Thursday, May 5, 2011

Gang Threats

Tuesday Night:
This has been my #1 concern about living in El Salvador.  It's no secret that gangs in El Salvador are growing by the day and the violence continues at an alarming rate.  Until now we haven't had a problem since we've lived here and I've always felt blessed by this.  We have always been quite cautious about things, not overly exposing ourselves.  Well maybe we have gotten too comfortable.

This morning a guy came to our tienda early in the morning asking to speak to Eduardo.  He was gone for the day and my MIL told him that.  I don't have all the details, but basically he said he needs to speak with Eduardo and he will be back.  He said we need to pay him $2000.  She said we don't have that kind of money and he said he has seen our car parked outside and we can sell it and give him the money.

Maybe this is why it's almost 3am and I'm still awake.  I can't stop thinking.  This happened once before to my MIL the winter before we moved here.  Long story short, she called the police finally and after a while they found out the men were actually doing everything from Guatemala and they supposedly caught them.  I used this information in our I-601 Waiver Packet, but we couldn't get evidence from the police because there wasn't an "official report" filed.  Such a crock!  And without evidence my word doesn't mean much to the Department of Homeland Security and that means even with threats to our lives, there no real reason my family should move to the US or why we can't live in El Salvador.  The politics of our immigration system is infuriating.

So where does that leave us now?  I'm not sure.  We will have to wait it out and see what happens over the next few days.  It's just so frustrating because we hardly ever leave the house as it is.  I go to the mercado maybe once every 10 days or so and just to the grocery store every few days.  Poor Liliana begs to go out of the house and on walks and screams because I won't take her.  But this is why.  It's just not safe.  That's the reality.  The reality is people are watching us ALL the time.  Our car is kinda flashy for El Salvador standards and I'm obviously very white skinned.  So we stick out like a sore thumb.  Eduardo thinks we've gotten too comfortable, but I think we've just gotten too stir crazy.  Thank God I can blog!!


Geigerin said...

I'm so sorry, Kelsey. I will be thinking of you and praying for your safety. Can we do anything from the US?

Kelsey said...

I'm quoting this excerpt from what a friend of mine wrote on our immigration website:

"The best thing our allies can do is spread the word to everyone they know that:
1) Marrying a US citizen doesn't automatically make an illegal immigrant "legal" or a citizen for that matter.
2) There is no "line" that a random foreigner can get in to get a US immigrant visa. The US has a few strict categories under which a person can seek a visa, and the majority of the world's population does not qualify. Outside of marriage to US citzens, the majority of our spouses had no legal means of immigrating to this country.
3) The process of becoming legal, for those who are eligible is long and difficult, and often impossible, as our families have discovered. Perfectly wonderful, law-abiding people who would like nothing more than to live in the US with their families are coming under lifetime bans as a result of the law.
4) Of course we believe in following the law. But the law needs to reflect reality: this country needs immigrants, and our families need our immigrant relatives. We are being exceptionally punished, and I don't mean the waiver process, although that in itself is a struggle. I mean that lifetime bans and multi-year "administrative processing" should not be keeping families of US citizens apart.
5) There should be a "punishment" for breaking existing immigration laws. But the punishment should fit the violation. That's the American way. Fines, fees, leaving the country are all reasonable. Long-term bans and multi-year waiver processing really isn't appropriate.

If the majority of Americans understood these things, most of us on this forum would not be suffering the pain we do. The American voters are currently electing outrageous politicians who are spreading vast lies on all 5 of those issues. If American voters understood the truth, they would be electing people who stand in favor of us and would be more willing to vote on changes to the awful legislation we're working under."

Anonymous said...

Hey girl. it's theline. jsut wante dot say hi. still wished we could've met when you all passed thru mata. i really understand what you mean. im stir crazy and i CAN cross into the US daily for work, i can only imagine for you. how r u guys feeling as far as the processing now? i ws so happy to hear about dani's husbands approval, i'vebeen waiting for your family's for awhile now!

Kelsey said...

Hey girl! I so wish we could've met as well. I think we would really hit it off ;) Well I'm hoping this whole 12 month wait time now is a real thing. At least it's better than the 15-18 months we've been getting told for a while now. I'm so happy for Dani's family! If only El Salvador moved as quickly as Guatemala..

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Reyna, I used to be Eduardo's neighbor back when we were little, unfortunatly I've only been able to see Mario when he comes and visits California. Anyhow, I just wanted to congratulate you and tell you how much I admire your courage, love and willing to keep your family together...I can not even imagine how hard and frustating it must be for you, but you are doing a wonderful job with your baby and this blogging thing that at least keeps you busy and entertained! i will go to Izalco maybe by the end of the year (I love going back to my roots)and hopefully by then you and your family will be back in the States, but if not I will definetly come and see you, in the mean time I will keep you in my are a true warrior and an inspiration to many, be safe.

Kelsey said...

Hi Reyna! Thank you so much for you kind and encouraging words. It's truly appreciated. I hope to get to meet you soon, whether in Izalco or in the States. We would really like to get out to California and see Omar as soon as we can. I hope you enjoy the blog! You're right, it keeps me busy AND entertained. Ha!