Telecommunications Association (of Disney Media Networks is a member).  As such, ALEC represents the interests of most major media conglomerates and telecommunication providers in the country.” (Hodai, 2010, para: 4) This shows the connection to the control of the media through the obvious needs and wants of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s members’ agendas, helping to promote propaganda and lack of honest coverage of the need for immigration reform and family unity.
      We need immigration reform.  There are quite obviously families that are desperate for their fellow country-men to listen or notice that there is an unspoken injustice occurring within our country.  Darrel Weiss of George Mason Law says, “… [the fact that] immigration law and policy remain important and pertinent issues in our time, is hardly a principle that needs repeating.  And yet, much of the law governing the administration of our immigration system exists in a state of disrepair: a mere glance at the newspaper would be enough to remind even the most unaware of citizens of this fact.” (Weiss, 2010) Why is the media not covering the obvious? What is the hidden agenda behind the doors of the American big business that are keeping the media from exposing to the American public that the very value that our country has stood to uphold, our families, is being misrepresented by the media because of big business ties and big profit?   The study of the Disappearing Parent specifically expresses the need for reform even within the system of the coordinating offices of the Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System.  They express that there needs to be set into new policy, which has been noted in each office as ‘needed,’ but have yet to do anything, for there are several opportunities for managing the lives of parent/child separation due to detention, such as training the workers, coordination with case plans when a child is put into state custody, legal orientation to explain the parents’ rights to their child, and legal aide provided to parents of US citizens. The last and most important of the suggestions, which is aimed directly to the  United States Congress, would be ending mandatory detention and to increase relief from deporting parents with children in state custody [due to detention].(Rabin, 2011) The problem with these obvious and logical solutions is that there is something standing in the way of this humane reform. The media could express the truth, forcing efforts to initiate fair and opportunity towards family unity and the American people as a whole could be aware. Perhaps it would change the outcome of the vote, the seats in office, the lives of millions of families and this may disrupt the corrupt nature of the agenda that the corporate business plays in the hand of the immigration reform. Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, reported earnings of 40.3 million dollars on revenue of 428 million dollars in the first quarter of 2011…CCA’s revenue for 2009 was 1.7 billion dollars. (Cardinale, 2011, para: 13). “One of the national lobbying groups that were instrumental in bringing together business interests and lawmakers was the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  It was an ALEC task force, which included a representative from a private prison, along with lawmakers from Arizona and other states, who helped draft Arizona’s immigration bill [SB1070] which became a template for Georgia’s law as well.” (Cardinale, 2011, para: 9-10)  The bill and its meaning and support are moving from state to state presently.  “CCA is one of the largest for-profit prison corporations in the U.S.  They will benefit by the legislation.  They have a corporate stake in it around the country.” (Cardinale, 2011, para: 6-7)  “CCA’s top management is Tennessee contributed the largest block of out of state campaign contributions received by Arizona’s Republican Governor, Jan Brewer.  Brewer employs two former CCA lobbyists as aides, who assisted with signing Arizona’s SB1070 into law.” (Cardinale, 2011, para: 15)
    Abraham Lincoln stated, “We, the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.” (J. Dearmore)  How different would the average American approach the subject of immigration if they knew how the family value is being torn down without compassion within our country’s walls?  How would the effect of the knowledge of the money making circle of CCA, ALEC, and related shareholders hold to the average American’s heart when they would find out where all of the media’s propaganda directly came from, of course other than with the added help of the white supremacy’s aide. Would it raise question to the appropriate direction of our country, with the big corporate business standing above the people for which the Constitution was drafted? According to the American dream it is to be the American people as a whole, however there is a real imbalance of truth being portrayed in the media coverage. The media is being geared to cover the back of the big business and the big business is covering the back of the private prison industry. The private prison industry is then making a huge amount of money and making contributions to lobbyists.  The lobbyists have the added support by the white supremacy, are working to change the laws so that the undocumented person has no place to go but detention centers.  The detention centers yield big profit for the private prison business, which is backed by the American Legislative Exchange Council.  But in the end, the people who are getting hurt, are the families of the people who love America and the average American who places his or her faith in the American system that the right for protection will be granted.  The devastating separations and dividing of the families that depend on America for protection are at a loss because they have been put into a shock of unforgiving treatment, labeled criminal, for something that has always been a way of life in America. The American public should be aware of the total of the facts in order to make an informed decision. In America, the popular support of the people through the portrayal of the American value of family unity through immigration reform, the high stakes that have been placed in order for the families involved to live together, is a battle, seemingly against the monetary and sometimes racist gains of powerful entities, and the use of their power to subdue the media, ensuring the direction of their own falsely claimed American agendas.

