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Dear Editor:
I want people to know how nonsensical our immigration laws are. On September 25, 2003, a Consulate Officer in Juarez, Mexico denied my husband his visa for being present in the US without inspection and further stated that he is barred from entering the US permanently. I have since been told that we will be eligible for a waiver in 10 years that will be granted only if we can prove hardship on my part. Obviously, proving hardship is impossible if we have managed living separate lives for 10 years. Alvaro does not have a criminal record anywhere. He is hard working and God fearing. Regardless of his crossing without inspection, he respects the law. It would be easy for him to cross again, but he remains in Mexico (8 months and 2 weeks thus far) because we want to do the right thing. We have a human right to live together as life mates. We made a conscious choice and the law should facilitate that choice. Immigration law should be written to encourage family unity, not to create obstacles. I love my husband very much; there must be a way for him to take responsibility for having entered the US unlawfully. We want nothing less than for him to pay a penalty, but permanent banishment, the equivalent of a life sentence, is out of proportion. The system needs to be fixed. "Voices for American Family Reunification" is an organized group of family members living in the US while our loved ones are forced to live in other countries because of broken immigration laws. We have united to support each other and to encourage leaders of both political parties to come together in a bipartisan fashion to enact balanced comprehensive immigration reform. The plight of my family demonstrates how the immigration system is broken and how it can be fixed. Immigration can work.

Sherry Arciniega



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