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Help Jose stay with his family!

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Christian Mendoza


UPDATE: Hi everyone. I shared my husband's immigration story on this page, and I was flooded with a complete outpouring of support. I want you all to know how much it means to have the love and kind words from so many people. Unfortunately, we just received a letter from the Department of Homeland Security on June 21, 2017 that our request to grant him lawful presence due to extreme hardship in the case of his deportation is not going to work. The government does not think that my situation is above the "normal" hardships that others have to face in my situation. If he left us, my children will not have their father who they have had since they were born. If he leaves us, I will have to quit school and pursue a full time job, even though I was just accepted to graduate school this week. If he leaves us, our loving family would be torn apart and my children will have to experience so much heartache. Our immigration attorney has scammed and ultimately failed us. We have been under his "care" for the past six years, and he has lost our applications, held money orders until their expiration date, and kept our family from being whole today. The government is going to deny my husband citizenship, on July 24th, 2017. We are going to have to hire a new attorney and start my husband's application all over again. We are bracing ourselves for the fact that he is probably going to have to leave us for a while. But if I can hire a new attorney, and start a brand new application for my husband, maybe he doesn't have to stay away from us for too long. I have never done this, and I am having to swallow my pride to do it. But I need help. My family has given all the money that they have over the last six years. Thousands of dollars in all. My husband and I need help. Any help. We have until July 24th to hire a new attorney and begin his process all over again. So many people have reached out to me and asked me what they could do, and how they could help. In helping me, you would be helping a man who wants to take care of his family, and who deserves to be here with us. Thank you so much for your time, donations, and prayers. Here is our full story: I met my husband at a low point in my life. I had made some bad decisions, and I had recently become a convicted felon, at the age of nineteen. I had a baby at this time. She was little, and precious, and didn't deserve to be raised by a person like me. I drank too much, I stayed out late at night, and I allowed my grandparents to practically raise my child for a year. I loved my daughter, but I hadn't grown up enough to realize that I was making terrible choices, ones that would haunt me for the rest of my life. Then I met Jose. He worked as a cook in the same restaurant as I did. I could tell immediately that we had a connection. I had never dated a Hispanic man, or, truth be told, I had never dated a man who wasn't white before, and I was reluctant to date him. He pursued me relentlessly, and in the most romantic possible way. He would grin at me with his adorable teeth every time we made eye contact, and I would always blush. He would leave single roses under the windshield of my car and always text me to see if I had made it home safe from work. Eventually, we began dating. Sure, there were cultural differences and we had to find a common ground, but it turned out not to be too difficult. We had the same taste in music, and he constantly made me laugh. After a few months, I decided it was time to introduce him to my daughter (whom he had never met). It was his interaction with her that made me decide that this was the man I was meant to be with. He played with her, made her laugh, and happily tolerated all of the things that toddlers like to do to annoy their parents. Jose helped me quit smoking cigarettes, and helped me stop drinking. Spending time with him was like a breath of fresh air. He was always a gentleman, always kind, and always thought of my daughter first. I fell in love with him. I saw him as a bridge to make my life a more worthwhile place. We discussed moving in together, and that's when he told me the truth: he was an illegal immigrant. He came here when he was twenty years old, and has lived here for over fifteen years. He has worked in the same restaurant the entire time he has lived in this country. He told me that the last name that I knew him by, the last name everyone knew him by was not his real name. He told me his whole story, and he was completely wracked with shame for it. He fully expected me to end our relationship because he was not a citizen. But during the time that we had been dating, I had slowly become a better person, thanks to him. Jose had gently made me realize that I was being a complete shit of a person, and that I wasn't taking the number one priority of my life (my daughter) seriously. He showed me what it was like to be a wonderful parent. I looked back and saw so much personal growth over those past few months and I just KNEW he was meant to be in my life. I told him that him being a legal citizen was nothing to be ashamed of and that I would do anything to help him. A few weeks after Jose got used to me knowing his deep, dark secret, he asked me to marry him. He set out cocktail shrimp in the shape of a heart and hid the ring inside of a bouquet of roses. I said yes, and felt like everything was going the way it was supposed to. Jose had taken on a second night job at another restaurant so we would have enough money to get settled into our first little home. He even gave my daughter the master bedroom, because it had a bathroom in it, and he thought that she might like to have one. He was working from 7am to 3 or 4am about 5 days a week. One night, I woke up in a panic. I looked at my alarm clock and saw that it was near 4 in the morning. I checked my phone and saw that I had about twenty missed calls. Turns out, Jose got arrested on his way home from work that night. He went through a routine traffic stop, and the police officer saw that his license had expired. At this time, he wasn't able to renew it because he had to have a valid Social Security card in order to renew. The police officer asked my husband where he was from, and then arrested him. By the time I made it to the jail with my daughter, he was already under an ICE hold. They told me that there was nothing I could do except wait for him to call me. He finally did, and said they were starting their deportation papers. I panicked and called about twenty immigration attorneys in my area. The first one who asked me to come in for a consultation was the one I went with. Jose was in the county jail for nearly three weeks. During this time, I found out I was pregnant WITH TWINS. I was scared, my boyfriend was in jail, and I had JUST started to be a productive member of society and a good mother for the first time in my life. All I could do was hope and pray that he would be released so that we could start the life together that we were supposed to. My immigration attorney came through. They were able to bail him out! I remember going to pick him up from the detention center, and I was positively GLOWING at the thought of being able to see my boyfriend again, without a glass wall separating us. FAST FORWARD SIX YEARS: We were married. We had beautiful healthy twin girls. My oldest daughter doesn't even know that I was a shitty person when she was a baby. We are a happy family. My husband and I are still waiting on his green card. Not his citizenship. His green card. We have filled out application after application. Waiver after waiver. We had to go up in front of the Department of Homeland Security and prove that our relationship was real. Our twin daughters' baby books helped us out with that one. We've had to renew his work Visa four separate times so he could continue to work his same job. Each application has cost us $350. Each waiver we have sent has cost us several hundred dollars. His lawyer fees are still adding up. We have been living in fear for SIX YEARS. This man insisted I go back to school and better myself while he worked to support our family. I went to community college first and got my associate's degree. Then, because of my academic success at my community college, I got a scholarship to a private college near us. Because of him, I am in my last semester, and will be graduating in May. Because of him, I don't smoke anymore. I don't drink excessively. I am a GOOD mother, like, really, a good one. He is the best person, and the best influence I could have asked for in a horrible spot in my life. He is how we have pushed through. Since I am a student and he is still a cook (same position in the same restaurant for fifteen years without a promotion), we live paycheck to paycheck. I went to apply for food stamps recently, and we were turned away. They used his income to see if we fell close to the poverty line. We were right on it. But, the social worker at DSS explained to me that they were not able to count my husband as a member of my household, because he wasn't a citizen. They used his income, but counted him as a nothing. A non member. For all the people I see who talk about how illegal immigrants take advantage of government help, that is a bunch of crap. We aren't even entitled to help because we count as a four person household, instead of a five. I don't know what the future holds for our family, but I can tell you this: my husband has never spent a day away from his kids (including my daughter who he loves as his own), he has worked himself ragged to provide for us, and I now have to do everything in my power to make sure he can stay with us. He deserves to be with us, his family. He has earned that much. Sorry for the long story, but thank for you taking the time to read it.



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