Letters from Juarez: “The whole time we were there, I could feel that everything was okay.”

22 Jun

Here is Lupe’s second correspondence from Juarez, Mexico, as she seeks citizenship (which means a medical exam, a husband waiting for hours in the sun, an assigned number, prayer–).

June 16, 2009

Hope all is going well with your family. I thought I’d send you a little something about what’s happening.

I’ve been here in Mexico a couple of weeks, and let me tell you, life is different. Sad, depressing at times, but it’s also amazing to see how some families cope.

Of course, the reason for our visit or stay is because of my immigration visa. When they give you the appointment, they tell you that you need to arrive one to two days early to get a medical exam. It sounds scary at first, mostly because you’re in a different country and you don’t know the medical background of the nurses or doctors. The exam was all right. They had to do my X-rays twice. I’m still not sure why. Only God knows.

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My husband Marco had to wait in the sun for about 3-4 hours while I was getting my exam done. At least I wasn’t alone. 3 women and I went through the process together. We got to talk a little and that was really nice. We supported each other. The whole time we were there, I could feel that everything was okay. It was like we knew God was with us, that he wasn’t going to let anyone take advantage. I say that because they make you get completely naked. They check you for everything. During that time, I kept my eyes closed and just prayed to God that the doctors would respect all the women getting their medical exam. It was all fine.

The next day, we had to be at the consulate at 9:45am because my appointment was at 10:15am. The consulate looks scary from the outside, but inside it’s beautiful. Security was tight. We had to go through several checkpoints. The only thing that bugged me was that we were at the US Consualte and people looked at me weird because I would speak in English.

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When you go in, they give you a number and that’s how they identify you. They call you to different windows for different things and you have to show that number or they will make you go back out to the waiting area and wait again. My number was 5141.

The interview went just like we thought. The lady only asked me a few questions, and then she told me that because I was in the US illegally for more than a year after turning 18, I was banned from the US for 10 years, but I will be allowed to file a waiver. At that moment, I seriously thought I was going to lose it, but I didn’t. A calm came over me and it was like in my heart I already knew that was going to happen.

My next appointment is for the waiver. At that appointment, Marco and I will have to prove hardship for our family, how it will affect our family if I’m stuck in Juarez or if we all have to relocate. At that interview, we will have to present evidence. At this moment, Marco is busy in Tucson, being a single daddy and working on the hardship letter he is writing. At that appointment, they will let me know if they will give me the resident visa or if they need more evidence.

I can tell you that I’m extremely blessed. We met a few couples here who did not prepare for any outcome. One man had to leave his wife here and drive back to California and figure out what he was going to do. His wife is living out of a hotel right now. For the next couple of months, she’s alone.

Violence here is rising again. Although, thanks to lots of prayer, we don’t see it much. Every day I pray for that woman and all the families who will have to go through the same thing. I get to stay with family in a safe, gated community with tight security. I’d be foolish to tell you that it’s not difficult being here because it is. What makes it better is knowing that God has his hands in everything. That I have complete faith in him. He is loving over everyone I love. My kids are doing extremely well thanks to him and all of your prayers.

Juarez life is like nothing I’ve ever seen. The average family makes about 500 pesos a month, which is about 40 dollars. You look around and, besides solders, you see people, families, trying to sell what they can just to make it. My uncle, who I hadn’t seen in 20 years, had to close down his welding business, sell everything, get another loan for his house and start doing odd jobs just to make it. Life is really hard for many people here. There are on average 12-20 deaths a day. Like I said, I don’t see it. God is really guiding and helping. He is felt at all times.

I ask that you pray for all the lives here. For those coming to Juarez for immigration issues and finding that God is there for them too.

Thanks,

Lupe Leon

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