When a husband and father is deported.

IMG_7139 (2)

One day my husband left early in the morning to check into immigration, as he does every six months, we have had this routine for years.  I asked him the night before if he was nervous and he replied, “Yes, every time.  It’s a bad place Basante.”  I know that since Trump has taken office they now separate people into groups, Hispanics on one side and Asians on another.  Just like cattle, brown cows on one side and spotted on the other. That was the first foreshadowing of things to come.

This time Bali didn’t come back.

I had taken the kids to the park after chocolate croissants at Starbucks from my points earned coffee card, we were feeling fancy.  We met so many fun people that day.  Had a great time at the library picking out dinosaur books.  We were on tour.  Finally, we got home and Bali wasn’t back yet.  I knew this wasn’t good and then I heard his teary message saying they had taken him in and were deporting him this time.

My husband is no criminal, he doesn’t do drugs, he works very hard building a little business down the street that used to be run down but he brought back to life with soap and wine barrels of geraniums, not to mention great customer service and coffee.  He is a model citizen, helping neighbors lift heavy things and walking old ladies across the street.  Things like that.  He’s kind and generous.  He’s a great father and devoted husband.

That day he was allowed one more call and it was painful.  He was scared and distraught.  I had to travel to Sacramento to get his car.  I’ve made enough friends with the neighbors here that I had one of them go with me and the children but I was so stressed that I forgot to get the extra car keys.  I found the immigration office and the officer let me see Bali and have the keys.  They treated him like a criminal and, for all my husband’s big body and look of strength, he is a child inside.  He cried, they bossed him about, I became irate and almost received a time out myself.

The next day he was taken to a jail far away, unfortunately, as it’s not easy dragging children around.  Now, I’ve never had the experience of having someone I know in the clinker so I’m not real smart with the prison system.  In the movies you get collect calls from the jail house, in real life you have to set up a prepaid account and it seems simple but it’s not.  There are two kinds you can get and if the prisoner doesn’t know which one you purchased then you can’t connect.  I have been buying the wrong prepaid accounts and not being able to connect when Bali calls.  It sucks.  It is very hard to connect once they put someone away in the jail.

I have some incredible friends that have been calling lawyers and congressman since this happened and even met with our old lawyer yesterday in San Francisco.  These are things I could not have done alone with the kids.  I could have but it would have been so incredibly stressful and San Francisco is far.  I have been sitting in my little handmade office in the laundry room scanning and sending birth certificates, proof of property ownership, marriage license, and trying to get a therapist to see me.  I can’t just write a letter telling the “system” that this is not good for me and the boys, I have to have a person with a fancy degree hear me ramble on and then write it up in a letter.  This is really a dumb thing.  I could save $200 and tell the judge exactly how I feel!

I don’t know if we will get him out or if Bali will have to go back to India.  If he does go back it will be a lot of time, months or years, and lots of money I won’t have.  They make it impossible for poor people to have any chance at getting their families back together.

I’m all for criminals, drug dealers, and trouble makers to be sent back.  We have enough of our own folks causing problems and we don’t need anyone else visiting and making things messier.  However, the immigrants they are rounding up today are hard working, God loving, family men and women.  I just wonder who is going to pick all that fruit and produce when harvest time comes or who will be washing dishes in the back of the restaurant or cleaning hotel rooms, tending to other peoples babies and cleaning their homes?

Trump is introducing a points system that is popular in Canada and Australia.  If you speak English, have a degree, and some Nobel prize or Olympic award (I had to read this twice)…you’re in! I am all for immigrants learning English, believe me.  But a degree and some special awards?  He wants to keep the lower paying jobs for the Americans.  Hmmm.  Interesting.  So, it’s ok to give away all our high paying jobs to a foreigner but let’s keep the not so great, hard, minimum wage jobs for the American people?  Dear Mr. President, this will not make America great and, FYI, Americans will not work those jobs and that’s why we have been fortunate enough to have immigrants here to take up the slack.  Not many people will go out in a Pear orchard and pick a thousand pounds of pears in hundred degree weather all morning.

What’s the solution?  A pathway to a green card and citizenship.  A foreigner should learn the language and contribute and become a positive part of the community.  They should invest in this country that they say they want to be a part of.  The President wants foreigners that invest millions.  Maybe we should just think house? Small business?  I don’t know.

All I know is that I have lived in the world of the immigrant and I have been dealing with immigration for 6 years and I’m tired and sad.  They are scooping up the good with the bad in their nets just like the destruction that takes place with net fishing.  The inedible fish and precious coral get swooped up with the wanted fish.  Habitats are destroyed with these nets.

Now ICE is scooping up the criminals, the fathers, the hard workers, the drug dealers.  They are all being thrown out despite the fact some are actually a benefit in our communities and are taking care of families.    Some children are even being put in foster care because their parents may be immigrants but they are not so the parents are sent off and the children stay here.  This is beyond painful.  How is this solving an issue?

