Laurie and her children have not seen her husband in four years, since he returned to Mexico to apply for residency and was barred from reentry to the country for 10 years. Her story is a testament to how dysfunctional our broken immigration system is, and how desperately it is in need of reform.


Good afternoon.

My name is Laurie. I fully support an Immigration Reform AND our country changing our Immigration policy.

My family has been torn apart by our current Immigration system. My husband was only 13 when he came to the United States and meant no harm when he did. He is not a criminal and is one of the hardest working and kindest people you will meet.

We started the immigration process back in 2007. We went to an Immigration Organization who completely gave us false information. The head person has now been arrested. We were unsure of the dates when my husband had been in the US due to him being so young when he first came. He was 27 when we started the process and had been in the US for almost 15 years. The organization told us to estimate and to put whatever dates we thought.

They told us that because my husband was under 18 during the times we were unsure of. Immigration wouldn’t even count that time against him. So my husband went to his visa appointment in Ciudad Juarez in March of 2009. The information they gave us was completely wrong.

“All I can say is the real people being ‘punished’ are the children”


Immigration counted that time and he was given the permanent 10 year bar under section 212 (a) (9) (c) (i) of the INA (we had estimated one month more than allowed). We knew nothing about immigration procedures at that point. Now I know them by heart.

We have 3 kids, ages 12, 11 and 4 and I have watched them suffer every day for the past 4 years since their daddy has not been here with them. We have tried everything to get him back but it just seems no one cares.

At this point there is too much violence down in Mexico where my husband is at to even think about moving. Also my youngest son has a speech delay and has to go to therapy every week. Our Immigration system gives these 3, 10, and permanent 10 year bars to “Punish” the applicant. All I can say is the real people being “punished” are the children. There are other ways to make him pay back having been here illegally to try and better himself then making his children go through this.

I know there are many families out there going through this same thing and I can’t believe how our country can just let this happen. There has to be something changed with our Immigration system. Children are the future and to put them through this is completely heartbreaking.

I would love to get the message out about how we need to change our Immigration system because the current one is just tearing families apart, but I am not sure where to start. Many people don’t understand this, or see it like that. We are all immigrants and to treat people the way our country is, is just sad. If our country would make legal Immigration an easier process for people, I can guarantee there would not be a problem with people coming here undocumented.

I am not saying there should not be a punishment like a fine to pay, but when you have family born in the USA (especially small children) and to make the family and children wait 10 years before being able to be reunited with their loved one is completely inhumane. I would love to help out in any way I could to make our country and politicians understand that this country needs a new Immigration Policy.

I pray every day there will be a change. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. God bless you.

-Laurie H.

Have you or somone you love been affected by our broken immigration system? Please share your story with us today. The more stories we can elevate, the better we raise awareness of the damage our broken system causes, and the stronger our movement will be. Please share your story today!