In the latter part of 2007 I contacted a U.S. congressional office from Finland about my wife’s green card case. After her experiences in 2006 in which she had been handled poorly by immigration and custom’s officials, I had given up seeking to confirm her legal status. But now I had renewed vigor.
The liasion in the Congressional offfce was very professional and helpful. In fact, she restored some of my faith in the U.S. government. She worked into the winter and spring to resolve my wife’s case. She received the same kind of misinformation and delays that we had experienced. In the meantime, we were presented with a large debt from Homeland Security regarding a filing fee. My wife had cancelled the check because she learned from an immigration attorney that she had been given wrong advice by an immigration official. The particular document she had filed for was not appropriate in her case, according to this attorney. So I added this issue to the bag of problems this kind lady at the congressional office was handling for us.
By the summer of 2008 the liasion at the congressional office had told us that there was nothing more she could do. I was surprised. Surely, I thought, the part of our government responsible for immigration would heed a member of the U.S. Congress. I was wrong.
This autumn I moved back to the United States. I have been pondering ways to resolve my wife’s situation. None of the ideas I have come up with are really palatable and in some cases they are risky.
But two days ago the whole matter suddenly disappeared. My wife entered a port of entry and met up with an immigration official. She was expecting the usual treatment she had come to expect. After a time this official came back and said to her,”This is your lucky day.” He had checked her record and confirmed her green card status. This man then stamped her passport showing her legal presence in the United States.
As I lay in bed that night I was teary eyed. I was grateful to God and to this man. It has occurred to me that our government is made up of individuals. It is up to these people to carry out the laws of the United States within their realm of responsibility. Although many of the people my wife ran into were rude and destructive, we had at least two people who cared. These people made all the difference in her case.
I have some opinions on how to prevent the kind of harassment my wife experienced from the government. But those are for a later time. Right now I am rejoicing that my wife is here to stay and that a several year struggle is over thanks to the professionalism of two government workers who cared.