Monday, March 9, 2009

Immigration Update

Yesterday marked two years since I moved to Mexico, so I thought I'd catch you all up on what's going on with our immigration case. If you've been following for awhile, you know Ibis had his immigration interview a year ago in Ciudad Juarez, then another that April. At the time they told us they needed another 8-10 months to review the case, then in October we found out that changed to 10-12 months.

The paperwork didn't get processed until May, so that means we're currently in the tenth month. For the most part, we don't spend a lot of time discussing our case. The decision will be made by an anonymous person 2000 miles away (I think) and we really have no influence over that decision, so for the most part, we just go about our days and focus on the here and now.

That's been more difficult as the deadline approached. The date I kept pushing out of my head is finally here and now we need to have an actual plan. A lot of you already know this, but last week we started an email campaign to Senator Stabenow (MI) urging her office to tell DHS to hurry up. Because of the way the laws are, one branch of the government cannot tell another to do anything, but we're hoping letters from several hundred people will help put us closer to the top of the list.

While this has been going on, I realized last week that my tourist visa expires soon. The last thing we need is another immigration headache, so I went into the local office for an extension. The very nice lady who helped me explained that I can't get it extended, so my two best options were 1) to drive to Guatemala (as that border is closer than the US) to get a new one, or 2) get an FM3 visa as Ibis' dependent. My understanding is that because I've been here for a certain length of time, I now qualify for a different FM3 than I did when I first moved here. It's the cheapest option so it looks like just as we're getting ready to leave, I'll have a more permanent status here.

On a side note, we haven't heard much more in terms of violence locally, but we did see a man arrested Saturday night. We were a little nervous having so many drawn machine guns nearby, but we were inside a restaurant so there was no danger. I have noticed more mobile patrols, so hopefully Calderon's additional troops are helping.

18 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

I can't believe it's been a year since your interviews! My, how time flies. And here's hoping time flies toward your departure.

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, I know. I also can't believe it's been TWO years since I lived in Chicago!

Turkey Lurkey said...

I can't wait for the day when your blog post as the title - "We are coming home!" Until then, I will be keeping my fingers crossed.

WendyCinNYC said...

I sent my email off--I hope it helps!!

Jen said...

Well, hopefully there is some light at the end of the tunnel now, Mel. I've sent off my email now, too, and let's hope they get off their duffs and get things moving for you, ASAP!

*hugs*

spyscribbler said...

Oh geeze, Melanie! Isn't that ironic? I hope you get to stay until it's time for you two to come back together! I'm hoping for you every single day. Several hundred people pulling for you has to have some weight with the universe! I hope!

Gosh, Melanie. I feel nervous and I'm not YOU.

Nadine said...

My fingers are crossed!!! I keep hoping I'll see a FB update or a blog post from you with exciting news.

Robin said...

Drive to Guatemala? That's simply goofy.

I so hope they give you guys your visas soon. It's crazy making. On an amusing note, I sent out your letter to almost everyone in my address book, and yesterday I got an e mail from the caterer of my kids' bar mitzvah (3 years ago!), saying he'd written to your senator. What a sweet guy! He probably thought I was nuts!

gypsyscarlett said...

Melanie,

I have my fingers crossed that everything works out for you.

Travis Erwin said...

I sent my letter on your behalf though I added a few things and tweaked it just a might. I'm pulling for you guys.

Melanie Avila said...

Turkey, you must be getting cramps from all the crossing you've done for us. I really appreciate it!

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Wendy!

Melanie Avila said...

Jen, the tunnel is a bit obscured for me... I appreciate your help!

Melanie Avila said...

Spy, I hope you're right. It's crazy to me how many people have sent this in, I just wish there was a way for us to track it. I suppose when my mom gets a call telling her to stop with the letters... lol.

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine, I cannot WAIT until I can make that post!

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, I'm glad you see how odd that is. :) It IS better than driving to our northern border, but still.

That is HILARIOUS about your caterer! I so wish we could track this!

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Gypsy!

Melanie Avila said...

Thank you Travis. I think we're getting close to hitting all 50 states!