Gird Your Loins


Hey kids.

So the white stack of papers on the chair is my husband’s waiver application, formally known as Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission Into the United States After Deportation or Removal.

Quite the tongue twister, I know.

When I was previously blogging, both my husband and I were under the impression that R was banned for 20 years from entering the United States.

He’s actually banned for life from entering the United States, due to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, also known as the IIRIRA, signed into law by then President Bill Clinton.

I couldn’t find a link that I liked that explained the whole kit and caboodle in plain English. If you find one, let me know.

In R’s situation, he is banned for life, because he entered the US for the second time without papers, after an initial deportation. His second deportation triggers the lifetime ban that’s outlined in the dense and inaccessible language of the IIRIRA. At the moment when R was deported, we were informed by a US immigration official that R was banned for 20 years. R’s second deportation happened in 2001, five years after IIRIRA went into effect.

So the left hand doesn’t always know what the right hand is doing.

Or the left hand doesn’t always want to know what the right hand is doing.

The beige envelopes are full of documents that we had to send to prove that our marriage was real, and that R has been in Mexico since 2001.

Those envelopes hold cold documents like bank statements, apartment leases, telephone bills full of numbers, balances and payments received.

They also hold warm documents like letters from friends and family members, full of words, feelings and the desire for justice proclaimed.

There’s no formal time limit by which US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has to release a decision about R’s waiver. As some of you know, the application went out  September of last year, 2012.

An answer could come down tomorrow. Or in two months. Or September of this year, 2013.

That is, of course, if the left hand is coordinating with the right hand.

So with all the talk that’s been going on this week about “improving a broken system,” and “getting to the back of the line,” I present to you R’s I-212 waiver application.

That stack on the chair is one waiver application for one person without a formal time limit for an answer.

So if there truly is going to be a deep dive into fixing the system, then I’m taking a cue from The Devil Wears Prada: 

“Gird Your Loins.”


6 thoughts on “Gird Your Loins

  1. Wow! I am soo sorry to hear this-I mean 20 years is bad enough. It seems like Obama is finally getting to work on reform but that doesn’t mean it will help your case necessarily. I wish you the best and appreciate the updates.


    1. N, good to hear from you! I’ve made my peace with the fact that whatever comes down in terms of Comprehensive Immigration Reform in the US, it probably won’t, as you said, help our case. But I do want to speak out to create an system that is as inclusive,accessible and just as possible. As I mentioned in my previous video post, I don’t know if that will happen! But it is important to keep shining a light. Thanks for your comments!:) TDW


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