Real Immigrant Stories
The people below are not alone. Our broken immigration system affect tens of millions of lives every year. Too often, their stories go untold, please read what they have to say. Do you have an immigration story that you would like to tell? Click here to share your story.
Aaron Yaw - Maybelvale, AR
My name is Aaron Yaw and I am writing to you in regards of the immigration bill that is in Congress and about my family. I am a United States citizen by birth, my wife is a Mexican citizen, two of our kids are United States citizen’s by birth, and our new born is a Mexican citizen by birth. My family is currently going through the immigration process and we have been for three and a half years now. I have been separated from my wife and children for one year and two months now.
In the year 2003, I was a cadet in the United States Army, and I went back home on leave from school and found a young beautiful lady that I fell in love with and married. Her name is Cecilia Yaw and she is a Mexican citizen that was here in the U.S. as an illegal. We married in the year 2003 and started to work on my wife’s papers to make here legal. In the mean time I reported back to school to fulfill the commitment that I made to my country. While away from my wife, I unfortunately missed my son’s first steps. In the year 2004, I was a month away from commission and I started having an increasing problem with meeting Army height and weight standards and I lost my commission. The Army asked me if I would enlist for eight years and they would take a third of my pay in order to complete my contract. I told the Army no and that I would just pay back the money in monthly payments, even though being in the Army was one of the things that I had wanted since I was born. I had a family and a duty to take care of them. Later I found out that I had gall stones and had to have surgery, I sent my paper work to the Army but they rejected it so I could not get a medical waiver or discharge. My wife and I started working on her papers with the help of our church and we reached a point where we were told that she had to go back to Mexico so that we could complete the process. We did not accept this and knew of other people that had been through the same situation and did not have go back to their country. With the help of some friends we found out about a lawyer that had helped other people like us and nobody had to leave the country. We started working with the lawyer and later while talking to the government on the phone we found out that the laws had changed and that my wife did have to go back to Mexico. In the year 2005, we had a daughter born and now I know that I would miss important parts of her life as I had to with my son.
In the year 2006, I took my wife and two kids to Mexico and had to leave them because I had to return to the U.S. to work to support my family. We were only going to have to wait a few months and then we would have completed the process. We waited six months and still had no answer. I started to talk with the government and the lawyer that we started working with and the only thing that I could find out is that there was nothing I could do and that I had to wait. I didn’t accept that and I spoke with a congressman and he was able to track our paper work and found out that the government had lost all of our papers. At this time my wife was pregnant again and had blood pressure problems and was told that she could loose the baby. The congressman was able to get our papers back on track and we were given an appointment at the U.S. consulate at CD Juarez, Mexico. I took out a loan and picked up my family and went to the consulate only to find out that after being told that we had everything and that I would be able to bring my family back home, my wife couldn’t come back. This was because we had to file for a waiver and that we would have to come back to the consulate in two weeks to file the waiver and then wait for it to be approved. I had to find a place for my family to live again and had to leave them again. As I left, my son came to me and said “Daddy I want to go to work with you so that I can be with you.” I left them there and came back to the U.S. and I had to leave our apartment and I had to quit school and start working two jobs to support my family. My wife went back to the consulate and filed the waiver and was told that we should have an answer no more than six months. After being told that I would call the consulate to get an update and found out six months was turned into twelve months. At the end of the year 2006, my wife had to have an emergency C- section and our new born son was born in Mexico. I then started finding out what we would have to do for him to have his U.S. citizenship. I called the consulate and was told that we would have to file it with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and that I had to do it in person. After talking to the consulate again, they said that I could file it at the consulate at CD Juarez when we come to pick up my wife’s papers. Now, I am having to fight for my wife and my new born son.
We are still waiting on the waiver, I keep calling the consulate to get an update, and every time I call they tell me to keep waiting and that Home Land Security has the paper work and we are waiting for them. I have been able to get the number for Home Land Security and when I call them they only tell me that they will not give me any information and that I have to call the consulate to get any information. I was told about a program that would help my family with the immigration process, it was a pilot program at the consulate at CD Juarez. I talked to the congressman that helped us before and he said that the program is for people like us. So I called the consulate to get in to the program and they told me that we could not enter the program because we had already started the process and that the program was for people that are just starting. I complained to the consulate and was only told that this is the way it is.
About the bill that is in Congress, I know that the whole immigration process needs to be changed to keep atrocities like what my family is going through from happening. I really think that you just can not start kicking doors down and taking people and put them in detention camps to wait and later be deported, thus breaking up legitimate families by sending people back to their country. I think that if somebody wants to come to our country and through a back ground check can prove that that they have not been a problem in their own country and show that they can be a productive member of our country through any means of legal work. Then they should be allowed to come. I feel that we need to straighten our northern and southern borders only in a way that would help keep a new immigration system running. I think that all the people that are here illegally need to register that they are here and should go through a background check that they should have to pay a fine and perform some sort of community service. And if they have anything such as a felony, they should be deported. The people that pass should be given a workers permit and at the end of the permit should be given a hearing as to if they should be granted residency. I know that before the government starts to help the people that are illegal, the government needs to help the people that are already in the immigration process and bring us out of misery. We are the ones that are trying to do everything correct and we are being punished for it. PLEASE HELP! I have written the President Bush, the First Lady, the Vice President, members of Congress, and the State Department in hopes of contacting Condoleezza Rice. I would just like to have my family with me so that we can get our life back and to try to help the 4 million people that are having to put their lives on hold like we are.