My name is Mia Maroto. I fell in love with my husband back in 2003. He was perfect for me in every way but he was undocumented. Before we got married, we went and asked lawyers how we could legalize my husband. They pretty much told us that we should get married but that we would have to wait for immigration laws to change. In the meanwhile my husband Ivan was deportable.
My love for Ivan continued to grow. Ivan and I were married in June 2005 and we had our daughter in November of 2005. We were very happy. We found that a new baby was lots of work but we adjusted just fine. In January 2007 we had a second child, a baby boy. We were both working and enjoying our lives. My mother had purchased a home for us that she would later sign over to us when we could obtain a good interest rate. Things were great! Suddenly when our son was just three months old my husband Ivan was caught driving without a lisence and detained by ICE. When he had his hearing I had no money and had to use non-profitable or Legal Aide. Our representative was an attorney’s assistant. I went to Ivan’s hearing but the ICE attorney and the judge did not want to help us in anyway. My husband was not given bond nor voluntary departure. They said too many immigrants were hiding and staying and therefore they deported him. He remained in detention until he was deported. We could not see him again.
After suffering without Ivan for one whole year, I decided to move myself and our kids to Ecuador. I had not trust in the system and just enough money to make a move. I did not believe they would grant us extreme hardship. After something so horrid, I could not stay in the US any longer waiting for help. Even with an American citizen family they deported Ivan and banned him for 10 years.
Ecuador was tough. When we arrived we lived in a moldy apartment and we had no washer, no dryer, no health care, and my husband’s family is poor!! We could afford only to eat. Salaries were around $250.00 -$400.00 per month. What had I done!!! Recently my children and I have come home. We lived in Ecuador from April 2008 until September 2012. Back at home I live with my parents who are unemployed and my husband is still in Ecuador. Currently we are waiting for the NSC to judge our hardship waiver. It could be up to 6 months longer before we see Ivan again. That is if the waiver is approved. This is actually an improved waiting time!
I can not believe any of this sometimes. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. My children ask if their Daddy will be home for Christmas. Sadly, I don’t think so. God bless anyone who would listen to us and help. Please consider US Citizens in upcoming immigration reform and don’t leave us out! Our families deserve to be treated just as equally as those here in the U.S.