Fortunately, my sons have a godmother who is like the Godfather.  She is a force to be reckoned with and all the things an Italian woman (any woman) should be…powerful, passionate, a little crazy, just enough that if she loves you and you’re family, not even the government has a fighting chance if locked in a cage with her.  She and her companion are calling newspapers, congressman, and attorney’s, I’ve had orders already this morning to write a press release.  So, I write like mad, answer when the jail calls, run around putting money in this account and that account while my new roommate makes eggs for my boys and acts as a substitute grannie that we so desperately need right now.

I took a shower with Bali’s toothbrush this morning.  I hung his work clothes on the outdoor line.  His flip flops are by the stairs waiting for him to come out and do some gardening.  I don’t know if we can stop this and keep him here.  I want to believe that I have a voice, that, as a citizen, my voice matters and that we are truly in a compassionate and democratic country but it doesn’t feel that way.

President Trump wants people off welfare.  Taking away the sole provider is not a good start.  The government has just inherited three more US citizens that will be needing a lot of assistance since their husband and father is gone and there is a wife who has no family to help out.  I am here now with two children, two dogs, Maggie the cat, and my friend who was almost homeless.  Does this count?  Bali was taking care of 4 US citizens, and some rescue animals.  Does that count these days?

President Trump wants people to invest in America.  Bali and I fixed up a squatters den in a nice neighborhood and made it into an adorable and cheerful house that has raised property values and made the neighbors happy.  Does this count?  Bali scrubbed and painted an old run down gas station back to life and now it is charming and busy.  He improved the value of that part of the city.  Does that count?

Trump wants big money to invest in our country but what about the little people that are improving and investing in the small parts of towns and neighborhoods?  If we don’t have millions we don’t earn enough points?  Is this country only for the rich now?

Does  “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” not pertain to this modern age?  We only want, “Your wealthy, highly educated, and big investors that speak fluent English and have an award of some kind”?

I’m off to bed now.  I’m exhausted from the drama.  I’m so grateful for our substitute grannie who has been organizing my kitchen and cooking.  I’m grateful for my son’s godparents that really know how to fight and get things rolling.  I’m grateful that I moved to this small town and sweet neighborhood and I have the beginnings of a community already.  I have support and help.  I’m not alone.

Nothing brings you closer in relationship with God than hard times.  Nothing forces us to go deep within and discover a new side of ourselves like troubling times.  Nothing teaches what blind faith really is all about until it all hits the fan.  This could be an amazing time for us that will bond us as a couple, strengthen us as a family, and deepen our love for the Creator.  This doesn’t mean things will work out the way we think we want things to work out, but something good will come of all this in the end.

I want Bali back.  I miss him already as I go through his tool box and fix the front door after he told me how to do it on our little jail call this evening.  I get sad when I put his clothes away that I washed this morning.  I refuse to move any of his things.  I even left the coffee cup in his car.  It’s like a person died but can still contact you via phone.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

42 comments

  1. Oh Katie girl, I am so sorry this has happened to your family. Is there anyone I can write to for you? An address I can pass on to others so they can write? I am praying for you and your family, and will be passing this on to others for prayer. Hang in there, kiddo, you’re not alone. I know you achedule your blog posts ahead of time, and I am praying that I will soon be reading that Bali is safe at home. God bless you all.

    Like

    • This post is today. The other post will be pre posted but this just happened Tuesday. Share this with as many people as possible because it’s an issue in this country that is not good or loving or supportive to families.

      Like

      • This is what I have been posting;
        “Urgent prayer request. My friend Kate is married to an Indian gentleman, Bali. they have two small boys. For several years Bali has had to report to immigration every six months. This last time he went, he did not come home. He is in a jail, with the possibility of being deported, which will then begin the process of trying to come back home to his family, which can be weeks, months or even years–if at all. Bali is not a criminal, he has worked hard to build a good business, he and his family recently purchased an old ‘squatters box’ of a house in a neighborhood, and with hard work they have turned it into a beautiful little gem of a home. He is a hard working, faithful husband and father. I am all for deporting criminals and troublemakers, but good men and women are also being sooped up into the same net as the worst of immigrants, and families are being torn apart. I hope to have updates soon. Thank you.”