Special thanks to Melanie:)

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         South. Retrieved on May 30, 2011 from   
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         Talked about on Sunday Morning? Issue of Corporate Power are not on the Agenda
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  McNamara, PhD., D. (2004). Family Wholeness and “The Family Being”.  Joyful Families. Retrieved on May 30, 2011 from http://www.joyfulfamilies.org/family_being.html
Pew Hispanic Center, (2006) The Size and Characteristics of the Unauthorized Migrant Population in the U.S. Retrieved June 2011 from pewhispanic.org/files/reports/61.pdf
The University of Arizona; James E. Rogers College of Law; The Bacon Immigration Law and Policy Program, (May 2011) Disappearing Parents: A Report on Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System. Retrieved on May 30, 2011 from http://www.law.arizona.edu/depts/bacon_program/disappearing_parents_report.cfm
Elchupacabras (Presenter). (2010, August 25). Interview. [Audio podcast]. Benjamin Reed (Producer), Chat about Immigration. Retrieved from  http://elchupacabras.podbean.com/2010/08/25/interview/
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Administration for Children and Families, (2006) The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children. Retrieved on May 30, 2011 from http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/fatherhood/chaptertwo.cfm
X Misses the Spot: Fernandez v. Keisler and the (Mis)Appropriation of the Brand X by the Board of Immigration Appeals.  (2010)Darrell Wiess. Retrieved on May 30, 2011 from http://www.georgemasonlawreview.org/doc/17-3_Weiss.pdf

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Goodbye Papa

I cannot help but hear the words echo in my mind, in regards
to my husband's waiver for admission to the USA,
that the waiver should be emotion free and not include my children,
but yet, place focus on hardship to me, the spouse....
Forgetting the side of me that is a mother,
...in that being a mother to the children that America has forgotten,
should be an easy "normal" task,
dealing with their pain of loss daily for years...
Makes their actual list of extreme hardships look like a gluttonous game of mislead boys.

This video is our son in our ticketed airline seats, getting ready to take off...

"The law requires that the ineligible party files the waiver and the Qualifying U.S. Citizen, the spouse who is an American citizen, will need to prove that not allowing their partner into the country will result in “extreme hardship.”6
"It is not enough to say that the qualifying relative will miss the Alien's company as this is considered "normal" hardship, not extreme hardship."3
"The hardship caused to children is not considered at all for certain types of waivers due to the presumption that "merely breeding on US soil does not allow one any claims to US citizenship". 2
"Some children, especially those who are very young and lack the emotional maturity to understand why a parent might have to leave the United States, might also develop a depressive disorder. "4
"...separation of parents and small children, loss of employment or residence, uprooting of family are not considered "extreme'"2
"The AAO recognizes that the applicant's spouse and/or children would likely endure hardship as a result of separation from the applicant."2
"However, their situation, if they remain in the United States, is typical to individuals separated as a result of deportation or exclusion and does not rise to the level of extreme hardship."2
"The term "extreme hardship" does not mean "extreme" in the common sense of the word." 2
"Determining grounds of inadmissibility and the availability of a waiver often requires a complex analysis of your particular case."5
"...separation, financial difficulties, etc., in themselves are insufficient to warrant approval of an application unless combined with much more extreme impacts..."1
"...contrary to the apparent perception about US being family oriented and having human face government or laws." 2
"The US law perceives normal, usual effects of deportation or inadmissibility as not "extreme". 2
"...failure to receive the waiver requested would result in extreme hardship to the US citizen spouse..."1
"Following this line of thought, if suicide was a common effect of deportation, it would be considered "normal".2
"...some people are barred form applying for a waiver until they have spent 10 years outside of the US and include anyone who having spent one year illegally in the US, tried to re-enter or entered without inspection and anyone who re-entered illegally after a prior deportation."1
"...it did not intend that a waiver be granted merely due to the fact that a qualifying relationship existed..."1
"The waiver application has to be extremely well documented to have a good chance of success."1
"Family separation and financial inconvenience, in and of themselves, do not necessarily constitute extreme hardship."1
"The key term in the provision is "extreme" and thus only in cases of real actual or prospective injury to the United States national..."1
"...in extreme hardship to the United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent of the applicant."1
"...it is important for your spouse or parent to describe and document any other claim that might be a hardship." 1
"Approval also requires a favorable exercise of discretion from the Attorney General. This requires a weighing of all factors, the favorable against the unfavorable, in each case. " 1

