I am not a number, I am a real person; my name is Nick Davis, I am a Father, a parent, a husband, a friend, a human being and I am helpless. Tomorrow my life as I know it will either renew or come to a complete end.
Eleven years ago I emigrated to the USA from the UK, making a huge decision to leave everything I’ve ever known to start a new life in the new world. During that time I became a Father and had a two wonderful children, along with many adventures. As with many first marriages it went the way of an American Tradition and ended in divorce, still I stayed for the sake of my children and then for my second wife Jean.
Then in 2009 the real trouble began… You see I’m an Immigrant in the USA and I never got my green card, due to circumstances from lost paperwork, to me being to busy looking after my family to look after myself I fell out of status. I know that sounds odd right? You see the first eight years I was looking after my first wife and two kids, and since I kept getting my work authorization finishing off the adjustment and paying the $1200 to get it done didn’t seem as important as paying the rent or that medical bill, or food, shoes and clothing for my kids… You know, the thousand and one things you have to make your paycheck stretch too, and everytime we started to save another emergency would come up. Then my first wife divorce became final and left me in an immigration grey area.
Never fear though, confident that my second marriage to Jean would save me from being deported, and being taken away from my family we applied to change my status. We waited, waited and waited and finally the day of the interview came finally I would get my green card. What a glorious day this should of been, but it was not to be. You see, we found out that I could only adjust my status through the spouse that got my Visa, in this case the first wife, and as we had divorced I could no longer use the first wife to adjust my status… And to rub salt in the wound even though I was married to a US Citizen I could not adjust my status and get my greencard with Jean… Nice catch 22, eh?
Yes that right, at this point I had been in the USA for nine years, paid taxes, paid over $7000 to the overburdened USCIS and a sub-rule stopped me from completing my immigration journey. To make matters worse the immigrants that jumped the border had more options to stay than I did and I did all this legally!!! Ironic, no? My life had turned into a Greek tragedy.
At that moment I was declared an illegal alien… Wow, you have no idea how hard that is to say and how liberating it is to finally say that, I was always scared to refer to myself as that because here in the USA it carries a stigma, makes you an pariah. I am an illegal alien, the political bogeyman that politicians blame for a tanking economy and myriad of other problems.
What followed was two years of legal back and forth, and one full year of heading back and forth to Federal Immigration Court as I received a Notice to Appear to be placed in Deportation Proceedings. You see I had to find a way to keep my work authorization or I would stand to lose my entire life here in the USA, eleven years of providing for my family put at threat by a legal technicality. We then went through an entire year of continuances as ICE Prosecution were frankly overburdened and clueless to even push the case forward into a deportation hearing; were I could at least file for Work Authorization while I make my case to stay here in the USA with my family.
Sadly we ran out of time and on November 27th 2011 I was informed I would have to wait until January 24th 2012 to have the opportunity to file an adjustment of status through the courts, and in turn be able to apply for a new work authorization. My current work authorization had run out, my Employer could no longer legally employ me and I was Suspended with No Pay with pending charges for Termination on December 2nd 2012. Yes, that’s right Suspended with No Pay that is the disciplinary measure that reserve for people who steal money or are disruptive (ie violent) in the work place. I knew they had no choice, and I can’t blame them for protecting themselves, but I had hoped I would get one more full paycheck so I could at least give my children a Christmas, as we had no savings to fall back on. Timing was really bad.
You see over the last two years my wife has been suffering complications during her recovery from cervical cancer, with chronic lymphoidema in the legs that virtually crippled her. More costs, more medications and machines that insurance wouldn’t cover, all out of pocket and what little we managed to save, went to saving my wife. What other option did I have? What else is a husband supposed to do? Sorry Dear, I know this machine will give you more mobility and save your life, but I need to stay in the USA… That’s right I had no choice at all.
Thankfully and surprisingly the kindness of friends saw that my children had a Christmas of sorts and I am humbled by what I witnessed. It was a true Christmas miracle and the support we were shown overwhelmed me.
Now we are in the new year, I have the hope if I can show I’m on the road of getting my work authorization I will be able to return to my position. It is a long shot, but long odds are better than no odds. Tomorrow January 24th at 1pm, I go in front of an Immigration Judge with the chance I will be able to submit my Adjustment Papers and he will accept them. So many things can go wrong, the Prosecution may reject them, they might as they have done ask for continuance to delay my case as they are to overwhelmed to just do their job, and they have the time to waste.
If I don’t get to file my Adjustment Papers tomorrow everything I’ve done over the last Eleven years will be for naught, I will lose my job completelty, my home and will not be able to support my family. And I think my friends this will kill me. I am standing on a knifes edge and could if this all goes wrong lose my family.
My name is Nick Davis, I’m an Immigrant in the USA and I’m coming out…. I’m an illegal alien and I’m scared, thank you listening. Is it wrong if I say help me, please?
Update#2 – I’ve been asked if there is a way to donate to help me remain in the USA, please click on the Paypal button on the upper right of this webpage. If the side bar button is not working, please Click this text link to Donate to Help Nick Remain in the USA