        Hope this helps. Will it be okay if I post the photo of the two of you so folks can put a face to the situation?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My goodness… I can’t even begin to imagine what you and your family are going through. I would also be very happy to contact whoever you believe would make a difference. Just tell me who. I live in the state of Maine and I know that we are an entire country away, but I want you to know that even though we’ve never met, I’ll be with you in prayer. All the best to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Kate,

    Please do let us know what we can do to help ! My son is an immigrant in USA and we lived there for 3 years but left to come home as we were so worried about how things can change overnight with the visa system !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This happened to me. My daughter was 2 at the time. We had done everything “right” but there were immigration quotas and my husband was detained for 4 months and then deported. I am so sorry this is happening to you. I know that I am a stranger, but when I was going through this I didn’t know anyone who had been through anything like it and it felt very lonely. Almost everyone outside of my inner circle assumed my husband must have committed some kind of crime. It was awful. If I can do anything, or answer questions or anything please be in touch. And if not, just know that you are not alone and you will get through this. xoxo

    Like

      • Try not to be too scared. While my situation was worst case, yours might not be. AND God is good. Everything in our life really worked out for the best in the end. While it was difficult and traumatizing, we are in such a wonderful space now, all of us. Just keep your head up and hug your kids tight. You never knew how strong you were! God will see you through it all. xo

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is inexcusable. I’m so sorry you’re all having to go through this. If there is a petition or anything that I can do to help from UK I will. Sending love and prayers x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I will be keeping you and your family in prayer. Praying that God moves mightily in this situation. He can move mountains. Our God is mighty to save. He can make things right. Definitely will share.

    Verse I was thinking of as I was writing

    Zephaniah 3:17a
    “The LORD your God is with you,
    he is mighty to save.” (NIV)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry to hear this. I am in the U.K. and we cannot believe you have such a clown as a president. Of course you should get rid of the illegals, the criminals, but if Bali has been obeying the rules and reporting in every six months then what’s their problem? I bet some government department has given them a target to reach, a certain number of people deported each month, so instead of going out looking for bad guys to deport they take the easy way and pick on the ones who call in at the office!

    You have good friends on your side. I will be sending positive thoughts for justice to be done. You will have him back soon.

    Averil

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh my, what a tragic happening! My heart is breaking for you and your family. Ask your lawyer – If I adopted Bali could he stay? I would be willing to do that!

    Like

  9. Oh my God Kate! Ever since Trump was elected I have been thinking about you, this situation, and wondering how you were handling it, and wondering about his next check in. This, of course, was what we all hoped would never come to be. I’m so sorry you, and the BOYS, are going through this. My kids would be a WRECK without their dad. I haven’t even read 90% of your post. My heart froze when I read the first section and I skipped to the bottom to see if he was home yet. Things have become INSANE in this country! Fadi has been trying to get home to see his mother. It is a good thing he didn’t go as it was right before Trumps ban on allowing people back in from Syria, including green card holders! He would have been stuck. It’s just sliding backwards so quickly.
    I hope you can get some sleep at night. Keep up your strength. This too shall pass.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is just awful, I feel so angry after reading this. You make some really fantastic points that most people probably haven’t given a bit of thought to. I will be sharing this post on Twitter. I wish you all the luck possible in getting a fast resolution and your husband back home with you and your children as it should be!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Why? Why? Why? I just read your new book and finished it a couple days ago and posted my review then went to your blog! This is so sad and I have already said a prayer for your and your family! I am so sorry! I don’t understand how they can do this! Please keep writing and let us know I’m praying he gets to come home and your family will be together again and I’m definitely sharing this! So sorry Kate! Praying and Praying everyday he’ll be home! He will! Tell him were praying! I hope Trump gets what he deserves some day! He’s ruinging our country! Absolutely ashamed he’s our president! So sorry!

    Like

  12. I stumbled across your site inadvertently and was drawn into how different it is from many other sites I’ve browsed. And then I saw your August 4th post and, reading slowly, became shocked and horrified by your story and what has happened to your husband, your family.
    I’m sixty-one years old and am deeply concerned about what is happening in this country.
    I’ve been feeling this way since November, but there is something about your story that makes everything very real…
    I will keep you in my prayers.

    Kate

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m so glad to read this update. I know almost nothing about immigration rules but I’m glad your husband is free for now, I do hope you will be doing whatever you can to secure his legal safe status in the US.
    I had just finished reading one of your books and was so interested in what you had to say, I looked up your website and visited here right when you posted this without this latest update. To say I was shocked and sad, well, I’m just glad your sweet family is reunited.
    I’ve been homemaking a long time and it’s nice to read from another homemaker who takes care of her home a lot like I always have.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Kate,
    I read your story in the Bee this morning and am so heartbroken for you and your family.
    I’m part of a group in Sacramento that tries to stop these kinds of deportations through organizing and mobilizing. If you would be interested in us getting involved, I would love to talk. Sending good thoughts to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Kate, thanks for sharing your story. I’m a reporter with the LA Times and was hoping to speak with you about your husband’s case. My phone number is 213-237-3138 if you’re available tonight for a phone call. Thank you.
    Alene Tchekmedyian

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s