Skip to content Skip to navigation

Rosa's Story of Immigration

Mara Davidson
Mara Davidson is an AFSC Iowa intern for Spring 2011. She's been interviewing clients of AFSC's Immigrants Voice Program. Jody Mashek directs AFSC's immigration legal services work in Des Moines. Photo: AFSC

By Mara Davidson, AFSC Iowa Intern, March 2011

           Rosa's situation is different from that of other people here today at AFSC Iowa. She is here for her husband. As a native of Dallas, Rosa is surrounded by family in the United States. Her husband is not. He came from Mexico 14 years ago.

            He was left at the border with no supplies or money. With a little luck, her husband ran into a kind couple who took him in and helped him get on his feet. Rosa smiles when asked about those people who were so helpful. “We’re still in touch with them today,” she says. Without that little stroke of fate, her husband’s story would have ended before it even started.

            The process for filing for her husband’s green card has been long. Rosa sighs as she begins to explain how many times she has filed the paperwork. Each year she would start the papers over, but have to stop because she didn’t make enough money to sponsor her husband. The couple would wait and try to find a sponsor, but eventually the papers would expire.

            Next Rosa tried hiring a lawyer to help her in the process. The lawyer took $1500 and disappeared forever. Meanwhile Rosa was growing more and more desperate for her husband to have official papers to be in the United States. Her son was diagnosed with medical problems that made returning to Mexico impossible for her family. “There isn’t the same type of medical care that we have here over there,” says Rosa. Her son needs the medical facilities here and he needs a father.

            In 2003 Rosa and her family moved to Des Moines. She was hired by Wells Fargo and finally found a co-sponsor for her husband. Her friends recommended AFSC to her and she sprung at the opportunity. Today she is here filling out the paperwork for what will hopefully be the last time. Rosa looks forward to a future where she no longer has to worry about her family being torn apart.


Your gift matched!

Become a Partner for Peace monthly donor by August 31, and a generous donor will add $100 to your first month’s gift. You’ll also get a free AFSC tote bag! Partners for Peace make monthly donations to bring critical support to communities worldwide, meet urgent needs in times of crisis, and with people acting with courage to overcome oppression.

Give Now →