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Viva La Familia! An update on one family separated by U.S. immigration policies

Viva La Familia! An update on one family separated by U.S. immigration policies

By Jeresia Noris
La Voz Latina

Editor's Note: This update is provided by Richmond Hill resident Jeresia Noris on the immigration status of her husband, Jose Luis Noris, a Mexican-national who has faced the threat of deportation since September of 2010. In previous updates, Jeresia explains how her husband was first placed under an Order of Supervision. Then, with the help of an attorney, she filed for a hardship waiver, then a motion to reopen her husband's case. Last year, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) instructed its attorneys to review matters pending before immigration courts in search of low-priority cases warranting prosecutorial discretion.

Richmond Hill, Georgia — On March 21, 2012 we packed our bags, kissed our children goodbye, and began the journey to (the US Immigration Court) in Orlando, Fl. I talked the entire way. We never turned the radio on once. I grilled my husband, asking him every question I could think of that the judge or immigration attorney may want to ask him. I prepared him. I prepared myself. But that was really a sham – I had no idea what to expect. I felt as if we were purposely driving to hell.

We did not sleep well that night. We made excuses to each other about the reason being the cleanliness of the hotel room. The stiff bed, the sketchy neighborhood we found ourselves in. But we both knew the truth – we were horrified of what could come.

Our attorney, Stephanie Nodine, of Torres Law Firm in Charleston, S.C. had prepared us as best she could.

We would be asking the prosecutor to consider our case for prosecutorial discretion under the John Morton Memo of June 2011. If he agreed to do so – we could spend the next month or two preparing a packet to make our case for his review. If he said no, my husband’s only valid option would be to accept a voluntary deportation requiring him to depart in 4 months time.

This was the most important day of our lives as husband and wife.

MARK 10:9 Therefore what God has put together, let no man put asunder.

We entered the courthouse full of nerves and with prayers on our lips. We held hands. We told each other it would be ok. We practiced our expected questions from the judge and prosecutor. We did everything we knew we could do to make sure we were ready for what was to come.

Finally, my husband’s case was called. The judge went over his notice to appear which outlines the charges against you – namely entering the United States in 2001 without inspection. Our attorney said that we “admitted” to these charges.

The judge asked “does he have a form of relief”? I, su esposa, am his form of relief. As the spouse of an American citizen there are papers we can file in an attempt to adjust his status. That qualifies as a possible form of relief.

My lawyer responded that indeed he did – “your honor, Mr. Noris has an American citizen wife and children. She has recently filed an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative on his behalf”. In fact, I had just filed the form the Friday before.

My lawyer then informed the judge that we wished to request a review of our case for prosecutorial discretion. The judge asked the prosecutor if he were agreeable to this. The prosecutor replied that he was, and that he would first like to see proof of my filing.

I almost jumped from my seat giant folder-o-immigration papers in my hands. But steadied myself as I am simply a watcher in the courtroom. This is out of my hands now – I have worked so hard – my friends and family have worked so hard – strangers have worked so hard to save us – but now, it is out of my hands.

I must sit on my hands and remain calm.

My attorney reminded the court that we could expect to receive a notice from USCIS within the next 30 days indicating receipt of the filing. The judge then did the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life. He placed his head in his hands, looked over at the prosecutor as if perhaps annoyed, and said – “if you are considering prosecutorial discretion which will grant administrative closure, and the wife indicates she has filed the I-130, can we just go ahead and close the case today…"

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