Posted: Fri 6:03 PM, Feb 15, 2019 |
Updated: Fri 11:47 PM, Feb 15, 2019
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) – With the wall, President Trump hopes to end illegal immigration and the crimes sometimes associated with it. We hear from one Rapid City woman who has lived here 28 years. She came to the U.S. illegally but insists illegal immigration and crime don’t go hand in hand.
In 1991, at just 16 years old, this woman who calls Rapid City home made a life-changing decision: she crossed illegally into the U.S. from Mexico.
We’ll call her Maria, but that isn’t her real name. She came to the U.S. to join her husband 28 years ago when he was a legal resident, but staying legally in the U.S. and not in the shadows hasn’t been easy.
“Sometimes it’s a difficult process for someone to go through to get their papers. Like I told you, I have been trying to do that for 28 years,” says Maria.
Legal immigration to the U.S. is a long process. A person who wishes to live in the country needs a family member, employer or school to sponsor them for a visa and file the initial application. Once that is accepted, the person who wants to immigrate has to file another application with a large batch of documents. The next step is an interview with immigration and all of this only gives the applicant a temporary visa.
“Some immigration offices, they handle regionally throughout the country, they’re more busy than other offices and so it could take, I don’t know if there’s an average, but I’d say at least six months you’re going to- that might even be fast,” says George Grassby, an associate attorney at Whiting Hagg Hagg Dorsey & Hagg, LLP.
So Maria made her choice to walk across the border in 1991. She says the first lawyer she hired from California committed fraud. Now she’s waiting as a Minnesota lawyer tries to help her. As she waits for her papers to process all she can do is work and take care of her children.
“I think that the president could give people like me a second chance because… I came here and I haven’t had any legal problems and I haven’t been involved in anything. I have dedicated myself to my husband and my children. I’m the one who- my children depend on me,” Maria says.
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