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Thread: Examples of CIUDAD JUAREZ Approved Hardship Letters

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    Examples of CIUDAD JUAREZ Approved Hardship Letters

    Please do not copy (plagiarize) this or any other approved hardship letter from this forum!!!
    Last edited by Jardinera; 06-28-2009 at 02:00 AM. Reason: original letter was in-country, not mexico

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  3. #2
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    Approved HSL Courtesy of Member Ratito921 ~ CDJ

    I hope this letter can help other people here. It closely resembles Lulu''s letter as I felt hers was heartfelt and easily understandable and it got straight to the point. Of course I did change a lot of things, but I used her format. She and I also had A LOT in common. For the letter and evidence hubby''s name and case number were printed on each page. The entire packet was give or take 250 pages. It included my letter, hubby''s letter, a letter from his sister, a letter from his mother, a letter from my parents, a letter from my brother and sister in law, a letter from his employer.

    Mrs. Ratito
    Address here

    Re: ALIEN
    Case number: CDJxxxxxxxxx

    United States Consulate General
    Av. Lopez Mateos 924 Nte.
    Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

    I am submitting this affidavit in support of the I-601 Waiver of Grounds of Excludability for my husband ALIEN case number CDJxxxxxxxxx.

    HARDSHIPS TO ME, THE U.S. CITIZEN. If ALIEN is not admitted to the United States I will suffer severe and unusual hardship above and beyond what I have already suffered. Already since ALIEN departure I have had to give up selling and maintaining property and liability insurance. A career in which I worked extremely hard to become licensed in and professionally established. (See Exhibit A) In the insurance business I was paid based on commission and since all of our savings have been exhausted due to ALIEN departure I was forced to seek other career options.

    I feel deeply compelled each day to be reunited with ALIEN and to share our lives together as we once did and as we have every right to do. However, doing so in Mexico would greatly endanger my safety, cause significant psychological stress, strain my relationship with my family, completely deplete our finances and end our dreams of starting a family of our own.

    CONCERN FOR SAFETY
    I will face significant, potentially life threatening risks to my personal safety if I move to Mexico to be with my husband, due to crimes involving tourist such as robberies and kidnappings. I do not have a vehicle that I would be able to take to Mexico therefore I would have to travel by metro and taxi. As reported in the U.S. Department of State Consulate Information Sheet for Mexico (See Exhibit B) taking a taxi in Mexico City is extremely dangerous as some tourists have been beaten, shot, and sexually assaulted. It’s also been reported that some Mexican law enforcement officials are corrupt and have been known to harass and mistreat Americans and sometimes bribe them.

    On my previous visit to Mexico my husband and his family members kept their eyes on me at all times. As difficult as it was for my husband and his family to keep me safe during my visit, if I were forced to live in Mexico permanently the stress will have an immeasurable impact on our lives because I will live in constant fear for my safety.

    FUTURE FAMILY AND MEDICAL CONCERNS

    It is medically imperative that we start our family in the very near future. I have increased risks of infertility and miscarriage due to PCOS (PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome). I was diagnosed with PCOS in 1999. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem that can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, fertility, hormones, insulin production, heart, blood vessels, and appearance. Women with PCOS have these characteristics: high levels of male hormones, also called androgens, an irregular or no menstrual cycle, may or may not have many small cysts in their ovaries. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs. PCOS is the most common hormonal reproductive problem in women of childbearing age. Women with PCOS can be at an increased risk for developing several other conditions. Irregular menstrual periods and the absence of ovulation cause women to produce the hormone estrogen, but not the hormone progesterone. Without progesterone, which causes the endometrium to shed each month as a menstrual period, the endometrium becomes thick, which can cause heavy bleeding or irregular bleeding. Eventually, this can lead to endometrial hyperplasia or cancer. Women with PCOS are also at higher risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Getting the symptoms under control at an earlier age may help to reduce this risk. (See Exhibit C)

    In March/April of 2004 I became pregnant with our first child. The pregnancy was ectopic and at 10 weeks I was given an injection of methotrexate to stop the growth due to the fact that it was lodged in my left fallopian tube. Methotrexate stops the growth of rapidly dividing cells, such as embryonic, fetal, and early placenta cells. It is used at various times to end an early ectopic pregnancy. (See Exhibit C) ALIEN and I were extremely excited about our pregnancy. We had already chosen names for the baby whether it was a boy or girl and were busy making plans for the baby’s arrival. In June of 2004 I spent a few days in the hospital due to the ectopic pregnancy. The methotrexate had failed and my hormone levels were rising. The baby was continuing to grow in my fallopian tube which caused a lot of pain and slowly started an infection. Finally on the fifth day of hospitalization after being filled with fluids and antibiotics and undergoing many ultrasounds we made the decision for me to undergo surgery to remove the baby from my fallopian tube. I was at risk of losing my fallopian tube and possibly my ovary. (See Exhibit D) I was fortunate enough not to have had my fallopian tube removed, however I was advised that there could be scar tissue which could cause blockage and that it is possible that only my right ovary and right fallopian tube could assist us in our next pregnancy.

    After losing our first child together ALIEN and I were very apprehensive about trying to conceive another child. It is imperative that ALIEN be with me in order to conceive another child. We have been trying to conceive for a year witout any luck. It is now time for us to take the next step and attempt fertility treatments involving Clomid. Clomid is a fertility drug used to induce ovulation. When I do conceive I will be considered high risk due to my medical history and will need to be closely monitored should any complications arise. Due to my already present risk of severe complications, doctors have advised me not to wait any longer to attempt to conceive.

    Here in the United States, I am not only confident that I will have the expert care I will need access to advanced medical facilities, but I also have excellent insurance through my employer which will cover my medical expenses. (See Exhibit E) However, without ALIEN financial support (which would not be possible considering the average months pay would be between $150-$200), I would not be able to afford having a baby, especially if I am ordered to bed-rest throughout my pregnancy (therefore unable to work) to prevent any complications. Additionally, I can not raise a child alone, when my husband, who is my greatest source of emotional support and would be my only source of financial support, is miles away from me. This would be an extreme hardship for myself, as well as for my child who would be deprived of his/her father.

    If I am living in Mexico on the other hand, I will not have medical insurance and it will be impossible to have access to even a remotely comparable level of medical technology and expertise. With infant mortality rates at 20/1000 births (more than three times higher than the 6/1000 in the United States), and inadequate technology to ensure a safe pregnancy to term, we will be placing our baby’s life at risk if we try to begin our family in Mexico. (See Exhibits C and F) It would be a cruel and extreme hardship to subject our child to the choices of growing up in the safety, security and proper education of the United States without his/her father or to grow up in a poverty stricken Third-World country with him. Without ALIEN presence here in the United States, under these circumstances, we could not attempt to start a family.

    Additionally I have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder. I have experienced many episodes of shortness of breath, pressure and pain in my chest and numbness in my arm and fingers all symptoms of panic attacks. (See Exhibit G) I have also been seen in the E.R. for chest pain since ALIEN departure (See Exhibit H) My chest pain was brought on in large part due to great stress. I have high anxiety levels that I am doing my best to maintain without medication and with monthly therapy sessions (See Exhibit I) If I cannot eliminate the stress (ie: have my husband back), these attacks will continue and worsen, leading to depression which at extreme levels could lead to suicide. (See Exhibit J)

    Part 2

    THE HOLMES-RAHE SOCIAL READJUSTMENT RATING SCALE

    In 1967 Thomas H. Holmes, M.D. and Richard H. Rahe, M.D. published "The Social Readjustment Rating Scale" in the prestigious Journal of Psychosomatic Research. This scale measures vulnerability to medical illness as a result of stress. It is now famous and still widely used; its efficacy is well established. For instance, in December 2000 in “Educational and Psychological Measurement” Judith A. Scully, Henry Tosi and Kevin Banning re-evaluated the use of this instrument. The abstract of their article states: The authors conclude that, in sum, life change events remain useful predictors of stress related-symptom scores and that the SRRS is a robust instrument for identifying the potential for the occurrence of stress-related outcomes and is, therefore, a useful tool.

    The scale uses the weighting of Life Changes Units (LCU''s) as a means of predicting vulnerability to medical illness. For instance, a marital separation would accrue 65 LCU''s and an outstanding personal achievement would accrue 28 LCU''s. In other words, significant life changes, positive and negative, are significant variables in the development of medical illness. It is not possible to predict exactly which illness might occur. However, degree of vulnerability can be predicted. Pre-existing conditions, (such as my previous bout with cervical dysplasia) are presumed to be highly vulnerable to exacerbation. The predictive ranges of the SRRS are: LCU 0-150: No significant risk LCU 150-199: 35% Chance of illness or injury in two year period LCU 200-299: 51% Chance of illness or injury in two year period \r\nLCU 300 +: 80% Chance of illness or injury in two year period.

