More than three decades after having emigrated from El Salvador to the United States, Xiomara Galicia obtained his residence after managing to break down a deportation order against him.

This year 2020 has two reasons to start on the right foot: your residence and your own home.

"When I received the residence card three weeks ago, my heart jumped with pleasure. Now I have to keep the Virgin of Guadalupe, the promise I made to her and travel to Mexico City to the Basilica to thank her. I hope this year begins, ”says Xiomara, a cheerful and sparkling immigrant woman.

As if yesterday, remember that he entered the United States on October 1, 1986. He was only 16 years old. “I talked a lot, and my family in El Salvador was afraid that the guerrillas would take me with them. So they didn't oppose me coming to the United States with some uncles, ”he says.

Xiomara Galicia with her husband Marcelo Rodríguez and her daughter Annxio Sabrina Rodríguez have many reasons to be happy. (Araceli Martínez / The Opinion).

He entered the country undocumented on the side of Ciudad Juarez. "I crossed the Rio Grande on the back of a coyote who told me to grab me very hard because if I stepped on a dead man, he was going to slip and we were going to fall", He says

The story filled her with fear. "It's true, a few days ago, one of us stepped on a corpse and fell," the human trafficker replied.

"It took us 20 minutes to cross the river," he says. And already in El Paso, Texas handed her over to an uncle who would take her to Los Angeles. But at El Paso airport, she was discovered by immigration agents while her uncle fled.

“When I told the officers that I didn't have a passport or any document, they processed me, but they let me continue the trip, after talking with the aunt who was going to receive me in Los Angeles. The officers did try to intimidate me, but it was other times and seeing that I was a minor, they started treating me well, ”he says.

Xiomara Galicia is no longer afraid of being separated from her husband Marcelo Rodríguez and her daughter Sabrina Rodríguez. (Araceli Martínez / The Opinion).

Already in Los Angeles, at his aunt's house, he said she was receiving immigration documentation, and even once took her with a notary. "For many months he asked me not to leave the house, that Migra could go looking for me," he says.

Three years after arriving in the United States, he met the Mexican Marcelo Rodríguez who at that time was already a resident. They got married in 1994. They have two children, a 30-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl.

When she was already married, she went to see a woman who was doing immigration paperwork. She discovered when she had her immigration background checked that she had a deportation order that she was given in 1987 when she did not appear at the immigration court.

“I went to see several lawyers. I remember one with very luxurious offices in a building in Orange County that when I asked him to tell me how likely he was from zero to 100% to win my case, he replied that only 40%, I thanked him and left "He exposes.

Some time later he went to see the immigration lawyer Richard Lucero, who did not hesitate to take the case.

“I asked him the same question about my chances of success. He didn't give me a percentage, but he told me that it could be done. I was so distrustful, that I thought among myself, he's giving me straw, ”he says.

However, she confesses that the defender made her feel optimistic. Although the process was very long, and it took several years, Lucero got his deportation order taken away and his residence approved.

Xiomara García with her immigration lawyer Richard Lucero. (Araceli Martínez / The Opinion).

For being a minor

"I saw the chances of success in the case of Xiomara because the deportation order was given when he was a minor, and also his aunt who was supposed to help her, disappeared and never really informed him what was happening. It was not her fault that she did not appear in court; and she entered the country as a girl, ”explains lawyer Lucero.

"Based on that, we managed to reopen the case and dismiss deportation," he says.

Four months ago, the immigration judge closed the case when he was informed that they had filed a family petition and the request for adjustment of status at the request of the husband who was now a citizen.

“Xiomara did not have to leave El Salvador because the family petition had been made before April 30, 2001, and it is not ordered in those cases, that he has to leave for a pardon,” he says.

And he states that said family petition did not proceed years ago because of the deportation order she had.

"At first, the case was difficult, but when the judge agreed to reopen it, everything else was easy," explains the lawyer.

Between disbelief and hope

The new US resident says she has always been very scary, but lawyer Lucero gave her a lot of hope.

“In fact, I thought that the interview for the residence on October 31, they were not going to approve. It was a disaster. My husband could not remember the date of my birthday, or of our wedding. He didn't remember what my mother's name was. I left very worried, almost certain that they would deny me residence, ”he says.

But even with the clueless that her husband left, weeks later she received The letter from the Migration and Citizenship Service (USCIS) with the news he had longed for decades, was already a US resident.

“It was a moment of great happiness, but also of sadness. I would have liked to have that resident card years ago. I needed her so much to say goodbye to my two women, my mother and my grandmother. They died without me being able to see them and be close to them, ”he says.

But on the other hand, residence, he says, makes her feel safe. "I always lived in fear of being deported and separated from my family. Once I went to a migration court, I was so afraid that I even said goodbye to my boss, right there in the audience I was arrested. The lawyer tried to calm me down, asking me to be more optimistic, but I saw myself in deported El Salvador, ”he says.

Xiomara makes a living as a babysitter. "Now that I am a resident, I would like to look for a job in a school later," he reveals.

As soon as she obtained her residence, she and her husband traveled to Tijuana and Rosarito to celebrate the long-awaited event.

At this time, what is very excited, in addition to his residence, is that by the beginning of the year, he will be given his new home. “We are looking forward to that day with great enthusiasm. So we have double reason to celebrate and start the year with enthusiasm: and first God, I hope we can go to Mexico City to thank the Virgin of Guadalupe for fulfilling me and giving me my residence”, Fascinated external.


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