Imelda’s Story

My husband and I have been dating since the summer of 2011. We got married in the early part of 2016. For reasons of travel and family, we were married in my home country of the Philippines. He was convicted of one count of communicating an obscenity to a minor a few months after we got married. I knew of the possibility of charges against him immediate after the incident happened. That was 14 months before our marriage. Even though I knew of his crime before our marriage, I decided to marry Carl my husband because I forgave him, and I love him. I know what is right in my husband’s heart. What is true is nothing but good things-the best intentions for everyone. He loves me, and I know his heart is right. I love him, and that is why I decided to move on despite his incident. I could have gotten mad and thrown up my hands and left him and started a new life. But I didn’t. I chose to stick with him because that’s what husbands and wives do in a marriage. Being bitter and unforgiving is not healthy for any relationship: our marriage is forever.

Our first petition for immigration was denied due to the Adam Walsh Act (AWA). We are now repetitioning to come to the United States. Due to the AWA, my husband’s probation and us not even being able to obtain a visit visa, It was four and a half years after our marriage before I saw my husband again! I totally understand the requirements to keep predators away from children. But it seems like no one in the USCIS or DHS has the sense to talk to me. They all assume something will happen again.

I’ve never been concerned about my husband being dangerous or doing something wrong. He will never be a threat to anyone. I have grown up on the streets in the Philippines. I have had to defend myself and my children from many forms of harassment, intimidation, and force from criminals and living on the street. My husband is not any of these things. I can tell who is honest and just and who I can trust in life’s situations. I fully trust him with my children. He loves them as his own.

I don’t have any worries about safety or any negative feelings about living with my husband and his criminal background. I am not worried, scared, or even a little bit concerned about being married to him and my children being around him. I’m not afraid for my kids because I know they are safe with him, and nothing would ever happen with their physical well-being or welfare. Whenever he was talking with the kids, I never had an uncomfortable feeling towards it. It’s not just my gut telling me, but my heart and my mind tells me he is trustworthy in any situation with my children

One thing that I feel should have happened was, someone could have reached out to me before denying our first immigration application to know how I feel towards it. Petitioners should be able to express how they feel and think about their safety. I know my husband and his situation. The USCIS and homeland security don’t know each story and the background of everything. They only see things in black and white!
My husband is a loving, caring man, of which there are fewer and fewer of these in the world today. I write this because I love my husband and I know he’s harmless-he poses no risk to anyone; he made a mistake. My children and I want to live with my husband. I miss my husband, and all we wish is for all of us to be together and build our family.

Even though my husband has committed a crime, I have never felt safer than when I’m with him. I know I’ll be safe with him, and my children will be safe also. I have never felt more alive and more complete. My husband will never harm my children, and I know he would never harm any other children or any human being.

My husband, is not a risk to my children or me. He is our protector. We will only be safe in this world when he is with us.

But because of the AWA, we sit. We wait. We pray. And hope for a good outcome. With the AWA and International Megan’s Law, we don’t know if he will be able to travel or come live in my country. We are essentially refugees because of AWA. Until this is decided, we don’t know where we will end up. That is no way for any couple to live, or (try) to raise a family. I hope and pray someone will pass legislation that will help not only us, but those who try to immigrate with similar situations.

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