Valley family fights to stay together, hopes for immigration reform

MESA, AZ - Erika Garcia worked endless hours to make her life-long dream of becoming a U.S. citizen a reality. But time and time again, the odds seemed to work against her.

"I paid for it once, did the test and was fortunate enough to pass it. Then I was told this isn't the process you have to follow. The people in the office gave me the wrong information," said Garcia.

Garcia was told she would have to reapply due to a mix up with paperwork. While her time, energy, and money was wasted going through the process, she had another important life event coming up that needed her attention. Garcia was planning to marry her now husband back in June of 2011, when a traffic stop changed everything.

"It was the night before our wedding. We were pulled over and to this day I don't know what for. My husband was driving and he is here illegally. When they found him, they detained him," said Garcia.

Garcia's husband was held for 30 days, while she dealt with cancelling all of the wedding plans. Her other mission was tracking down a lawyer to help get her husband home.

"It was crazy. There was no groom, but all I cared about was getting him back," said Garcia.

Two years and $2,000 later, Garcia has been granted citizenship. Her mission now, is to help find a path of citizenship for her husband, who is the sole provider for her and her three daughters.

"He's awaiting deportation as they call it. So he's out here now thanks to our lawyer. But basically he's waiting for them to come and get him and say your time's up," said Garcia.

Print this article Back to Top