On Saturday, June 23, I crossed into Mexico via the Otay immigration crossing.
My wife and I were told by Fresno I.N.S. (Immigration and Naturalization Service) that since our daughter Diana (23) had her permanent residency card stolen from her apartment in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico, in the early part of this year, that this was the appropriate way to have the matter solved.
On Saturday, we sat in our car at the border crossing, inching forward a few feet at a time from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. (5 1/2 hours). Then we spent 1 1/2 hours inside at the second border checkpoint. Our daughter was taken inside and questioned. My wife and I remained in our car. Then, after 1 1/2 hours there, we were told that since our daughter had remained outside the U.S. for more than six months, (actually she was outside 13 months), she had lost her status as permanent resident and must now remain in Mexico and go to an American consulate somewhere in Mexico and apply for an immigrant returning to U.S. status visa (something like that).
The odd thing is, Fresno I.N.S. had given us an official document calling for her to attend an appointment in Fresno at Fresno I.N.S. on Wednesday, June 28, at 10:30 a.m. However, the border immigration office refused to allow her back into the United States because, they said she needed a special permission to re-enter the country.
So, although my wife and I were prepared to pay the $580 fine, the border people would not accept it. They actually told us that at the Otay station, they were not authorized to make the decision as to whether or not to let her back into the country. So, they made an appointment for us (for our daughter Diana) to review the matter.
However, it was expensive to remain in Mexico (hotels, meals, gas, etc.) So we returned to the San Ysidro immigration office on Monday at 8 a.m., and there we sat for 2 1/2 hours, while they talked to Diana alone in the office. We remained in our car parked out front.
We were told Diana had lost her permanent resident status because she had remained out of the country for more than 180 days (6 months). She actually was a university student and she is about to graduate (next week). However, because she could not enter, my wife and I drove her to the Tijuana airport and she flew out at 1:15 a.m. on a Volaris flight to Morelia, Michoacan, Tuesday, June 26. Vero and I drove back here June 26. That’s part of how my summer’s going. How’s yours?
Brian Donald O’Donovan,