    The scale was applied on the assumed basis that I was forced to move to Mexico. My score on this instrument was an astounding 858, with the following analysis, “This score indicates major life crisis and is highly predictive (80%) of serious physical illness within the next 2 years”. On the other hand, if ALIEN were able to return to the U.S., thus eliminating the hardships/stress factors, the score would drop dramatically to 92 (no significant risk). The Holmes-Rahe SRRS also demonstrates a very important fact widely recognized in the health sciences. Stress and other risk factors not only exist as independent influences, they interact dynamically. In other words, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I will be subjected to several factors whose interactions contribute exponentially to my experience of hardship. Each interacts with the other in a manner that heightens their mutual impact. Therefore, the totality of hardship factors exceeds measurement.


    FAMILY TIES IN THE UNITED STATES

    I was born and raised in the United States and my entire family lives nearby. I have absolutely no family in Mexico. I am very close to both of my parents and my brother and sister in law. My family is very important to me; being separated from them would be devastating. I love my family very much and have never gone more than a couple of months without seeing them. I have only one living grandparent now. She lives nearby in a nursing home where she is cared for due to her physical disabilities. My grandmother is paralyzed from the chest down on the left side of her body. My grandmother is a very strong willed woman born second generation Italian. She is now 79 years old. I love my grandmother dearly and go to see her as often as possible. She is a great source of inspiration to me and without her I would not be the woman I am today. The thought of moving so far away from her is inexplicable.

    Should I move to Mexico I would not be able to afford plane tickets, averaging $500-$900, to visit my family and phone calls would be too expensive to make very often. This would also greatly add to the growing anxiety attacks I already experience, and is likely to trigger depression. (See Exhibit G) Being separated from my full, close, and loving family will create great emotional distress and hardship to myself and to my family, all of whom are United States citizens. If ALIEN is not admitted back to the United States I will never be united with my family at the same time.

    FINANCIAL HARDSHIP AND LACK OF EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY

    I am currently employed as an admissions representative at the local hospital and part time as a legal secretary for a local law firm. I earn about $xxxx a month, which is barely enough to maintain two households, which is what I have done since ALIEN departure in December. I have one car payment that must be paid monthly and I also have a monthly payment that must be paid to the IRS. (See Exhibit K) I also have two student loans with the United States Department of Education that I am trying get paid. While ALIEN was here we were able to maintain a positive balance in our bank account and live comfortably.

    If I were to move to Mexico, I would have to leave my job with absolutely no prospects to look forward to and continuing my education would no longer be an option. In the United States I have the opportunity to return to school and obtain a college education. I have the possibility of career enhancing education such as becoming a paralegal, possibly an attorney or a certified medical billing specialist. I would not have that opportunity in Mexico. Without ALIEN to assist in my support emotionally and financially I would be unable to return to school and therefore would not be promoted. In addition to that, this would shatter my chances of future employability in the United States once we are finally able to return. Since it would be impossible to maintain my insurance license and professional career in Mexico (due in major part to my inability to speak Spanish), my professional standing and career would be ruined. The unemployment rate in Mexico is 3.3% plus underemployment of perhaps 25% with about 40% of the populations living below the poverty level, it is virtually impossible that I, an American, will be unable to secure any employment at all. The minimum wage is about 45 pesos a day, though many earn less and have no benefits. ALIEN has had great difficulty finding any permanent employment. Even with both of us working, it will mean certain poverty.

    It would also mean that my credit rating would be destroyed. With both credit/debt totaled at about $xxxxxx, I would be unable to maintain any payments. My current earnings allow me to pay my bills as well as provide money to my husband so that he may maintain a reasonable and secure standard of living. In Mexico, without my current salary to rely upon, not only would we be subjected to the extreme hardship of living in horrifically sub-standard conditions, but also we would have nothing to return to the United States except damaged credit and debt. However, with ALIEN in the United States he will be gainfully employed and without the burden of maintaining a second household, our combined income would allow us to quickly pay our debts, buy a home, and start a family; none of this will be possible if ALIEN is not here.

    SUMMARY

    I ask you sincerely to take into consideration all these hardships and unbearable decisions that I face while separated from my husband. If ALIEN is denied permission to return to the United States, you will be placing me in an impossible dilemma, asking me to face risking my life and the lives, well-being and very existence of our future children-future citizens of the United States by moving to Mexico to reunite with my husband in fulfillment of our sacred, profound marital bond. I would also be forsaking my relationship with my family and my secure employment and career opportunities. I need ALIEN . The hardships I would face if I had to live without him, or if I had to live without my family, would be indescribable.

    part 3

    I cannot make the decision to leave one behind to go with the other. I depend on ALIEN very much. I would truly be lost without him. He is a great man. He is dedicated to his family and generous to everyone. It would be impossible for me to live in Mexico. It is unlikely that I would have health insurance in Mexico to cover my PCOS, anxiety, future pregnancies and any other illnesses that might occur. The distinct possibility that my life would be in jeopardy is terrifying. Therefore it is imperative that ALIEN be allowed to return to the United States with me as soon as possible.

    I need to have my husband here with me in the United States. I love my country and am a very proud American citizen. I would not believe that my own country would keep my separated from my husband, when the government has fully recognized our marriage in approving our I-130 petition. Doing so would shatter the confidence I have in my own government to protect me, as keeping me separated from my husband would destroy me. Please allow ALIEN to come home to me so that we may once again live together as husband and wife. Please give us the opportunity to live the American Dream – to buy a home, to start a business together, to raise a family - in the safety and security of the great United States of America that so many Americans take for granted every day.

    Sincerely, Mrs. Ratito

    For our evidence I tabbed each one accordingly it included:

    Exhibit A
    North Carolina Property and Liability License

    Annual Requirements to maintain North Carolina Property and Liability License

    website Exhibit B
    US Consulate General Travel Warning for Mexico

    website Exhibit C
    PCOS – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

    website Methotrexate

    website Exhibit D
    Medical Records from my 3 ob/gyn''s, both hospitals, and fertility specialist

    Exhibit E
    Insurance Benefits

    Exhibit F
    Mexico World Factbook

    website Exhibit G
    Anxiety Disorder

    website Panic Disorder

    website Exhibit H
    Medical Records from hospital

    Exhibit I
    Letter from Therapist

    Exhibit J
    Anxiety and Depression

    website Exhibit K
    IRS Statement and car loan statement

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    Approved HSL Courtesy of Member maripoza4 ~ CDJ

    This is my letter, I typed it and signed the bottom:

    June 30, 2006

    Re: Mr. XXX D.O.B. X/XX/XXXX Case# CDJXXXXXXXXXX


    Dear Immigration Officer: I am writing this letter in regards to the I-601 petition that was filed for my husband Mr. XXX. The purpose of this letter is to provide documentation of hardship to my family and myself. The absence of my spouse, Mr. XXX has proved to be an extreme hardship for us as we not only miss and love him, we depend on him in every aspect of our lives. As his spouse I hope to prove, not only through this letter but also through documentation that is included that Mr. XXX absence is affecting us emotionally, financially, physically and medically.

    There are several interacting hardships:

    Children

    I have two children from previous marriages who are U.S. citizens and there names are Child, D.O.B. X/XX/XXXX, age XX and Other Child, D.O.B X/XX/XX, age X. Both children have grown ever so attached to Mr. XXX. Our son Child has a very close relationship with Mr. XXX. The children see Mr. XXX as their real dad. This separation from Mr. XXX has caused the children a lot of emotional and psychological problems. The children are always crying for their dad and have shut themselves out from any type of daily activities. If Mr. XXX is not allowed to return to the U.S., Child and Child would be deprived of the only father they have known. Mr. XXX would miss crucial moments in both the physical and psychological development of Child and Child, including events that would aid in the formation of a relationship between them. Mr. XXX has already missed our daughter’s birthday. I could not imagine not having Mr. XXX with us during all the holidays. Not having share in the responsibility of our children torments me every day. If Mr. XXX is not allowed to return to the U.S., I would be raising the children as a single mother and would suffer tremendously. Like any mother, I want my children to have at least all of the choices and possibilities that I had growing up. I also want to be able to provide things which we did not have. Mr. XXX and I deeply believe that they will not be able to accomplish this while living in Mexico. Mr. XXX and I love each other deeply and want to provide our children with a strong and positive home. We want to give them the best education, the best medical care, the safest surroundings and the love and support of our family. For me, all of this is possible only while living in the U.S.

