Sunday, October 13, 2013

He's Legal; but, He's Still An Alien.

We interrupt our regularly scheduled makeup programming for this special program regarding Boyet's immigration. September 11 is a significant day in America; but, it has now become significant for us for a different reason. Upon our return home from a day in the city, we discovered a letter in the mailbox from the Department of Homeland Security. Finally after a year of waiting, my darling husband has received the letter officially welcoming him to the United States of America. A few weeks later we received his permanent resident card. Immigration to America is long, complicated and expensive. While our journey has been uneventful it has certainly been frustrating. We would to share some of our journey with you.

First some facts.

Yes, my husband is considered an alien to the government of the United States of America. They have assigned him an official alien registration number.

A Visa allows a person to legally enter America for a specific period of time and for a specific purpose. Boyet entered which on a fiance visa which expired 90 days after his arrival of July 19, 2012. He recently received his Permanent Resident Card, since his Visa expired in October 2012 he has been living in a status of limbo. He wasn't an illegal alien; yet, had no proof of being a legal alien. It's a very frustrating system.

A Permanent Resident Card allows a person to legally live in the United States while possessing a citizenship from a different nation, the Philippines for Boyet. They are referred to as green cards because they are green. Possessing a green card does not make a person a citizen. They are valid for a specific period of time, Boyet's is valid for 2 years, and must be renewed in a timely manner.

Not all immigrants are illegal. Please do not confuse the two. Legal immigration still exists in America it's just become exponentially harder in recent years. Legal immigrants have jumped through hoops that you can't even imagine to live legally in America. We realize that everyone has strong opinions on illegal immigration and we don't want to discuss it.

The Legal Snafus. 

Boyet has been unable to obtain a driver's license due to his status of being in limbo. He has been studying the driver's manual and luckily we live in a rural area where he can practice without too many challenges. He has also learned to change oil and other vehicle maintenance tasks.

He has a Social Security card but he can't get a regular full time job. His card clearly says "Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization." Thankfully, he had been able to work through a temporary agency and has been paying taxes, of course! Thankfully, he can now apply for regular full time employment but is unable to get a new Social Security card without the restriction due to the government shut down. 

I am his sponsor; what that means I am financially responsible for him for 5 years. For the purpose of explanation, we are going to suppose we get divorced after a year. He decides not to work and instead applies for government assistance. He applies for medicare, food stamps, and other government assistance. The United States government will expect me to pay back every penny of the assistance he receives.

Next some interesting tidbits.

We escaped the quintessential moment where the husband and wife were taken into separate rooms and asked personal questions about the other one. I was looking forward to this one because we spent months and months doing nothing but talking. We KNOW everything about each other!


We met playing Texas Hold'em Poker on Facebook. We both played poker on a daily or almost daily basis. One day we sat at the same table and began chatting with each other in the chat box. Eventually, we became Facebook friends. Then we began Facebook chatting and from there we moved onto Skype. We weren't looking to fall in love while playing poker; but, it happened. We just had to figure out a way to work it out. 

Once we began video chatting on Skype, there was no stopping us. When both of us were not at work we were video chatting. We would spend hours playing poker, watching silly videos, watching movies, or watching TV shows together. We talked about everything. We even slept with our Skype open. Even though we were in different time zones we often slept at the same time; sometimes we didn't. I might have been known to play Sims while watching him sleep. 

My Filipino husband is sometimes mistaken for a Mexican. It's not uncommon for him to be approached by someone fluently speaking Spanish. He just looks at them with a puzzled expression and explains that he doesn't speak Spanish. Usually, they look back at him like he's crazy. He later jokes to me that they must have missed his 'little Asian eyes.' 

Many are surprised by the fact that my husband is completely fluent in English. Filipino children are taught English in school as their government is conducted in English. He actually speaks a more proper form of English than I do. He says things such as "Give my regards to your parents." I'd say "Tell them I said Hi." I am learning Tagalog (Filipino) but I haven't learned enough. 

We still have many immigration struggles ahead of us. His green card is a two year conditional green card rather than a ten year green card. We are still working towards bringing his daughters to America, as well. So we get to repeat this whole process for them. Then their is the decision to become a naturalized citizen. More than likely, he will become a citizen because he is able to hold dual citizenship with the Philippines. As you can clearly see falling in love with a foreigner and surviving the immigration process is not for the feint of heart. We work hard at not letting these frustrations get the best of us. We remind ourselves that our future is worth every ounce of struggle and heartache that this process causes.

In order to keep Boyet involved in the blog we are choosing to close every post with details from our motto "Talk about Anything, Pray about Everything, Laugh about Nothing."
  • We're Talking about: We have awesome computer fixing skills. My Toshiba laptop's video card died but we removed the hard drive and resurrected a dead Dell Laptop. The Dell now thinks it's a Toshiba. W(^o^)W
  • We're Praying about: Boyet's new employments opportunities. Our family around the globe. Our friends who are sending their daughter to camp. m(_ _)m
  • We're Laughing about: OU/TX is a huge football rivalry in this area. A guest at Boyet's work wore a Texas Longhorn shirt today. The manager offered the guest his OU shirt so that they could have a sacrificial burning of Texas shirt. (^o^)
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