keeping the options open

Not trying to be paranoid here, but I’ve started to think about what would happen if Fermin’s waiver were denied. There are several things that have brought me to this point, in no particular order:

1. News from my immigration forum depicts a stricter approval policy in Ciudad Juarez. Not only are they taking longer (at least 10 months) but they are becoming more stringent.

2. I know I wrote a good letter, but we have really weak hardships, and it’s altogether possible we will denied for simply not having enough hardship in Our lives. When reviewing the tiers of hardship as outlined by a knowledgeable attorney who posts on this site, we qualify for nothing until the fourth tier, and even those are pretty lame.

3. Fermin applied for a driver’s license while he was in Mexico in 2002, which we are counting they won’t find out about. Two weeks before Fermin’s interview, I found out that were we to admit he had left the U.S. and re-entered undocumented at any time during his residency here, we would not be able to file the waiver and automatically receive the 10-year-ban. Needless to say, had we known that stipulation he would not have left, but at the time his mother was about to have surgery and he felt he needed to be with his family.

We won’t know until late spring 2007 at the earliest, but I have started to at least come to terms with the idea living abroad again. Most of you know I lived in hina for a year from 2000-2001. I adored it, and sincerely planned to go back. Now that I am settled in the U.S. with a house, garden, car, furniture and life here, I am faced with the possibility that we will have to sell all those things and start over again. It’s funny, part of me would love to live life abroad again, but it’s also a bit daunting.

First of all, we would have to pick a country. Our pool of choices probably include Mexico, China and Canada. If it were just me, it would be China in a second. With some business experience under my belt and a good Chinese language foundation being wasted day after day, I am pretty confident that after a few years studying and paying the bills teaching English, I might be able to swing an interesting sales or business-related career. This, however, would leave Fermin in the awkward position of moving to a country where he would likely be mistaken for a Muslim minority and totally unfamiliar with the language. I don’t know what he would do there, unless we open Beijing’s first great Mexican restaurant.

Mexico would probably be Fermin’s first choice, but first he would want to re-enter the U.S. illegally and work for ten years to make enough money to bring back so that we would have some capital. I hate this idea, because I don’t want to live my life on hold for ten years, I don’t want him to come here and work illegally again. Many of you would probably wonder why this is necessary, why not just live in Mexico. Frankly, Mexico’s economy is extremely screwed up. The jobs in Fermin’s town include the sort of jobs that require a strong back twelve hours per day six days per week. I would have nothing to do in his town. If we lived in Puebla, a larger city, I might be able to find a job teaching English, but I have no idea what he would do. Nothing pays well. It’s a bad situation all around.

And finally, Canada. I frankly have no desire to live in Canada, other than for the fact that they speak English. We would need to go through a whole process to be able to work there and I’m not sure they are really needing people with generic U.S. work experience. I imagine it is colder there all year round than here and that it would feel more foreign than either of our first two options.

I suppose if I am going to leave my family and friends to move to another country, it better at least be someplace interesting.

Well, anyway, I don’t want people to start freaking out on me, I have no idea how likely any of the scenarios are and there will be no way to know for many months. But for now, I am off to Jamaica for my brother Matt’s wedding. See you in a few days.


2 Responses to keeping the options open

  1. lois bruss says:

    Hopefully it won’t get to the point that you & Fermin will have to seriously consider any of these options but I understand why you’re thinking of them. It’s good to investigate all options available.

  2. jennie says:

    Wow; I really take for granted the fact that I won’t be faced with any major decisions like that. You seem to be going about it very level-headedly, which is admirable. Like Lois, I hope you and Fermin won’t have to get to that point!! I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed until late Spring for you.

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