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...