It’s been almost three months since the last time we wrote. Things have been hectic since we returned from our road trip to Cd. Juarez. Our entire family has been counting our blessings especially as of late.
Take a look at this timeline:
- November 26, 2019 – Jose had his interview at the consulate in Cd. Juarez, and was thankfully approved!
- December 3, 2019 – Jose picked up his visa packet and had his visa authorized by a border patrol agent.
- December 6, 2019 – Jose returned back home to Rockford!
- February 12, 2020 – Started our road trip to Cd. Juarez.
- February 22, 2020 – Returned home from our road trip.
- March 12, 2020 – Our local health department issued a recommendation to suspend all public events of 25 people or more.
- March 20, 2020 – Governor Pritzker issued a Stay at Home order.
Looking at this all written out makes me want to cry. How lucky are we to have all of this work out literally in the nick of time?
Before planning our trip to Cd. Juarez, we had discussed not going so quickly. We were both exhausted from the stress of Jose’s interview, the holidays, and planning Luisa’s birthday party that going on a big road trip just seemed crazy, but my gut pushed me to convince Jose that we needed to go right away. How happy I am that I did because we don’t know when we’re going to get the opportunity to travel to see our family in Mexico again due to coronavirus.
I’ve had multiple people reach out to me in regards to a couple immigrant related-issues tied to COVID-19.
- Stimulus checks – Yes, it is true that American citizens who are married to undocumented immigrants will not receive a payment. In turn, this also affects their U.S. citizen children. Because Jose is now a legal permanent resident, he will receive a check. If a U.S. citizen married to an undocumented immigrant filed their taxes separately, they will still receive a check. A couple years ago, our lawyer recommended we file our taxes separately due to immigration issues. If Jose was not a permanent resident or did not have DACA, I’d still receive a check because of this. An ITIN, or individual tax identification number does not suffice even if an undocumented immigrant still files their taxes. They must have a social security number.
- Suspension of immigrants to U.S. – On Wednesday, April 22, the White House released a proclamation “suspending entry of immigrants who present risks to the U.S. labor market during the economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak.” This applies to those immigrants who are outside the U.S. and who are not permanent residents or have other accepted travel documentation. Visa services at all U.S. embassies and consulates are suspended for the next 60 days to certain applicants. This will have an impact on family-based immigration (parents, adult children, and siblings of U.S. citizens, or spouses and children of permanent residents).
Unfortunately, immigrants are used to President Trump’s administration taking measures like these against their community. The choices Trump has made are unfair. Simply put, he is using COVID-19 to further support his anti-immigrant agenda. However, the immigrant community is strong, and will never stop fighting for what’s right.
During this time, we are counting the many blessings we have before us—our family can remain together, we have a roof over our heads, we can find food in our fridge every day, and if we get sick, we have the resources to see our doctors. However, at the same time, we know that many immigrant and mixed-status families do not have all of these things. We can relate all too well with the hurt and betrayal these families are feeling. Together, we WILL get through this.