    Medical

    I have significant health problems such as Hypertension, anxiety and depression. I also have three discs in my back that are bulging and protruding. I have to take pain medicine on a daily basis. The back specialist wants to operate on my back since the discs are so bad. There are a lot of things that I can not do or pick up. Mr. XXX is very needed to help me on a daily basis. My pain medicine makes me very sleepy. Mr. XXX was the one taking care of the children and making sure that they took their baths, ate supper and got them ready for bed. I am now experiencing difficulties walking. The reason for this is because the sciatic nerve in my back is being pushed on by one of the disc’s that are protruding and bulging. This causes numbness in my right leg.
    I suffer from Hypertension. This has been aggravated by the denial of Visa for Mr. XXX and has caused additional headaches, stress, anxiety and depression. If this situation continues the consequence will result in significant deterioration of health problems for me which would be life threatening. Blood pressure is known to vary with emotional and psychological states. Hypertension is also called the silent killer because it often has no symptoms and can cause a stroke which would lead to paralysis, speech problems and even death. For this I take Lotrel 5/10 once a day. Also, I take Wellbutrin XL 300mg daily and Lexapro 10 mg daily for the depression and anxiety. These medications help me cope with the depression and separation from my husband which has completely taken over my life and my ability to function. The separation from my husband has affected my health extremely. Due to the loss of Mr. XXX income, I have been unable to afford mine or my son’s medication.

    Medical – Child My son Child who is XX yrs has been diagnosed with ADHD – Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder. Child has to take Strattrera 40mg on a daily basis. This medicine would also help Child to pay attention while in school. If he is not able to take his medicine Child will not be able to succeed in school. Without Mr. XXX here I will not be able to handle our son’s illness on my own. Mr. XXX would always help out when our son was being extremely Hyper. When there would be a situation with Child that I could not handle, Mr. XXX would always know what to do to control the situation. Since Mr. XXX has been gone it is extremely hard to handle our son on my own.

    Medical – Child Our daughter Child age X, has Pulmonary Artery Stenosis. This is where the main artery in the heart has a waist in it. She gets monitored frequently by her heart specialist to make sure the artery is not getting smaller. If it happens to get smaller Child would need to under go surgery to open that valve back up. Since the absence of Mr. XXX, I worry that the stress of being without her dad is too much for her heart.

    Medical – My Parents

    My parents live with us in our home. My father has been diagnosed with Complete Renal Failure. He is under going dialysis three days a week for four and a half hours a day. This makes him very ill, weak and he sleeps most of the time. My father needs a kidney transplant. Mr. XXX needs to be here with us because he needs to under go the testing for the kidney transplant for my father. I am not considered a candidate for the transplant because of all my illnesses. Without this transplant my dad will die. Mr. XXX would always do all the things that my dad would need to be done. My dad can not use his left arm because that is where his fistula is. This is the area in his arm where they hook him up to do the dialysis. My dad has to be very careful in what he picks up or moves. My mother is also disabled. She has had three strokes, the last one leaving her left side paralyzed and her memory is very poor. In addition to her last stroke, she has a blood clot lodge in her brain. At any time this clot could move into her brain and kill her. Her mobility is not good at all. She falls down a lot. Since I am not able to pick her up because of my back, Mr. XXX would always go and pick her up off the floor. Mr. XXX would always assist me with her memory loss. She needs a lot of assistance that not only I can provide but Mr. XXX as well. Since I was not able to get the documentation of there sickness in time you can call, if you have any questions about my parents illnesses, Dr. XX @ XXX-XXX-XXX or Dr. XX. at XXX-XXX-XXX. Mr. XXX is not only needed by me and the children but also he is needed by my parents.


    Financial

    By leaving the U.S., I would be forced to terminate my employment and to sell my home. I do not have much equity in the home at this time. I would lose money being forced to sell our home. I would also be required to rent a storage unit for whatever I could not take with me, which would add an additional monthly expense that in a short period of time I would be unable to continue to pay. I would not be able to find employment in Mexico in the field that I am in. I am the Director of Patient Support for the company that I work for. And most of all I would not be paid the same salary that I am currently receiving now. I have several loans that must be paid back. I have a mortgage on my home. I have a loan out on my vehicle, a consolidation loan to pay all the credit cards back and an additional credit card bill. Also, I have all the Dr bills that I have incurred that I am paying back. I just recently established good credit. Without Mr. XXX here in the U.S., I would be unable to pay these debts as we have been for the past four years, therefore would lead to ruining my credit that I have worked so hard to get. In addition, I would be unable to afford proper day care for our children and therefore would be unable to continue working and would be forced into the welfare system.
    It is so extremely hard to explain the enormous impact this has caused me being without Mr. XXX. We just purchase a home in November 2005; the payments are $XXX.XX a month. Without Mr. XXX income I will not be able to make the payments. I would not be the only one without a home but also the kids and my disabled parents. It has been very difficult buying groceries these past few weeks and the light bill has been extremely high. Mr. XXX is so needed here in the U.S.

    Employment

    Mr. XXX has a secure position upon his return with X X X. X X X is lacking in production every day. Jobs have been postponed and or cancelled due to Mr. XXX absence. This has caused a financial hardship on this company everyday, as they wait for Mr. XXX return. It is imperative that Mr. XXX be allowed to return to the U.S. not only for myself and family but for this company.

    Conclusion

    I know the Consulate reads letters form thousands of people on a daily basis, but please consider our case and grant us this pardon.

    There is no possible way I can make it on my own. It can not be done. I will have lost not only my husband, but everything we have worked so hard for, including our house, a place where my children call home and a safe neighborhood to grow up in. Without my husband, I lose not only a huge financial part of our household but a piece of my heart as well. I miss my husband painfully and am uncertain as well as frightened of my future as it is dependent upon the status of my husband. The enormous strain that this separation has and will continue to have constitutes a powerful hardship to me. Again, I respectfully request the waiver to be approved and Mr. XXX to be allowed to be reunited with our family in the United States.

    USC



    This is my son''s letter.
    This letter was hand written by my son and I did not make any corrections, mailed as is:

    June 30, 2006

    My name is XXX and Im XX yrs old. Mr. XXX is my step dad. I know that Mr. XXX wasn’t suppose to be in the us but he did it for us. Hes like my real dad. I would choose him over my real dad. Mr. XXX is always there when we needed him or when we were sick.
    Mr. XXX would take me to my Dr’s appts and after wards he would take me to go and get my medicine. I have to take medicine every day. My medicine helps me to pay attenition and focus. Now that Mr. XXX is over there how is my mom going to get my medicine. She wont have the money and I wont be able to do things right and my school work will be bad. And im an A B student.
    My family needs Mr. XXX here more than ever. Now that hes gone my mom wont be able to pay the bills or buy our medicines or even the food.
    I play baseball. Mr. XXX would always take me to the ball field and practice with me. He would always go to the practices and games. At the practices you don’t have to stay there but Mr. XXX would till it was over. Now that Mr. XXX is gone my mom wont be able to pay the bills.
    My grandma and grandpa moved back home and they live with us. My grandpa is very very sick. He needs dialysis on Monday, Wensday and Fridays for 4 ½ hours a day. My grandpa cant help my mom around the house because he has that connector in his arem. He is always weak and he sleeps a lot.
    Mr. XXX was gonna go to San Antonio to do the testing to see if he could give him a kidney.
    Now since you wouldn’t give his visa my grandpas chances are even worse.
    My grandma is sick she had 3 strokes already and now her left side isn’t working.
    Mr. XXX would always help my grandma get up when she falls down. And she falls a lot. My mom cant do it cause her back is all jacked up.
    Me and my family need Mr. XXX here for lots of thing and reasons. So please take this letter seresly and don’t just throw it away.
    Please let our dad Mr. XXX come back home now. We cant be without him.


    USC Child
    This is my daughter''s letter. This letter was hand written by her and I did not make any corrections, mailed as is:
    June 30, 2006

    My name is USC Child. I am X yrs old.
    I love Mr. XXX he is my daddy and he plays with me.

    Plese let my daddy come home.

    USC Child

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    Country: France
    HSL Courtesy of Anja

    My HSL was approved on May 18th through the pilot program.