"...requested information is necessary to render an equitable and fair decision on your Application for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability (I-601)." 1

"All claims of hardship must be supported by documentary evidence or explanation specifying the hardship." 1
"...an overstay of 180 days will result in a person being barred for three years and a 365-day overstay garners a decade-long ban."6

         I am sitting in the airplane, finally. The agonizing goodbye to my husband followed by the security searches that are the first moments of the coping of single motherhood with four of the kids, two umbrella strollers, bags, shoes, metal detectors, and most importantly making sure that we stick together in the crowd while we review our passports and ticket information at a few different stops, is just about all I can handle. Finally in my seat, carry-on luggage above, unloaded kids' blankets, shoes off, time to prepare for take off...  I fight to remain focused. We have an entire day of travel before I can relax. Relax... really? I know what is next. Relaxing is most certainly not apart of the equation, however, compared to traveling in the airport of the modern day with its terrorist paranoia with four small children as the only adult calls for intense alertness... sounds easy enough, and like I said finding the airplane seat and sitting in it ready for take off... relax!
          We are preparing to file the waiver necessary for Ricardo to come to the USA with us. We can hardly imagine the day when all of those suitcases that we check will one day have a few filled with Ricardo's clothes. It is one of those dream-like "I wish" feelings because of the fear of believing anymore. So many dead ends. Years of broken plans that we have based our inspiration, if only for that ounce of freedom of the weight of someone saying we are not allowed to love, brings certain doubt in any promise of new beginnings.
Still, we are filing for an extreme hardship waiver which is the proper legal form that will in normal people terms be somewhat of a pardon for Ricardo to live in the USA with his family, us in other words, forgiving him for crossing the border looking for work as a common practice of millions of people for decades, or would it be centuries. The current chef of our great melting pot seems to have discovered that the pot looks better with a lid, enough ingredients... changing the Constitution around to suit his own recipe for our country. So many discrepancies in who is exactly a native or an immigrant and where should we draw the line. Racist words fly. Refusing citizenship to American children born with a new species of human beings... anchor babies... otherwise known as racism's hand in our great country of brotherly turn our heads.
         My son Eliott has traveled internationally more than most adults as a three and a half year old, starting at two weeks old, freshly discharged from the newborn intensive care unit in a border hospital and even before that as a fully developed fetus two days before due date inside my stomach. He knows the routine of the mad race, how to pace his little legs to keep up if needed, or to how to entertain himself by looking at the clouds below once we achieve the altitude when its ok to place our chairs in the recline position. We devote at least one of the carry on bags to entertaining during the flight packed with books or blankets little stuffed animals. My older kids dwell on the con of the stewardess with polite conversation and smiles so sweet to ensure a steady supply of free drinks. People around us are sucked into conversations with them about their travels, their curious response questions like birds chirping at dawn, not shy at all.
         Eliott was not however happy about the discovery of Ricardo not joining us on the airplane. There is usually the basic rush to the seat, followed by Eliott's quick to search in the crowded plane for where is Papa sitting, and then surprised that he was lost in the race to the plane. This time, maybe the age, or maybe the realization of remembering the last time how much it hurt to be separated from March to July...
His chin quivered, his lip came out - that same lip that as a newborn had all of the ladies ooo-ing and ahhh-ing how simply cute it was... His endearing face broke me. His heart was hurting as soon as we finally found our ticketed airplane seat. He searched intensely out the window for a glimpse at his Papa, and came to the conclusion that maybe he was in his car working. How his little mind was processing this, knowing what was next... the long separation. He finally was old enough to be aware of the truth, the reality of our situation, to some extent in a three year old's eyes. He cried through the flight and then through the second flight he grew louder. I knew exactly how he felt...

1- http://usvisasolutions.com/I-601-immigration-waivers.html
2- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_hardship
3- http://www.ilw.com/articles/2007,0717-scott.shtm
4- http://www.forensicpsychologyexperts.com/es_immigration.shtml
5- http://usvisasolutions.com/extreme_hardship_and_other_waive.htm
6- http://www.ranchodlaw.com/marriage-fiancee-visa/i-601-hardship-waivers/