Delia Corona Camacho has a big surprise in store for Thanksgiving dinner, when each of the members of her family, before starting to eat the traditional turkey, will share the reason for which they are most grateful in the year.
Nobody imagines the news that is going to give them. Only her husband José knows about it, but not her two children and the other members of her family.
“When it’s my turn, I’m going to tell you that I’m very grateful because a week ago my green card (the permanent residence card). Although they know it was in the process. No one expects that I already have it in my hands”.
He actually says that he doesn’t know how he’s going to act when he surprises them. “I am somewhat sentimental and sometimes I struggle not to cry. But I am very grateful because I did not have any setbacks to get my green card”.
During dinner, there will be a full house at your house. In addition to her children and husband, there will be her sisters with their families and two friends.
Delia, born in Mexico City, had to wait 27 years to become a resident of the United States. On Thursday, November 17, she received her long-awaited residence.
“I came to this country in 2005 to join my family that little by little had emigrated to the United States in search of a better income. My dad came to work seasonally until he stayed. Of 6 siblings, three of us stayed in Mexico. I understand what it’s like to be without a family because the only one who could visit us was my mom; and I spent the holidays with friends”.
She was in her early 20s when Delia arrived in Los Angeles.
“I was single and here I met my husband with whom we have two children: Andrea, 22, and Sebastián, 17.”
He remembers that he entered with a tourist visa that soon expired and he was left without immigration status.
“I lived very scared days and I ended up losing sleep when I realized that people I knew were being arrested and deported.”
He even narrates that when the checkpoints began to proliferate, he came to fear going to work, but he could not afford to miss it. He was even more concerned about a possible raid on his employment center, since in those years it was common to see operations to detain immigrant workers on the news.
“There was no shortage of people who came to tell me not to go to school for my children because there was a checkpoint. I was afraid, because I couldn’t leave them abandoned there”.
Delia believes that the ones who will be most happy to know that she already has her green card are her children.
“They lived very closely the case of a family member whom The migrate He came looking for his house to arrest and they took him away in handcuffs. It was terrible. That happened about 10 years ago when they came to detain immigrants at their homes. My children asked me if I was in the same situation without papers and if I could leave the country. I had to tell them the truth.”
The worst thing is that he was aware that he had no way to fix his immigration status.
“My dad who became a resident during the Reagan Amnesty had filed a petition, asking for my residency, but nothing happened. Perhaps because we were misinformed and we went to public notaries, who told me that he had no chance ”.
When her daughter Andrea turned 21 in 2021, she decided to seek help applying for residency.
“When I received the residence it was a great emotion; and I didn’t think it was that easy because I’ve seen cases get complicated.”
He says the joy he felt with his green card was very similar to when he got his driver’s license when AB 60 was passed, which allowed undocumented people to obtain the document in California.
“Me green card It is a great achievement. It’s like I got a big star that gives me a lot of power and support.”
Now a resident, Delia says she would like to look for a better job. She is currently dedicated to caring for the elderly. But she also reveals that she would like to have her own business. “I really like decorating parties.”
The residence petition by his eldest daughter was submitted by immigration lawyer Sergio Siderman in February of this year.
“He was fortunate to move quickly, thanks to the fact that the daughter’s application was joined with the 245-I petition that her father filed at the time of the Reagan Amnesty.”
As a result, the lawyer explained, Delia was able to regularize her immigration status without leaving the country and without an interview with the Immigration and Customs Service (USCIS).
He specified that the petition of a close relative such as a child or spouse is the fastest and safest way to obtain permanent residence.
“Delia’s process lasted just 9 months, which gives a lot of hope to people who have an open case with immigration, because even though each situation is different, it is remarkable to recognize that USCIS is working to improve their waiting times.”
He added that it is of the utmost importance that during an immigration petition, applicants meet the requirements requested by USCIS, such as having no criminal record, being employed, and paying taxes.