    My letter was 11 pages long and I had almost 3 inches of evidence. In my packet I included a table of contents, I covered each appendix with a blue cover sheet, I two hole punched the top of each sheet and I attached the whole thing together with a large metal clip. I tried to have evidence for every single thing I said. Sometimes I included more than one evidence for a statement of hardship (this way if they didn't like one source, there was another ) I made sure I included personal items (letter from doctor, personal medical records, letter from friends, etc.) as well as non-personal items (info. from the NIH about my conditions, etc.). I also bolded the important points, but my formatting disappeared when I pasted my letter here.

    Good Luck! I hope this helps.

    May 02, 2007

    U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services
    American Consulate General
    Ciudad Juarez, Chih., Mexico
    PO Box 9896
    El Paso, Texas 79905-9896

    Re: Case No. XXXXXXX
    Applicant: Alien
    Application for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability (I-601)
    Claim of Extreme Hardship on the U.S. Citizen Spouse

    Dear Sir/Madam:

    I, USC, declare under the penalty of perjury, under the laws of the United States, that the following is true and correct:

    I, USC, a U.S. citizen, in support of an I-601 Waiver of Grounds of Excludability on behalf of my husband, Alien, submit this personal statement of extreme and unusual hardship. I have many overlapping hardships in the following areas: health, education, training, employment, financial and personal considerations, as well as special factors.

    I. Family Background

    I met Alien in October of 2000. We began dating shortly thereafter and we were married on February x, xxxx (Appendix 1). We have been inseparable since we met almost 7 years ago. Alien is my best friend and my favorite person in the world. He has had such a positive impact on my life and my character; I can honestly say that I would not be the person I am today if it were not for him. He is an amazing husband in so many ways. I am so happy to be sharing my life with him, I do not even like spending time away from him, I can not even imagine living apart from him. At the same time I can not live in Mexico without experiencing extreme and unusual hardship.

    II. Health

    A. Medical
    1. I suffer from a chronic autoimmune disorder, guttate psoriasis (Appendix 2-5). The sores are red, itchy, painful and disfiguring (Appendix 6). If not treated, the disorder will continue to spread to my face and my immune system will turn to attack my joints producing a disabling condition known as psoriatic arthritis. This disease, if left untreated, can result in staff infections and hospitalization (Appendix 7). I know very well how quickly this disease can spread. While I was in graduate school (2004-2006) I was unable to see a doctor because I did not have medical insurance. I continued with the UV treatments, but without the care of a doctor and the medicine, the disease spread. I now have a severe case. There is no cure for psoriasis and I will need treatment for the rest of my life. Dr. X stated “It is important for USC’s health and quality of life that she receives continued treatment for her psoriasis. It is imperative that she be carefully monitored for the adverse affects her treatment can have on her health. To this end, it is necessary that she have continued and frequent access to a healthcare professional trained to treat this disease” (Appendix eight).

    I can prevent the spread of my psoriasis through the use of medical interventions; UV treatments and corticosteroids. The administration of UV treatments increases my risk of developing cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute “women who use tanning beds more than once a month are 55 percent more likely to develop malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer” (Appendix 9). I tan (UV treatment) several times a week (Appendix 10). I must have access to a physician if I see any indication that I am developing cancer. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “malignant melanoma, now with a suspected link to UVA exposure, is often fatal, if not detected early” (Appendix 11). The Clobetasol Propionate is applied two times a day. This involves applying the cream to the many lesions that cover my body and Alien helps me, which greatly reduces the time necessary to apply it. Without Alien here in the U.S. to help me, I will find it impossible to be compliant with this medical treatment. The medicine has a number of side effects that must be monitored by a physician (See Appendix 5).

    A move to Mexico or my staying in the U.S. without Alien will greatly increase my stress (Appendix 12). Stress is related to a variety of health problems (Appendix 13). Psoriasis is exacerbated by stress, heat, and skin irritation. I have already experienced an agitation in my symptoms related to this immigration proceeding, the psoriasis has spread to my scalp and my doctor recently put me on additional medication (Appendix 5). Washing clothing and dishes by hand, as is common in Mexico, would also exacerbate the disease. Even bathing may irritate my skin, due to the low quality of the water.

    My husband is unlikely to be able to find a job in Mexico that provides an adequate income (see section VI) and we will be unable to afford medical treatment. For example, Cobetosal Propionate would cost approximately 17.5% of our income in Mexico (Appendix 14). I have been unable to locate a place in Alien’s home town to receive my UV treatments. However a physician in Pueblo, Mexico told my husband that the treatments cost MX$XXX and are done twice a week, which would be 100% of our monthly income (Appendix 15). I will be forced, for the sake of my marriage, to forgo further medical treatment of my chronic autoimmune disorder.

    2. I have developed severe joint pain in my lower back and hips. My physician, Dr. Z is conducting lab work to determine the best course of treatment for this pain. She has put me on Meloxicam, which is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (See Appendix 16). The cause of my joint pain has yet to be determined and Dr. Z’s experience and knowledge gives a chance for effective treatment.

    B. Psychological
    I have been diagnosed with Depression (Appendix 17). Although it can be expected that the average person enmeshed in an immigration case of this nature would experience emotional difficulties, my psychological hardships have proven themselves to be particularly severe and have the potential of causing medical illness, hospitalization, or even death. Thus, my psychological hardships warrant particularly in depth examination. My doctor put me on Wellbutrin, an anti-depressant medication. According to the information that the pharmacy provided with the medication “Children, adolescents, and adults who take this medicine should be monitored daily for any worsening of their condition, thoughts of hurting themselves…especially during the first few months after starting this medicine” (Appendix 18). I need my husband with me to monitor my condition.

    This is not the first time I have been diagnosed with a mood disorder:
    -I was first diagnosed with Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood just before my 14th birthday (Appendix 19,).
    -I was diagnosed with Depression with suicidal ideation at the age of 20. Dr. B, my physician at the time, stated that I could experience a recurrence of my symptoms at stressful times in my life. Her advice is in line with what research has shown (Appendix 20, p.2). Over the next few years (until 2002) I was alternately treated with Zoloft and Prozac, in an effort to control my symptoms (Appendix 21).
    -Between May 2003 and March 2004, I was treated by Dr T., again for depression (and panic disorder). Over the course of treatment, I was given Xanax, Lexapro, and Wellbutrin (Appendix 4).

    As I have been depression free for 3 years, it is likely that this recurrence of my illness is due to the stress of this immigration proceeding. When I first found out about the potential ten-year ban, I was devastated. I lost a lot of weight. The people in my life were extremely worried about me (Appendix 22). Accompanying the current depression are anorexic symptoms and suicidal ideation. I sometimes wish I could be dead rather than face the chance of going through my life without my husband or family. I have no energy and can’t concentrate. I no longer get any pleasure from teaching. I have constant stomach pain and diarrhea. I cry several times a day. Depression also makes me unable to use my training, as I can not provide therapy to others when I am in a severely depressive state (see section IV. A).

    Should this waiver be denied, my depression will likely worsen to a grave degree and become chronic. Dr. W stated “It is quite possible that if she ends up having to make this difficult choice her depression could turn into a chronic condition with more serious negative implications for her long term psychological adjustment” (Appendix 23). According to the Diagnostic and Statistical manual of Mental Disorders, Forth Edition, Text Revision: “Motivations for suicide may include a desire to give up in the face of perceived insurmountable obstacles or an intense wish to end an excruciatingly painful emotional state that is perceived by the person to be without end” (Appendix 24). If this waiver is denied, I may be at risk for suicide (appendix 20). This terrifies me. This risk is compounded by the fact that we would be unable to afford my medication in Mexico. Wellbutrin would cost about 47.5% of our income (Appendix 25). This is impossible, and I would have to quit taking my medication. If the waiver is denied, I would likely develop chronic Depression and yet be unable to afford the medical care I need.

    C. Potential for Inherited Illnesses
    My mother, suffers from migraine headaches, fibroids of the breast and uterus, ovarian cysts, and cervical dysplasia. I may be at genetic risk of developing all of these. She is also currently being treated for high blood pressure with the drug Lisinopril (Appendix 26). According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), hypertension risk is increased by long-lasting stress and a family history of high blood pressure (Appendix 27, p. 3&4). Due to my mother’s recent diagnosis and the long-lasting stress of this immigration proceeding, I am at risk for developing hypertension. Hypertension is called the silent killer and, according to the NIH, if left untreated, can lead to heart and kidney failure, stroke, and death.

