Tag Archives: Waiver

Last day in Juarez

Here is a picture of the Mexican pesos. The coins make a lot more sense than US coins because the largest ones are the most valuable. It is roughly a 10 to 1 value (about 10.65) so you are looking at a $10, $20, $5 and $2 roughly.

By the way- His actual interview was incredibly short. They only asked three questions! One of them was if we planned on having kids. I thought that was a little odd. He actually had his interview “on time” at around 8 am but then he had to wait until about noon for them to give him the paper with the results – a rejection of his familial visa application due to his living in the US more than 180 days without a visa (that is how the law reads). Annoying that he had wait for that when we knew up front it would happen and even have his second Waiver interview scheduled.  Oh well. It seems like it would be more efficient for everyone to just skip to the 2nd interview. However, I suppose the US immigration department would miss out on a few thousand dollars of fees. I guess the first interview does serve the purpose of determining if the individual even qualifies for a Waiver. For instance, an individual who has falsely claimed to be a US citizen, who has entered the US undocumented more than once, has committed a felony, or a number of other exclusions, can NOT even attempt to get a Waiver of Inadmissibility.
I was totally excited that he came back by 12:30. We went to the mall for a little while and bought some bread for our road trip tomorrow. We are sooooooooooooo excited to leave this place and see some of this beautiful country!
An interesting story about the El Paso – Ciudad Juarez border area. In 1827, Jose Ponce de Leon received a land grant from the Mexican government on the south side of the Rio Grande (called the Rio Bravo in Mexico). Leon’s land became known as El Chamizal (the name of the park we drove by at the border crossing with the giant Mexican flag). The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848, named the Rio Grande as the US-Mexican border from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico. The area then became separated into two cities, El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. The Rio Grande turns from flowing south to southeast right by the El Chamizal. The south bank of the river was constantly eroding and spring flooding was causing the river to actually move.
By 1895, the entire park was on the north side of the river. It was after the great flood of 1897 that the US and Mexico decided to construct a cement canal and control the flow of the river in 1899, splitting the cost. In 1911, a dispute started. Even though Pedro Garcia, a Mexican farmer, had clear title to the El Chamizal land. It was on the El Paso side and Americans settled on it. The Mexican revolution started soon after and the dispute was put on the back burner. In the 20’s, prohibition sent Americans across the border to drink, drug trafficking started going northwards and the Immigration Act of 1924 signed by President Coolidge put limits on the number of immigrants allowed to enter the US, actually excluding all Asians from immigrating. Conditions were so bad in the area during the Great Depression that officials on BOTH sides agreed to put up a border fence, which was constructed in 1940.
Finally in 1963, after 93 years of dispute, The Chamizal Convention was held and President Kennedy and Presidente Lopez Mateos came to an agreement. It was President Lyndon Johnson who attended the dedication ceremony in 1967. Now there is a Chamizal Park on both sides of the border to tell the history and cooperation of the two counties working together (after almost 100 years, of course).  I guess that means in another 90 years the two countries may come to an agreement on how to handle the drug trafficking and immigration problems that span both borders.

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Filed under Chihuahua State, Immigration, Mexico, Permanent Resident Visa/Green card, Undocumented Worker

Put on notice

Well, we received notice on Monday, February 4th that Mex’s (what I’ll call my husband in blog world) first interview as part of the Permanent Resident process at the US Consulate in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, will be on Tuesday, March 4th at 7:45 am. We had planned on leaving about eight days in advance to take a leisurely drive south, visit friends near Omaha, see a few things in New Mexico and get to El Paso two days before crossing the border to get our bearings before crossing. However, we discovered he must have a medical exam in Mexico two days before his interview. Since they don’t do exams on the weekend, we actually have to cross into Mexico on Thursday the 28th of February so he can go stand in line at the doctor’s office starting at 5:30am. They do NOT take appointments so he basically has to go and hope he gets in sometime from 6am to 11am. Unfortunately, due to the short notice we really can’t leave any sooner than the 24th or 25th so we will be busting our butts to drive the 1500 miles from Minneapolis to El Paso in about two days, leaving us far from refreshed when we arrive.

The good thing is, I think my parents are going to drive with us down to El Paso and then hop over to Phoenix for the weekend to visit some of my mom’s aunts and uncles. They may stay in the area until Mex’s interview on March 4th when he will find out the date of his 2nd interview (the one where they give a final decision to grant his “permanent” spouse green card or not and forgive  his current status). The form is an I-601 Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility. I am very excited because I found out that if they do grant it, he will qualify for US citizenship within only three years. If they don’t grant it he will have to stay with his family in Mexico while we try again (which could take anywhere from six to 18 months.) Only positive thoughts for our journey though.

Between his first and second interviews we hope to take a train ride through Copper Canyon. I had never heard of this gem before we started planning our trip. Spanning northern Mexico’s Chihuahua and Sonora states, it is three times the size of the much more famous US Grand Canyon. It sounds very beautiful and is one of the “1000 Places to See Before You Die.” check! I love lists and checking things off of them, so this book by Patricia Schultz has become my fun (if somewhat obsessive) list of travel spots to hit over the next 60 years. It also has made for a little bit of competition between friends.

After his second interview we will drive 1400 miles down to his town of Tetelilla, Morelos, Mexico. It is a trip we could normally make in two days but all the travel guides warn against driving at night because there are still bandits and animals wandering the highways in some areas and cars don’t always drive with headlights on. Why? I have no idea but I’m not interested in finding out! We have a few places we want to stop on the way down like Zacatecas check! and San Miguel de Allende check! and see the sights of the country. Then we will spend about two weeks with his family before driving back.

In total, we plan on being gone for about six to eight weeks depending on the length of time between his first and second interviews. It should be an exciting adventure but it is very stressful to pack and prepare for that long of a trip, especially with such short notice. We did buy some clothes this weekend and hope to still go shopping today and buy all the toiletries we need and some gifts for his family. However, yesterday I came down with some sickness and have a fever and terrible pain all over my body and can’t breath deeply. Well-timed “death sickness,” a nickname given by college friends to my annual mega cold. Oh well. Maybe a cold will help me sleep better over the next two weeks.

Well, that’s about it for today. I just wanted to post an update about what is happening since when I send out the link to this blog many people will have no idea what’s going on because I had no time to notify them. I will be posting regularly to this blog and including photos during our trip so please check back if you are interested. I will also be available to check my email almost daily so that will be a great way to communicate with me. Well, adiós for now!

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Filed under Immigration, Permanent Resident Visa/Green card, Travel outside MN and Mexico