Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Please critique Hardship letter

May 12, 2007

Dear Sir or Madam,

My name is Ms.K “S” and I am writing to you this hardship letter with the hope that you will find it agreeable to support the return of my husband, “W” “E” “S”, to his family in the United States. Before I begin, allow me to give some personal information about myself. I am a twenty-nine year old U.S. citizen born in City, “Hometown”, where I was raised. My parents and extended family are all “Hometown”ders as well. I am a full time UAW assembly line worker for General Motors where I have been employed for the past seven years. Two years ago I was laid off from the plant in my home state and transferred to “State”. My husband and I made the great journey here together with my then seven-year old son “Jr”. It was a great challenge to make a new home in a new place so far away from everything I have known, as it continues to be today. One of the biggest challenges has been trying to do that now as a single woman.
My husband and I met the summer of 2004 in my hometown at a church rummage sale. He was looking for work clothes, as was I. We started out as friends learning each other’s language. We began dating shortly after. We had similar pasts. My husband at that time had left me and my young son a year earlier. “W” was also abandoned in his previous relationship. We found strength and solidarity in these personal tragedies and vowed to support each other and move forward and make a life together. After the divorce from my son’s father was finalized, “W” and I were married. Our families were supportive of us and we were happy together.
I was laid off in January 2005 and offered a job in “City”, “State” in which I was given exactly two weeks to present myself ready for work. We had to pack up a four bedroom home and say goodbye to loved ones in that short amount of time. “W” and I drove the twenty-four hour ride from “Hometown” to “State” in a U-haul with my son sitting between us. It was a huge task, but we took turns driving and together we made it to the plant on time. Over the next couple of weeks we learned our way around the city and found an apartment to live in. The adjustment was hard for us all, especially for “Jr” who had to start a new school. He was still adjusting to his step-father and trying to cope with the divorce from his biological father. He had stopped being involved in “Jr”’s life altogether. Gradually the relationship between my son and husband grew stronger. We were becoming a family.
Being a family man, my husband wanted to visit some of his own family and decided to take a trip in the fall of 2005. He was taking the bus and a random check was apprehended by immigration officials and incarcerated. I immediately posted the bail and we received a date for a meeting before the immigration judge shortly after. We attended the hearing and “W” accepted a voluntary departure so that he could apply for his missing visa in his home country, El Salvador. We were granted sixty days to get things in order. My husband left the United States as promised on November 12, 2005 for El Salvador. At this time I had become pregnant. His visa was approved in April, but by the time the visa applications were complete, our daughter “Baby Girl” had been born. I had gone through my entire pregnancy and the birth without my husband “W”. I was now alone with two children to raise and all of my relatives in “Hometown”. After my maternity leave was up, it was difficult to find childcare due to my work schedule. I work nights and all the daycare centers in my area close between 6 and 7pm. I was finally able to find suitable childcare but am in an economic hardship for it. I’m currently paying $350 weekly in childcare. This is an obvious financial burden that is putting me in debt. I’ve had the lights turned off twice in the past four months trying to juggle childcare payments with rent and other obligations.
Our family has also suffered psychologically since our family’s split. My son, who was just beginning to bond with his father figure, has become emotionally unstable. He was recently diagnosed with depression while seeking treatment for his inappropriate behavior in school. The pediatric psychologist and psychiatrist strongly pointed to the recent changes, including the absence of his stepfather. “Everyone he loves is leaving him”, suggested one of his counselors. He will be ten in a few months, and sadly is becoming an angry young man and continues to make poor choices. He needs his stepfather to guide him to be a caring and responsible person and show him love. I have wanted to get him involved in afterschool activities to keep him positively stimulated, but I’m unable to change my work hours and I would have to pay even more than I do now for an all-service babysitter to chauffer him to various places. I simply can’t afford it.
My depression is also a hardship that worsened during my pregnancy and after the birth of our daughter. I continue to cope with this alone. I have trouble focusing at work and at home. I do not take care of myself. I take care of the basic needs of my children, and my home duties. After that there is no time or money left for anything else. My job on the line is physically enduring and I am in pain many times. This, added to the stress of raising two children, has me emotionally drained. I feel the most alone than I ever have in my life. My daughter is also missing out on having a whole family. She has yet to see her father. She needs his strong embrace to hold her and teach her.
“W” and I are aware of the seriousness of illegal immigration and apologize for the laws that were broken. We have complied with the rules beginning with his departure. We have filed forms, paid fees, and waited patiently. We have faith in the system and pray that with the submission of the waiver application and this letter of hardship he can return to the United States and complete the citizenship process, unite his family, and show what a responsible person he can be; not only as a citizen, but as a husband and father as well. I thank you for the time you took to read this letter and leave it in your power to approve it as you see fit.

Very Respectfully, Ms.K “S”