We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.
Some time back, I posted a couple of blogs about a waitress at my favorite breakfast restaurant and her problems with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. At that time I was ambivalent in my feelings about her situation, because it dealt with her husband, who was not in this country legally.
As a strong supporter of law and order, I firmly believe those who cross our borders without going through proper legal channels or remain in our country on expired visas do not belong here. That belief conflicted with my compassion for this woman whose husband had been taken from her.
Since that time, I’ve learned a bit more about the situation. First of all, I learned that her husband was not deported. The two of them had decided they wanted to do things legally, and he had voluntarily returned to Mexico.
The second thing I learned, perhaps even more important so far as my feelings about the matter were concerned, was that this man did not sneak across our border illegally. He was brought across the border as a child by his parents. He had no say in the matter.
Knowing these things, I now see him as an innocent victim who is trying to do things the right way. He didn’t go whining to politicians about how they should pass a special law to ease his situation. He didn’t join some advocacy group to try to overturn our immigration laws and procedures.
This man did what the law required—he returned to the country of his citizenship, of his own volition, with the intent of applying through proper channels for admission into the United States. Before he could legally re-enter our country, he had to remain in Mexico for at least a year.
During that year, he made formal application to return to Texas. This involved a lot of paperwork red tape on both sides of the border, but he went through it. After many months of hearing nothing, he was finally notified in May that his application had been approved. He would soon be given instructions on how to proceed.
The smile on Anabel’s face the morning she told me about that lit up the whole restaurant. I figured he would be back any day and they would resume their lives of marital bliss. Week after week I asked her what the latest news was, and each time the sadness in her face and eyes tore my heart up. I quit asking, because I could see the pain my asking brought.
When I went to the restaurant last Friday, she came and sat in my booth for a moment, telling me she finally had news about her husband. He had received notice that he had an appointment for a hearing—in Mexico, of course—in late September, at which time they would decide what to do.
I’m livid. I don’t know the husband, but I know Anabel. She’s a sweet Christian lady who believes in right and wrong and law and order. She and her husband have tried to do the right thing here. They’ve complied with the law at every step of the way since he returned to Mexico.
Their reward for trying to do right has been nothing but a foot-dragging, lollygagging run-around. The year’s waiting period elapsed several months ago, and he’s still in limbo. Meanwhile, this dear lady is deprived of the loving support of her husband and left to raise her teenage children by herself on a waitress’s pay.
While my friend and her husband are trying to do everything according to the law, our wonderful President has rushed all the illegal aliens who have NOT returned to their home countries as they should ahead of this man and all the others who are trying to play by the rules. Is it any wonder that honest people get frustrated in trying to do the right thing?
Had any dealings with government red tape? Share your experiences with us. I love to hear from you.
Book update: You can now look me and Heaven Sent up on Goodreads, and I will soon be putting it out in paperback form. I will also be publishing Fancy, the first novella in my series about a fourteen year-old girl orphaned by the Civil War.
For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.
For more information about his book, click the “Heaven Sent” tab above.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx