Why Can’t Those “Illegals” Just Use the System?

So a little story hour for your Friday. Pull up a seat, because this one’s a doozy.

A good friend of mine (US citizen) is married to a Mexican man. Her husband had a US permanent residency appointment for Monday, December 28 of last year.

For those of you who don’t know, you just don’t stroll up to the US Consulate the day of your appointment. You have to arrive at least two days before, to complete a medical exam.

So if your US permanent residency appointment in Ciudad Juárez is for a Monday, you have to arrive the Thursday of the week before, to have a medical exam on Friday. Then you get to spend the weekend in Ciudad Juárez , waiting for your Monday appointment.

The most dangerous city in all of Mexico.

And, of course, the US Consulate is closed the 24th and 25th of December. So if my friend and her husband didn’t postpone the appointment, he’d have to arrive in  Juárez on Wednesday, December 23rd. That much more time to spend by himself in Juárez. Merry Christmas, indeed.

So they went through the correct and legal channels to reschedule his appointment. My friend was told that the appointment would be rescheduled in 2-3 months. It took 5 months.

The appointment finally happened this month, in May.

Now, my friend’s husband doesn’t have any deportations on his record. Never was undocumented in the US. No criminal record in Mexico or the US. He has a valid US tourist visa. My friend is a US citizen with a clean record. Her father proudly served in the US military.

This past Tuesday, my friend and her husband received notice that he was denied permanent residency to the US.


Oooh, kids-this is my favorite part of today’s story.

We have to do this high-context style, and go back in time a little. My friend was her husband’s financial sponsor for the permanent residency to the US. At his permanent residency appointment, the US government wasn’t happy with my friend as her husband’s financial sponsor, so due to the US government’s error in mathematics, my friend’s father quickly stepped in to be the financial sponsor. The father signed the correct documents, and sent over his tax records. Everything was scanned, and emailed to my friend’s husband in Ciudad Juárez.

The next morning, my friend’s husband handed in the documents at the US Consulate. A consulate worker reviewed the documents, and told my friend’s husband that everything was fine, and to wait 2-3 days for a DHL package. Cool. My friend’s husband flew back home.

Very kind people – you know who are:) – agreed to pick up his DHL package, and send it to the city where my friend and her husband live.

Because this is another lovely trick by the US Consulate in Ciudad Juárez; their response time is supposedly 2-3 days after your appointment. But the US Consulate’s response is sent to the DHL store in, yep, you guessed it-Ciudad Juárez. So if you don’t have someone kind enough to pick up your package for you, you need to wait out those 2-3 days.

More time to kill in Ciudad Juárez.

OK-so my friend and her husband finally got their DHL package in their home this past Tuesday. The package had the husband’s Mexican passport, and the denial letter. The letter said that his application was denied because…

The US Consulate in Ciudad Juárez needed original signatures on the financial support documents from the father, i.e., they couldn’t be scanned.

So, when the US Consulate worker reviewed the documents in front of my friend’s husband, they couldn’t have told him that right then?

My friend’s father express mailed the same documents with the original signatures to them. My friend and her husband went to the local DHL offices, and sent the originals with them, along with the husband’s Mexican passport, back to the US Consulate in Ciudad Juárez.

In the denial letter, they were told that they had an opportunity to re-send the materials. Now to send the documents and the passport from the city where they live to Juárez is approximately $300 Mexican pesos, around $23 US right now. How much does it cost for the US Consulate to send back the husband’s Mexican passport with an answer? $100 US dollars. I’m so not kidding. The $100 is of course on top of the application fees, lawyer fees that they paid up to this point, plus paying for the trip to Juárez. (flight, hotel, food)

Did it say in the denial letter from the US Consulate how long it will take for a response? No. Are my friend and her husband absolutely 100% sure that they will get a yes on the US permanent residency? No. Was her husband’s valid tourist visa shredded at the US consulate? Yes. They had travel plans coming up next week for an important family event in the States. He is almost 100% not going.

My friend openly talks about her high level of privilege in the many different areas of her life. And yet, even her husband’s case, his US permanent residency case isn’t a slam-dunk.

Big sigh.

BP should talk with the US Consulate in Ciudad Juárez: I’m sure that the US Consulate in Ciudad Juárez has a ton of extra papers that they could get rid of to plug the gushing oil leak. At least in that case, a person’s legal permanent residency application to the US would be put to some good use, no?


16 thoughts on “Why Can’t Those “Illegals” Just Use the System?

  1. I am living this same story. My husband and I have seven children, four U.S citizens and three adopted from Mexico. It cost us over $30,000 to legalize our children and they are still only permanent residents. I had to spend two weeks in Ciudad Juarez with three young children just to get them into the country. We have been married seven years and we have been waiting on a waiver for my husband for five. We keep asking for an extention for his appointment because we are told that it will take up to six months. I am a school teacher and there is no way i can foot the bill of the two households for that long. The worst is that once he goes to Ciudad Juarez there is no guarantee if he will receive his papers. If denied he faces 10 years of deportation and my children and I will starve.

    This man stepped up and has raised my two daughters from a previous marriage , who their American citizen father has never paid one dime to support.We takes our children to church and we teach them about God and we raise our family like any other immigrant family (which racist American is everyone=everyone accept the Native Americans).


  2. Thanks for sharing this story. It’s so important for people to realize how difficult it is to go the “legal route.” As you said, this should have been a slam dunk, with a married couple having every legitimate reason to be able to move to the US together as a family.
    Keep fighting the fight and doing your part to keep us all aware! Thanks.


  3. I just recently saw that episode of 30 Days (Morgan Spurlock’s show) where this border militia guy goes to live with a family of illegals. Have you seen that episode? (It’s on Netflix as a Watch Instantly feature.) This guy is acting nearly RABID about how it means revolution against the U.S. if the “illegals win”. I mean he comes across as just plain crazy to me. This guy is a “legal immigrant” from Cuba, where his family came from when he was a child.

    But the way he talks about illegals and the way he gets so angry at this family in the beginning of the episode still did not reveal to me how he believes illegal immigrants will overthrow the U.S. government. Not once does he give any evidence other than that they carry Che Guevera signs. I mean seriously, how are we supposed to take people who think illegal immigrants are here to destroy the U.S. government. And he actually says this more than once.

    But near the end of this episode he volunteers to go down to see where the family lived prior to coming to the U.S. There “house” had no running water and looked like a hovel. The note at the end of the episode said that now that guy does not work on the border patrol, but tries to deal with the political side (making immigration easier) instead. So he didn’t leave the group, but he did change his mind some. Very good episode!


  4. What about people that this happens to in Norway, where my parents are from-they were sent back and forth at an enormous cost to them-but you do what it takes the LEGAL way, or you should pay the consequences like any other law violation-actually, its a felony. I sympathize with you because I am familiar with your plight, but defending those who violate our countries laws is not a viable nor socially acceptable route either. At least its not half-way across the world if that is slight consolation.
    I, as well as the majority of America are in favor of AZ’s new law-and 13 other states are looking to add it to their laws as well(enforcing federal law)! Tides are shifting against liberals-the democratic congress which destroyed this country since the bush administration and this current one, along with your “messiah,your chosen one” are getting voted OUT! In november, we will remember!
    The liberal hordes scream racism because doing so is a manipulative tactic designed to get the conversation off topic so that instead of dealing with the central issue, people become bogged down in all their nonsense- that way, they can prevent any logical, sensible discussion and therefore any logical, sensible solutions.
    The tactic is known as “irrelevant argumentative side-baiting” and is designed to be manipulative and disruptive. Primarily, they seek to create a highly emotionally charged atmosphere wherein their opponents find themselves on the defensive- defending themselves against the slanderous and defamatory charge of racism.
    I’ve had people such as that denounce me as a racist a number of times and you know what? When you tell them that you’ll sue for slander and defamation and they’ll be standing in front of a judge explaining themselves and offering their “evidence”….well, it’s amazing how quickly they shut up when they find out that instead of having something to gain by screaming racism, they have something to lose!
    People are angry that the US might protect its own borders, might make it harder to sneak into this country and, once here, to stay indefinitely.
    Let me see if I correctly understand the thinking behind these protests.
    Let’s say I break into your house.
    Let’s say that when you discover me in your house, you insist that I leave.
    But I say, ‘No! I like it here. It’s better than my house. I’ve made all the beds and washed the dishes and did the laundry and swept the floors. I’ve done all the things you don’t like to do. I’m hard-working and honest (except for when I broke into your house).
    According to the protesters:
    You are Required to let me stay in your house
    You are Required to feed me
    You are Required to add me to your family’s insurance plan
    You are Required to Educate my kids
    You are Required to Provide other benefits to me &to my family
    My husband will do all of your yard work because he is also hard-working and honest. (except for that breaking in part).
    If you try to call the police or force me out, I will call my friends who will picket your house carrying signs that proclaim my RIGHT to be there.
    It’s only fair, after all, because you have a nicer house than I do, and I’m just trying to better myself. I’m a hard-working and honest, person, except for well, you know, I did break into your house
    And what a deal it is for me!!!
    I live in your house, contributing only a fraction of the cost of my keep, and there is nothing you can do about it without being accused of cold, uncaring, selfish, prejudiced, and bigoted behavior.
    Oh yeah, and I DEMAND that you learn MY LANGUAGE!!! so that you can communicate with me.
    Why can’t people see how ridiculous this is?!


    1. Attila,

      I’m publishing your comment, because I honestly find it quite funny and painful at the same time. I recommend that you give my blog a good read before you start making assumptions. Then, if you like, you can go back and make edits to your comments.


  5. Ay, I ‘m so sorry. Just when you think you can trust that something will go right the horrible truth about USCIS gushes forth. At this point I would like to know how anyone really gets the visa they need and what they did to get it.


  6. Even after 2.5 years of watching others crumble under the ridiculous bureaucracy of the consulate at Juarez and hitting that same brick wall ourselves, stories like this continue to make my blood boil. Especially when I hear the “just wait in line” arguments.


    1. Hey Amy,

      I know what you mean. A case like this is even more upsetting for me, because in my eyes, it should’ve been a slam dunk.


  7. You’ve got to be KIDDING me?! Bureaucratic logic is the WORST. I knew the process was slow and painful, but this sounds simply incompetent.


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