An Update from Larry Love
Larry Love, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a father of three citizen children. His wife, who immigrated 16 years ago, is facing deportation. He first shared his story on our blog in July. This is an update on his family’s situation.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) interviewed us and believes that our marriage is valid, although later we will have to do the same interview again from what we are told. We filed the U-Visa application for those that have suffered abuse while in the country and we tried to get the police reports from different police agencies but much of the information was blacked out to protect the privacy of those involved. We have submitted requests to the police agencies to get the full reports but we have not heard back. We filed the U-Visa application with the blacked out reports and we have not heard back on the application. In the last 6 weeks we have spent over 400 dollars in copies and fedex charges and we filed the I-212 form, which cost $545 and we have not heard back on that one either. We also filed the I-601c form and they sent our money back to us on that one. Both of these forms are the waivers to try and get around the 2 -10 year bars that will be issued when she leaves the country.
We submitted detailed information about the dangers in Guatemala right now such as in a recent election over 50 candidates were assassinated and they only have a 2% solve rate on their murders because of corruption. We filed the above forms after being turned down for a day in court. They denied the petition to re-open the case and they denied our request for a stay of deportation. It is stressful and we pray that our country will be reasonable and stop deporting people like my wife with no criminal record and with three American Citizen Children and a US Citizen husband of three years. It seems they would rather separate families than get rid of criminals. From the way things are going the forms alone will exceed $5000 and the lawyer fees will be about $10,000. We have been paying the lawyer payments each month and since we still owe it does not give him a great incentive to work on the case much, so I have been the one filing the most recent forms such as the I-212, U-Visa and the 601c form. Most people do not understand what undocumented people have to go through.
She has also paid taxes and social security for the past 16 years and she has never worked under a different name. We believe ICE puts these cases as a higher priority since she is not hiding. It is much harder for them to try to deport illegal drug dealers especially since they have money and can pay for the best lawyers and there is a greater danger trying to find and arrest them. Our lawyer actually told us that it would be easier for him to help if she were a criminal in some respects.
My wife still has the bulky electronic ankle bracelet on. We got a call saying that we were trying to cut it off and I told them no and they could come and look at it. G4S showed up and found that it was a faulty bracelet and changed it out. The new one left a chemical burn on my wife’s leg that was there for over a week. It was about 3 inches by 2.5 inches. She has gone since April with the device so she could not wear shorts in the summer and we bought a couple of dresses that she could wear to church that go almost to the floor. We have applied and filled out and submitted literally hundreds of pages of information and they think she is going to try to escape. We try to hold on to hope that our three young children will not be separated from their mother at a critical time in their lives and we also submitted a real budget showing ICE that if they deport my wife that we will not be able to pay basic bills. We have turned off HBO long ago and we don’t have internet and we have tried to save money wherever possible. This experience helps us understand what other people are going through that are in deportation proceedings and it is very sad.
Recently our neighbor was deported and ICE left a five year-old autistic boy in the home with three teenagers and did not even call or coordinate with family services. They were not taking care of the boy properly and they were having beer parties, etc… Another case in the neighborhood, ICE left two young children in the home, seven and eight years old, and deported the mother and father, and once again did not notifying family services or anything. In this case the neighbors took the children in, but that creates another legal problem for the neighbors when trying to register the children for school or get medical services even though these children are American citizens.
We appreciate your efforts to stop this separation of families and the terror that ICE causes our families. Once again we don’t support illegal immigration although we feel the United States needs to be reasonable with the laws it enacts and enforces.
This Christmas season is a time of not only giving and receiving, but of remembering the Christ child and for what he stands. Love being the main focus of Christ’s life is something we cannot forget. Peace and wisdom were a great focus all of his life as well, and we need to continue following his example today spreading peace and going about our efforts in a wise way. Our hope is that this Christmas season will be filled with love, peace and wisdom.