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Deporting Love: A Married Couple’s Journey to Stay in the United States

On November 28, 2005, Enrique Gonzalez walked across the border to pursue a safe and prosperous life in the U.S. Afraid of gang recruitment in El Salvador and seeking to escape to a safe place with opportunities to work to help himself and his family, after two days of processing and detention, he was taken (by immigration officials) to a Texas bus station where he was left to find his way in what would become his new home, the United States of America. Thirteen years later, with a U.S. Immigration approved marriage to a citizen, Enrique is being deported.

In the January 2017 Executive Order, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, the Trump administration laid out a much wider dragnet authorizing and empowering ICE in the deportation of undocumented.  Unlike the discretion of the Obama Administration, as evidenced in the 2011 Memo, which exercised a great deal of flexibility the Trump Administration's laser-sharp focus is on the numbers! Every undocumented …

Leaving Ain't Easy

A Evening Sunset View from Our Home - Indianapolis, IN
I've been researching visa and permanent residency scenarios for expats in Panama. Through the various expat blogs, I located a highly recommended Panamanian lawyer who advised of a fairly straightforward visa process that would work quite well for me. The "Friendly Nations" visa requires a $5000 deposit into a Panamanian bank account. Another approximate $5000 would then be spent for attorney and filing fees. Sadly, other than the typical 180 day travel visa, few options were available for Enrique.  We are struggling to uncover a simple solution that accommodates us both.
I also explored shipping costs for a small container of our personal belongings - should we choose to take any. The average cost to the three Central American destinations was around $7000 (plus duties upon arrival).
I also checked into pet transport providers from Indy to Costa Rica (one possible scenario). We refuse to go anywhere without our girls. Having a 60 pound pit bull mix and an AKC registered schnauzer, makes it all the more challenging as many nations, apartments and other rentals, hotels, and airlines have breed restrictions that would not allow the later.

According to WorldCare Pet Transport, the costs have increased and routing just became more complex due to the recent debacles on United Airlines that led to a halt to all pet travel until sometime in May. To send our two kids from Indianapolis to Miami via car and then onto Nicaragua via plane, then to be driven to Costa Rica, will cost a whopping $9550. Nearly $10,000 to move our children to our new destination. 
Between calls and researching, I responded to long overdue emails to various community leaders letting them know that regretfully, I wont be able to continue our work on real estate development and area revitalization despite the many awesome plans we had underway. I even gave away my first real estate client - a listing that I don't feel comfortable taking for the lack of focus I find myself facing most days. I'm not sure I could serve them well under the circumstances.
While corresponding to the various business leaders - the first efforts in the unwinding of our businesses - and while searching the various immigration, visa, residency, shipping, and pet transport sites, my browser continued to populate immigration related stories (no surprise there).  Despite a few friendly urging that I refrain from reading the news as its the catalyst for negative thinking, the following story fanned the flames of my anger and rage!

Deportation in Trump's America: 'My life, my house, my children. Everything in one second'

Most days, I find my thoughts bounce between whether to celebrate the potential opportunity for early retirement (if we can pull it off) in a beautiful tropical country v/s  becoming nearly consumed by the anger as I find we're being forced to dismantle our lives, business, and involvement in the community. We'll have to spend nearly everything we have saved to unwind in the midwest and to afford the move to a Central American nation that we know little about. Bullied by this unconscionable administration and their evil and hate filled followers - the shock of it all re-emerges from time to time. This story is a great example of why. Read it!
I work very hard every day to practicing positive self talk often chanting my favorite mantra, "I am at peace, body, mind, and Spirit." The words once trained to induce calm in an otherwise unsettling situation have little meaning in the current catastrophe.

Some days, I find comfort when I focus on a future vision of freedom that will be discovered following our departure from this deeply divided culture that is filled with such darkness and hate. Secretly, I celebrate this "freedom" that we will soon know - a social construct this country once led the entire civilized world to discover and yet in recent decades has gotten it all wrong in the egos, power, wealth, and domination saved only for a few.
Read the above story! Read every single word! And then tell me how this is not a humanitarian crises of unethical proportions? Who? Where? How? are these people able to tear apart families? What kind of person wakes up in the morning feeling good about a day at the office heading out to separate mothers and fathers from their children? In what barbaric era are we living in?
I digress, today's draft estimates add up to a whopping $26,550 - and, that is just the beginning. That doesn't account for all the other legal and accounting fees to wind our business down, travel fees to get Enrique and I to where we are going, costs for the first / temporary apartment, costs for immunizations, health insurance, and all the various other fees, and untold moving expenses we've yet to think of.
This - when combined with the loss of our business, the distance from our friends and family, the selling of our dream home we haven't even lived in for a year, is simply ridiculous. But worse still - and even the more inhumane - is the millions of other families who will endure the same inhumane deportation (some with separation from loved ones for unspecified periods of time) at the hands of a government that is executing one of the most well organized white color ethnic cleansing of all time.

I'm not one who likes to visualize the darkness. Nor am I one who wishes bad will upon others. That said, forgiveness is out of reach for me rather, I want to see this administration and those who support the unconscionable separation of families to all have to suffer the same heartbreak, loss of security, influx of fear, and pain and desperation of longing for a loved one forcefully separated and sent away to some other land. Just once, I wish that they too would stand on the others side of the bridge (read the story) and face ridicule at the hands of an oppressor and bully.

If you've read this far, surely it's plain to see, I'm angry! I'm beyond angry to have this to happen to me and to the millions of others they are targeting! You're damn right I'm pissed! You'd be pissed too if you were facing the systematic destruction of people's lives at the hand of this totalitarian regime. There's just no sugar coating hate!!!!