    D. Health Insurance
    My current job is contractual in nature and does not provide benefits. The medical care I have been receiving in the last few months has come out of our savings account (Appendix 5, 16, 18), which is quickly depleting. I will not be able to continue this for long and so I desperately need insurance. Unfortunately, with my training only partially completed, I am unable to acquire a job that provides benefits. Once my training is finished, such a job will be easy to find. (See section IV). I desperately need Alien in the U.S. so that he can provide me with insurance through his work while I am finishing my training.

    III. EDUCATION

    I intend to pursue a doctoral level degree as this is considered the terminal degree in my field (Appendix 28), and am actively preparing myself for this endeavor. I submitted 8 applications prior to my graduation with my Bachelors Degree (Appendix 29). Unfortunately, I was not admitted to a program that year. I decided to obtain a Masters degree followed by practical experience before re-applying (Appendix 30). Admission into Clinical Psychology programs is competitive, only xx% of applicants are accepted each year (Appendix 31). Right now, I am in a good position to obtain acceptance. I gained invaluable experience during my graduate training and I’m currently gaining more experience that makes me competitive (Appendix 32). Should Alien be granted this waiver, I plan to apply for admission into doctoral programs once I finish my licensing.

    Should I be forced to wait 10-years before applying for admission, my chances of being accepted into a doctoral program are nil. John Smith, Ph.D. stated “Not only would her (USC’s) training obtained at X State University be of no use to her while she was gone, but a ten-year hiatus in training and practice would effectively invalidate her education, as it would be essentially antiquated. In brief, if she were to leave for this period, she would not be able to use her training while gone and would return with an outdated and, for all intents and purposes, worthless degree” (Appendix 33). Even if I could miraculously manage to be accepted into a program after ten years, I would probably be forced to repeat my Masters degree.

    Staying in the U.S. to pursue my Ph.D. without Alien is not an option. I could not afford the costly application process or the tuition (Appendix 34). I could not work to pay our bills and study at the same time. This dream will not be possible without Alien’s emotional and financial support.

    I would also be prevented from pursuing a Ph.D. in Mexico because my Spanish is inadequate, learning the language at a level that would enable me to study at this intensity is impossible, and I would not be able to afford the fees. In addition, the psychological degrees offered in Mexico would be useless in the USA. In order to ensure my future employability, it is important that I obtain a degree from an institution that is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). There is not a single APA accredited program in Mexico (Appendix 35). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only X percent of the population obtains a Doctoral degree (Appendix 36). Should my husband be denied this waiver, I will be in the unusual situation of being unable to pursue this high level of education. I will forever loose my chance to pursue a doctoral level degree.

    IV. TRAINING

    I have spent over six years studying and my training is not complete until I obtain my licenses to practice, the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and the Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA). Both licenses require that I receive annual continuing education credits and these will not be available to me in Mexico. By not completing the required education credits, I will lose my credentials. The cost of these CEUs range from $XXX for 1 day to $XXXX for a 4 day workshop (Appendix 34). I could not afford the fees on what my husband is likely to earn in Mexico.

    A. Licensed Professional Counselor
    In order to provide therapy in the state of Texas, I must become a LPC (Appendix 37). Licensing for therapists is so specialized that I cannot even use my license in another state, much less another country! The license requires costly weekly supervision (Appendix 34). I cannot afford this on my current wage and I need Alien’s additional income to be able to afford it. If my husband is not permitted to immigrate to the U.S., I will be unable to obtain this license, and therefore prevented from conducting therapy in the U.S. and increasing my income.

    Additionally, due to my own psychological state (see section IIB), I have decided to refrain from providing therapy until Alien’s immigration situation is resolved. This is in compliance with the American Psychological Association’s ethical guidelines for Psychologists (Appendix 38). I anticipate that should Alien be permitted to remain in the U.S., I will experience an improvement in my depression. At that time I will be psychologically capable of utilizing my training and financially capable of paying the required supervision.

    B. Licensed Psychological Associate
    In order to conduct testing, I must become a LPA (Appendix 39). My training in assessment would be useless in Mexico. John Smith, Ph.D. wrote “There is no foreseeable situation in which Ms. USC would be able to use her training in intellectual assessment in Mexico” (Appendix 33) and Peter Jones, Ph.D. wrote “She cannot simply generalize her training and apply her knowledge to the Mexican population; as a result, she would be unable to practice her chosen profession if she is in Mexico. Her years of training here would have been largely for naught” (Appendix 40). These tests are specific for use in the U.S. Even if I could speak Spanish, I am not trained in Mexican psychological tests.

    I am unable to obtain either license without my husband’s financial support. Since, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, less than X percent of the U.S. population obtains a Master’s degree (See Appendix 36), my husband’s denial and my subsequent inability to utilize my degree necessarily constitutes an extreme and unusual hardship.

    V. EMPLOYMENT

    A. USA
    I am currently employed as an adjunct instructor (Appendix 41). This work is further building my resume to facilitate my acceptance into a Ph.D. program. This work is contractual in nature, and I can not be assured of a regular income. In fact, I taught my last class on May 10th 2007 and future contracts have not yet been signed. As of right now, I do not have any more work lined up. This position is not tenured and is not eligible for benefits. In order to obtain such a position I must have a Ph.D.

    Without a Ph.D., I will find it impossible to obtain a fulltime position in a university, which would provide job security, benefits, and retirement in the form of an eventual tenured position (Appendix 42). As I have already shown in section III, if Alien is required to remain in Mexico for 10 years, I will never obtain my Ph.D. If my husband is permitted to return to the U.S. and once I have my Ph.D. I can expect to earn about $XX,XXX a year starting salary at a university. This is more than double what I am currently earning.

    If Alien is not permitted to return to the U.S. I would also be prevented from practicing therapy here. Almost without exception, the jobs for therapists require either the LPC or the LPA license (Appendix 43).

    B. Mexico
    I require a professional visa to work in my chosen profession in Mexico. I would be prevented from teaching at the university level because I lack the language ability to be able to present complex material at this high level. Teaching requires an ability to read textbooks and other research materials, present what is important, answer questions, grade papers, and communicate with other faculty. All of this is impossible without an intimidate knowledge of the language. In order to provide therapy in Mexico, I would have to meet many requirements. I would have to obtain a professional visa, a “cedula profesional”, and receive permission to practice the profession of psychology in Mexico (Appendix 44).

    1. Professional Visa – This requires (among other things) a) that I write a letter in Spanish explaining the reasons I desire to immigrate to Mexico, and b) a letter from my prospective employer. It is highly unlikely that I will be able to find a job for an English speaking psychologist in Mexico, according to a study by Olga Bustos the job market is saturated (Appendix 45, p.4).

    2. “Cedula Profesional” – To obtain this at the masters level, I would need to (among other things) a) first obtain my “Cedula professional de licenciatura”, b) take a professional examination and c) show proof of where I am living. I will not be able to pass a professional examination in Spanish.

    3. Permission to practice – Mayra Gonzalez Morales from the Sociedad Mexicana de Psicologia said that in order to receive permission to practice the profession of Psychology in Mexico I would have to first obtain the “Cedula Profesional”, then I would have to submit documentation of my degree, translated into Spanish, for review by a well known faculty member in Psychology. If this individual finds my education lacking in some area, he/she will recommend that I take courses at an accredited institution in Mexico. This would necessitate my taking classes in Spanish, which I will undoubtedly be unable to pass. Before I can be given permission, they will verify my immigration status, which I have already shown that I will be unable to obtain due to my inability to find a job.

    These requirements are confusing and time consuming. It is impossible for me to meet the requirements to practice in Mexico. I cannot write a letter, obtain employment, pass professional exams, or take courses in Spanish.

    If Alien is not permitted to return to the U.S., I will be unable to practice therapy in either country. My training will be wasted and this door of employment will remain forever closed to me. As a woman who has spent her entire life preparing for a fulfilling career, this will be extremely devastating and unbearable. However, should my husband be allowed to return, I can expect to double my current salary once I have my LPC. Overall employment of psychologists is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations in the U.S. (Appendix 46).

    VI. FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

    I am currently in serious debt (Appendix 47). I have $X,XXX in credit card debt (Appendix 48) which will increase after the trip to Ciudad Juarez, $XX,XXX in a car loan, and $XX,XXX in student loans (Appendix 49).

    Our income will drop dramatically if we are forced to live in Mexico. Mexico has an unemployment rate of 3.6% and an underemployment rate of 25% which causes 40% of its population to live below the poverty level (Appendix 50). I would be unable to work due to Mexico’s overall economic situation, my inability to speak the language, or secure a license to practice or immigrate. Alien will be unlikely to find a job that can adequately support us in Mexico; he was unable to graduate from high school due to the extreme poverty his family faced and has never worked in Mexico as an adult. The wage Alien could earn in his hometown of XXX is approximately $XXX a month (Appendix 51). My standard of living would drop significantly, I would be unable to fulfill my financial obligations here in the U.S., which include federal financial aid, and I would be faced with certain poverty. If I am forced to move to Mexico, I may have to file bankruptcy. This will do much more than ruin my credit rating. My father has cosigned with me on two loans (see Appendix 52). If I am forced to live in Mexico with my husband making only $XXX a month, I will be unable to make even the minimum monthly payments. This places me in an impossible situation. By moving to Mexico to be with my husband to fulfill my wedding vows, I am placing my father in the difficult situation of being obligated to pay my debts. This would be humiliating and would negatively impact my sense of financial responsibility and strain my relationship with my parents, causing them an extreme hardship.

    My student loans come off of deferment next month and this will increase my monthly bills by $XXX (Appendix 49). If I were to remain in the U.S. without my husband, I will be unable to pay our debts on my current salary of $XXXX a month, and I will be unable to pay our debts if we move to Mexico because I will not be able to work (Appendix 53). Without Alien here in the U.S., gainfully employed, I have no hope of increasing my salary (sections III and IV).

    VII. PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS

    A. Family Ties in the United States
    I do not have family in Mexico. I do not have friends in Mexico. I have never met my husband’s family. I would be prevented from making social connections due to the language barrier. All the family I have are in the United States. All the friends I have are in the United States.

    Alien and I are exceedingly close to my parents (Appendix 54). We currently live in a recreational vehicle on their property. My parents are less than a 10 second walk away. We lost my sister in 2003 (Appendix 55). As such, I am not only my parent’s closest relative, I am their only child. It would devastate them if Alien and I were to live in Mexico (Appendix 56).

    While we have frequent telephone and e-mail contact with our extended family, they live in other parts of the country. Therefore, Alien and I are the only people available to aid my parents as they age, face health issues, or need repairs on their house (Appendix 57). Recently my mother was diagnosed with hypertension (see section IIC), I help her remember to take her medication, understand and monitor the side effects, as well as encourage her by accompanying her on walks. Another example, my mother was bitten by a bat and had to undergo a series of shots (Appendix 58). The doctors would not let her drive herself to and from the hospital, and so I drove her, as my father has a very difficult time getting off of work. My parents also had a lot of damage from a tornado. We are in the process of cleaning up (Appendix 59). Our dear friends from bible study and church are elderly and are not able to help. If Alien is not granted this waiver, my parents will have to complete this massive clean up (and any future event) on their own. I can not bear the thought of not being able to help my parents, now and as they continue to age and become ill. It is my duty as a Christian and as an only child to aid my parents in any way possible. The grief and guilt I will experience at being prevented from fulfilling my duty to care for my parents is immense.

    I would be prevented from having sufficient contact with my parents. According to www.mexicana.com, a round trip plane ticket to Somewhere from Somewhereelse is approximately MX$7,800 (Appendix 60). This is almost three month’s wage. I would also be unable to afford the costly international phone calls.

    In addition, although my mother-in-law is alive, she is in poor physical health and lives in an impoverished condition. Her house has no doors on the bathroom, no running water, no air conditioning, and unpredictable electricity. She is not in a position to help us. I have never met Alien’s mother. Alien has not been in Mexico for over 7 years and is not close to his mother. We can not expect any financial or emotional aid from his family in Mexico. We would be alone and without the support we are accustomed to in the United States.

    B. Community Ties in the United States.
    My family and I are very active in the rescue of stray or unwanted dogs and cats (Appendix 61). We are currently responsible for 13 dogs and 4 cats. If I am forced to live in Mexico I would be unable to contribute to their care. This would make me feel guilty and fill me with anguish. I wish to see them all live a happy life and don’t want this to be a burden to my parents.

    Alien and I attend the Somewhere KOA Bible Study held every Wednesday night. This is led by my father. We also attend XXX Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod on a regular basis. At both locations, we have found warm, exceptional people who would do anything to help their fellow believers. Alien and I feel extremely accepted and supported; it would be devastating to me to have to leave these individuals (Appendix 62).

    C. Professional Ties in the United States
    I am a member of a number of professional organizations in the United States (Appendix 63). I would be prevented from making similar professional ties in Mexico (see section V.B and VIII.A). I have developed many professional relationships with other individuals in my field. These relationships take time to build and colleagues are a necessary part of my profession. For example, Martha Stewart and I are actively working on publishing an article together (Appendix 22).

    D. Children
    Alien and I have a great desire for children. We wish for his immigration status to be cleared up before having children to prevent them having to spend time without one parent present. I desire to raise my children close to my parents.

    If we were to wait to have children until after the 10-year ban, I would be at least 38 years old. I would suffer a decline in fertility and our children would be at a high risk for birth defects (Appendix 64). I am certain that many people in this situation desire children, but our situation is unique because as I am an only child, it is extremely important to my family that I have children (Appendix 65). If I am forced to wait, and become infertile, my parents will have to suffer the additional sorrow associated with not having grandchildren. My mother, said “I would also greatly enjoy being part of my grandchildren’s everyday lives…so much of my life has not been ideal, please don’t make this dream also die unfulfilled” (Appendix 57).

    If we were to have our children in Mexico they would be racial, national, and religious minorities. This would cause them to be at great risk for peer harassment and even violent crime. As terrified as I am for myself in Mexico, I would be more so for my children. This will have an immeasurable impact on my wellbeing.

    E. Citizenship
    I love the United States of America and was born a citizen of this country. I do not want to live in any other country in the world. My family immigrated to the United States from Europe between three and four generations ago. My grandfather served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. My father served in the Air Force for 24 years, through the Cold War and Desert Storm (Appendix 66). As a child who grew up on military bases and followed my father from assignment to assignment, I developed a great love and respect for my country. I am completely immersed in the American culture and way of life, I know no other. It would be devastating to have to live in another country.

    VIII. SPECIAL FACTORS

    A. Lack o f Language Skills
    I do not speak Spanish fluently. This would cause extreme hardship. I would be unable to find employment or make meaningful social connections. The isolation I would experience would be unbearable.

    B. Gravely Dangerous Living Conditions in Mexico
    I was born in the United States and have never lived in Mexico or even visited it overnight. I am not of Hispanic heritage and am Caucasian. I have light skin, light brown hair, and green eyes (Appendix 67) that would make it very obvious to people in Mexico that I am a foreigner. In addition, my inability to carry on a conversation in Spanish would necessitate my conversing with Alien in English. Both my appearance and my lack of language skills would make it easy for people to single me out for victimization or discrimination.

    Mexico has serious problems with drug and gang related violence, kidnappings, police corruption and abuse, government corruption, discrimination based on religion, sexual violence against women and human trafficking (Appendix 68). Mexico is ranked number two in the world in the number of kidnappings that take place, many of which are against American Citizens. It is ranked third in the world for robberies and fourth for assaults. It is ranked fifth in the world for murders (Appendix 69). It has been suggested that United States Citizens avoid using public transportation, open access ATMs and free highways (Appendix 70, p.4-5). As I have already shown in section VI, we will be forced to live in an impoverished situation. I will be unable to afford to follow the State Department’s recommendations. Mexico is a dangerous place to live. I am unaccustomed to having to navigate such a society. It is unlikely that I could do so with success and this would result in significant harm or possibly death to me and my future children. The constant stress of having to be hyper vigilant and worrying about my safety will have an inexplicably negative impact on my health (see section IIA1 and IIB). I am terrified of the possibility of living in Mexico.

    C. Religion
    I was raised in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) (Appendix 71). I consider my relationship with God to be the most important thing in my life. 88% of the Mexican population claims Roman Catholicism as their religion. Protestants make up a small 6% (Appendix 72). In the United States I have access to numerous LCMS churches. There are 12 such churches in Somewhere. In contrast, I have been unable to locate a single LCMS church in the state of Somewhere Else, Mexico (Appendix 73). Even if I were able to locate an English service at a Catholic church, I would be unable to attend. Roman Catholicism’s beliefs differ greatly from my own (Appendix 74). According to the U.S. Department of State and other sources, discrimination and violence against Protestants occurs in Mexico (Appendix 75). Not only would I be forced to forgo attending church, which would be detrimental to my spiritual well being, but I would be at risk for discrimination and violence.

    IX. CHARACTER STATEMENT

    Alien is a good man. I have seen him hold an umbrella over the head of an elderly stranger in a gas station so that the gentleman would not get wet. I have watched him crawl under a stranger’s car in the Wal-Mart parking lot to help the individual retrieve a bottle of Sprite that had rolled away (Appendix 22, 34, 56, 57 & 62).

    Alien is very contrite and sincerely regrets the circumstances by which he came to this country seven years ago (Appendix 76). His current immigration status causes my husband a lot of pain and embarrassment and negatively affects his self-esteem. Alien wishes more than anything that he could undo the one big mistake of his life. The 18-year-old who came to this country in a disgraceful manner has been replaced by a helpful, hardworking, and honest man. In our desire to obey the laws of this country to the fullest extent possible, Alien quit his job as soon as I was employed. While this has created financial strain, we love this country enough to make this sacrifice.

    Alien loves the United States and plans to become a citizen as soon as he is able. In fact, he has already downloaded study materials in order to begin his studying early! He has spent practically his entire adult life here and has never been back to Mexico. The USA is his home now. Should Alien receive his permanent residency, my husband plans to obtain his GED in order to pursue a bachelors degree in business. He wants to open a construction company and contribute to our great society by stimulating the economy and providing employment opportunities in a Christian environment. In addition, Alien will have no trouble finding employment should this waiver be granted. He is highly skilled at EIFS and stucco application. He has received excellent recommendations from his former employers (Appendix 77) as well as repeated invitations to return to work. Should Alien be allowed to return to the U.S., there is no doubt that our financial future will be secure.

    X. Summary

    My husband is my best friend and I love him with all my heart. Since we met almost 7 years ago he has been my constant companion through good times and comfort in difficult times. We have never been apart for more than a few days. Even the thought of the time we may be separated during the review of this waiver is painful and anxiety provoking.

    I cannot live in Mexico without suffering extreme and unusual hardship. If Alien is not allowed to return to the United States, my entire life will be impacted. I will suffer a decline in my physical and mental health, my education will be interrupted, I will suffer a loss of employment and career, I will have a severe decline in my standard of living, I will be separated from all my family and friends, loosing community and professional ties. I will be socially isolated, unemployed, and constantly terrified. I will be in physical danger and will be unable to worship as I desire. These factors would make it impossible for me to move to Mexico without severe and unusual hardship. At the same time, my profound attachment to Alien and my belief in the sanctity of marriage prevents my remaining in the United States without him. I am faced with an impossible dilemma.

    In light of the extreme and unusual hardships that I would have to endure as well as the fact that Alien and I have a real marriage that is based on mutual love and common goals, I respectfully request that you waive the 10-year ban so that we can pursue our lives together in the USA. If he is allowed to come back to the United States, our country will have gained a responsible, hard working, tax paying, and law abiding individual. He will appreciate the freedom and opportunities that have been given him and we will spend the rest of our lives respecting the incredible gifts we have been so blessed to receive.

    I sincerely thank you for your consideration.

    Respectfully,




    USC

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  9. #5
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    Here is the first HSL. I included doctors' letters, check stubs for my husband, information provided to me by the US Embassy in Mexico City regarding schools, and safety warnings for Mexico City issued by the Department of State.

    2 February 2006

    Re: XXXXXXXX
    Case #: XXXXXXXX

    Hardship to U.S. Citizen

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I, along with my two children, XXXX and XXXX, would suffer extreme and severe hardship, if my husband, XXXX is not admitted to the United States. Our health, employment and educational opportunities, economic solvency, and familial ties prevent us from living in Mexico with my husband. However, at the same time, I would be compelled by the strength of our marital bond and the parental bond of our children to do so.

    There are several hardships to consider:

    Health

    Both myself and my children have health issues that would be negatively impacted, to the point of being life threatening, if we did not have immediate access to expert medical care.

    I was diagnosed with having asthma when I was an adolescent. I am required to be on Flovent for preventative care and also Albuterol as a rescue inhaler. Although my condition is currently under control, if I were forced to live in Mexico City, where my husband resides, it would surely be aggravated due to the heavy pollution problem there. According to a Human Development Study, Mexico City is one of the most polluted cities in the world. Its ozone levels exceed the standards established by the World Health Organization more than 300 days a year. These conditions would most certainly cause my condition to worsen and could bring about potentially fatal complications. In addition, ambulatory services in Mexico are much slower than in the U.S. If I suffer an asthma attack and am not able to be transported quickly to receive medical care, the consequences would be fatal.

    Both of our children were born prematurely. When they were born, there was concern regarding the maturity of their lungs. XXXX was hospitalized for RSV when he was a year old. XXXX experienced several instances of apnea shortly after she was born. As such, I am required to take any respiratory illness that they experience very seriously as we still do not know the long term effects that they will experience as a result of being born prior to complete lung maturity. Again, the prospect of exposing them on a permanent basis to the pollutants that are present in Mexico City is of great concern to both me and the children’s pediatrician.

    In addition, in the United States I currently have access to a wonderful group health insurance program through the insurer, Healthpartners. This coverage affords us access to our primary care physicians. We would not have access to this in Mexico and therefore we would not be guaranteed access to appropriate medical care.

    Education

    In the United States, I have the opportunity to return to school to expand my education. My desire is to go to law school and to study employment law so that I may have the opportunity to enhance my career. I would not have this opportunity in Mexico. Although I am comfortable using Spanish on a social basis, my knowledge is not broad enough for me to be able to study something as complex as law with any degree of understanding.

    In order for my children to have access to an education equivalent to the one that they would receive in the United States, I would be forced to send them to private school. I contacted the US Embassy regarding schools where my children could be sent. The information that they provided indicated that there was one such school in the Mexico City area. This school is located in the southern part of the metro area, whereas we would be residing in the northern part. Also, the schools tuition is currently listed at $6,577-$9,550/year for each child, depending on what grade they are in, with yearly registration fees running between $1,315 and $1,910 annually. As I currently would not be able to afford this on my salary that I make in the United States, there is no possible way that we would be able to afford this on our diminished earning capacity in Mexico.

    Employment Opportunities

    I have a great job with excellent potential for moving up. I work as a Human Resource Representative for an internet and catalog retailer of sporting goods. I have an extensive knowledge of worker’s compensation, unemployment, as well as federal and state labor law. I have absolutely no knowledge of the labor laws relating to Mexico, and therefore I would be unable to obtain employment in my same field in Mexico. Currently, I earn over $40,000/year in the United States. I would not be able to earn this amount living in Mexico. Also, in order to be able to work in Mexico, I would have to apply for residency in Mexico. This is a process that would take time to complete and I would be unable to work at all until it is finished.

    Economic

    My husband is currently attending school. Due to my initial inability to work in Mexico, my husband would be forced to leave school to find employment to support us. Without his education completed, any employment that he would be able to obtain would not pay any more than $800 MXN per week for a regular work week. This is not enough for us to be able to live on our own, and we would be forced to live with my husband’s family in a house where there are already 10 people currently residing. My children and I would experience a severe decline in the standard of living that we are used to.

    Personal Considerations

    Although we do not live in the same community, my family is very close emotionally.
    My son, XXXX, is 4 years old and my daughter, XXXX, is 2 years old. They are extremely attached to their grandparents (my parents). They are too young to understand the complexities of the situation and would therefore feel as though their grandparents had abandoned them. Due to the economic concerns that I listed above, we would be unable to afford airline tickets for the three of us to be able to visit my family.

    I suffer from depression and although I receive psychological care for this condition, my extremely close relationship with my mother is a source of strength for me to be able to get through difficult times. As it stands right now, I talk to my mother almost every day. Living in Mexico, with our decreased earning capacity, would not allow me to continue this. Long distance from Mexico to the United States costs $10 MXN/minute. At this price, I may only be able to communicate with my mother on a monthly basis, if that.

    Other Considerations

    Vulnerability to Illness
    In 1967, Thomas H. Holmes, M.D. and Richard H. Rahe, M.D. published “The Social Readjustment Rating Scale” (SRRS) in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research. The scale uses the weighing of Life Changes Units (LCU’s) as a way to be able to predict the vulnerability of a person to medical illness. Significant life changes, both positive and negative, are significant variables in the development of medical illness. It is not possible to predict which illness may occur, but a degree of vulnerability can be predicted.

