You Break It, You Buy It

Origami by Won Park

My husband now has a U.S. permanent residency appointment on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 8:15 am at the American Consulate General in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico.

This appointment comes 12 years and 2 months after Picasso’s deportation.

While I’m happy that the appointment is finally official and scheduled against a tremendous number of odds and obstacles, I’m having a U.S. consumer moment, i.e., you get what you pay for.

What do I mean?

My husband’s U.S. permanent residency appointment fee: $404 (while I know that there are different numbers out there, this is what’s confirmed that he will pay for his specific appointment.)

My husband’s medical exam for the U.S. permanent residency appointment: $211

My husband’s vaccinations for the U.S. permanent residency appointment: anywhere from $20-$300, depending on what is needed. Let’s just say $100 in vaccinations for the sake of a number.

My husband’s flight from Mexico City to Ciudad Juárez: $152

So, we’re at  $867 already, perhaps higher, depending on vaccinations.

This $867 doesn’t include my travel, or lodging and food for both of us. That total doesn’t include the previous $585 paid for the waiver, the fees for our great lawyer, which are more than fair, but fees nonetheless.

It doesn’t include emergency money to have on hand for any unexpected issues that may arrive.

It doesn’t include our regular life bills that will come tumbling in the first of August, right after Picasso’s appointment.

And what’s killing me right now is that there are no guarantees on the other end of this, i.e., my husband has a 50 percent chance of getting a yes, and a 50 percent chance of getting a no.

I know that there’s a tremendous amount of privilege in getting to this point. I personally know people who’d pay any price, financial, physical, or otherwise to switch places with us.

But that’s also my point.

My husband and I will piece this money together with help from family and friends. But not everyone has that level of support.

The privilege that pounds through my veins, even at this level of the game.

And I’m crying as I write this, because that privileged Giselle, the Giselle that was born and raised in the U.S., the pre-ten-years-in-Mexico Giselle, the Giselle that didn’t understand the depth of her issues around class, that Giselle wants her husband’s permanent residency appointment to be a guaranteed yes on the other end because of the money that’s being laid out up front.

And yet, if there’s one thing that’s for sure in all of this, it’s that U.S. immigration doesn’t offer refunds.

Your break that border, you buy it – in time, tears and cash.


8 thoughts on “You Break It, You Buy It

  1. Wow… you are a great writer. I can feel your emotions as you write this. I am too going through these exact feelings and wondering if i should keep spending all this money when I dont know what to expect, there are no guarantees 😦


  2. Dear Giselle,
    I refused vaccination as they are useless and cause tremendous side effects or even worse things! Everyone is allowed to not get vaccinated, you just need a damn good (and easy) reason they accept. If that is at all interesting for you, talk to me.


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