    The following are the predictive ranges of the Holmes-Rahe Social Readjustment Scale:
    - LCU <150> 300: 80% chance of illness or injury in a 2 year period

    This scale was applied to me on the basis that I would be forced to move to Mexico with my children. My score was 432. However, if my husband were to be admitted to the United States, my score dropped significantly to 99. If I was forced to move to Mexico, I would fall into the highest risk category of developing medical illness or injury in the 2 years following our relocation.

    As I am also currently experiencing a high level of psychological stress due to the 2 year separation from my husband, I can only assume that any vulnerability to potential illness would be further aggravated by the significant psychological hardship that I am already experiencing.

    Violence in Mexico
    According to travel warnings issued by the U.S. Department of State, Mexico City is not entirely safe for U.S. Citizens. U.S. Citizens are often the victims of robberies, kidnappings, and many other criminal activities. Mexico City is ranked number one in the world for the amount of kidnappings that take place. This would be a dangerous place for me and my children to live.

    Summary

    As it stands right now, XXXX has been outside of the country for almost two years. We cannot continue this separation. I struggle everyday to make sure my children remember their father. They remember him through photos and phone calls, but this is not enough. They need to have their father with them in their lives to help them to grow and flourish. My son idolizes XXXX. Everyday, I have to convince him that his Papi loves him very much and that as soon as he is able to, he will be back with us. My daughter thinks her Papi lives in the telephone. If my husband is not permitted to return to the United States we will have no other option than to move to Mexico to reunite our family. However, doing so will create extreme and severe hardship to me and my children.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Sincerely,

    XXXX



    Here is the 2nd letter I sent in late October. I included a very strong letter from my psychologist along with a letter from my mother regarding the severity of my depression.

    24 October 2006

    Re: XXXX
    Case #: XXXX

    Additional Hardship Evidence

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am sending this letter as an addendum to my previous hardship statement dated February 2nd, 2006 and received by your office on February 13th, 2006.

    In my previous statement, I cited my concerns with my depression and the extreme hardship that separation from my mother cause for me. In 2004, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. Since that time, my depression has worsened substantially. I am currently undergoing psychological care for this condition and am awaiting the start of psychiatric care. I have begun taking the anti-depressant, Celexa, to help alleviate the depression symptoms, however it is too early for me to have realized any effects of the medication.

    XXXX’s absence has affected me deeply. Although I am not a medical professional, I also believe he suffers from depression as well. As his health insurance through my employer is not effective in Mexico, he has not been able to seek treatment for his condition. I struggle to find a way to support him in the way he needs me to when he is over two thousand miles away. Due to my intense worries about his condition, I have not been able to totally confide in him as to the extent to my condition. As much as I feel that I have lost the ability to cope with this impossible situation, I am scared to death of what the added weight of my condition would do to my husband.

    While moving to Mexico would allow me to be with my husband, it would separate me from my mother. My mother and I have an atypical mother-daughter relationship. That is to say she, quite honestly, is my best friend. I confide in her things that most daughters would never, ever, tell their mothers. We speak several times a week, if not several times a day. As much as separation from my husband is intolerable, separation from my mother would be equally unbearable.

    As I mentioned previously, I am currently undergoing treatment for my depression. Without health insurance, I would not be able to continue my treatment in Mexico. Without access to psychological and psychiatric care, I fear the consequences of not being able to adequately cope could be dire.

    I thank you for your time and consideration.

    Sincerely,


    XXXX

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  11. #6
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    Note from Jaramillo:
    ... waiver was approved in 6 months flat out of CDJ.....


    With this letter I attached:

    Copies of the bills that I mentioned (car loan, student loans, rent, etc.)

    A letter from the Dean of my program who illustrated my need to remain in the states to finish my program at NKU, the fact that I would not be able to find a similar program in Mexico or that credits would not transfer, my need to sit for the PHR exam after graduation, etc.

    A letter from my Doctor who treats me for my asthma outlining in detail the risks and consequences of not getting treated properly

    A letter from our pediatrician in regards to my son’s history and relationship with the doctor.
    A letter from my boss to illustrate the importance of my position and the company’s need for me to remain in the U.S. and that anything requiring me to move to Mexico would cause me to lose my job, etc.
    __________________________________________________ _
    AFFIDAVIT

    Personally appeared before me, a notary public XXXXXX, who, after being duly sworn did dispose and state as follows:

    1. My name is XXXXXXX, and I have personal knowledge of the facts related herein.

    2. That this Affidavit is being made in support of the waiver application filed by my husband, XXXX.

    3. XXXX is not only my husband, but my best friend. My life has changed since the day I met him, and by knowing him I have become a better person. Before I met XXXX, I was irresponsible, lacking direction and goals in my life, unhealthy, superficial and a stranger to any ideas of “commitment, love or unity.”

    4. XXXX and I first met in June of 2003 and we were married December 18th, 2004. I could not ask for a better husband, a better friend or a better Father to our newborn son XXXX.

    5. Since XXXX has been in the United States, he has worked hard, paid his taxes, obeyed and respected the laws of our country and done everything he can to take advantage of any opportunity he has had to better himself and provide for his family.

    6. To deny XXXX a chance to have a life here in the United States with us, his family, would cause an extreme hardship to me for several reasons. I need XXXX in so many ways: emotionally, financially, spiritually and physically.

    7. I have suffered from Asthma my entire life. I have been hospitalized on several occasions and have been on medications and steroid treatments for my asthma for several years. In order to properly treat this illness I need full and constant access to both the medications and to the doctors who have treated me for the past several years. I have health insurance here in the United States, and am lucky that I only have to pay co-pays and deductibles for my medical care. Without XXXX support however, even those reduced amounts would be hard to afford. If I were forced to move to Mexico with XXXX in order for us to be together, I would not be able to get the medicines or the treatment that I need. In Mexico, I would have no insurance, and would not be able to pay the high costs of health care. Also, having to be treated in a foreign country by unknown (and possibly inadequate) doctors for such a serious illness means that I would runs the risk of not getting the right treatment. With an illness like asthma, not getting the proper medical care could actually kill me.

    8. I have had several severe asthma attacks and what saved me is that XXXX was there and he knew exactly what to do and how to get me the help I needed. I cannot live alone without him and run the risk of having an asthma attack. As my attached letter from my doctor explains, any scenario other than my current living arrangement would be detrimental to my health.

    9. I also suffer from Clinical Depression. I have been on several experimental medications and respond very well to my current medicine. However, I must take my medicine on a regular basis and cannot miss a dose or I will have a depressive episode. XXXX is very supportive of this. While many people have so many “ideas” and “opinions” about Depression, he has never once made me feel like I wasn’t normal. In fact, he views it just like my treatments for my asthma. He helps me to remember to take my medicine, doctor’s appointments, etc. so that I can continue to juggle the many responsibilities that I have as a wife and a mother.

    10. As we have built our life here together, XXXX and I have several financial commitments here in the United States. It would be impossible for me to pay all of our bills (i.e. car, insurance, rent, daycare, medication, credit card, diapers, formula, groceries, utilities, student loans, medical bills…..etc.) on my salary alone. I could not afford to stay in this apartment and I certainly would not be able to buy the house that XXXX and I are saving for. If I were forced to move into a lower income neighborhood, I am putting my child in a situation where he can’t play outside or have neighborhood friends or even be safe in his own home.

    11. Without XXXX help, I would not be able to provide the basic necessities of life for my son. If I can’t afford to provide for my son, I run the risk of losing him. I need XXXX as a provider of financial support as well as a provider of emotional support. When we were told from our attorney that XXXX would have to wait in Mexico for the I-601 to be processes and approved, I had a hard decision to make. I knew that I could not afford to pay the multiple daycare costs by myself on one income. I also knew that it would be impossible for me to carry all the financial responsibility and care for our son on one income. So, we have come to the painful decision that our baby will have to go with XXXX to Mexico.

    12. I don’t know of any other way to explain in this letter the extreme financial hardship that I would be under if XXXX could not be here with me. I can’t think of anything worse then a new Mother having to be apart from her baby, and yet that is the situation I find myself. I will have to be separated from our son XXXX for the time that it takes to process this case. I must sacrifice being with my baby, watching him take his first steps, hearing him say his first words because I can’t have him here suffering and not getting the basic things he needs. I work all day and go to school at night, and it would cost an extra $875 a month for daycare costs – not to mention the life he would have sitting in daycare from 7:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night. I do not want him to have to go to Mexico, but XXXX and I have run the numbers 100 different ways and I just can’t afford to do it all on my own. I can be sure that he will be well taken care of by XXXX family in Mexico during those months we are apart, while I know that he would not be able to have that here with me alone. So, I have to let my son go temporarily. There are no words to describe the pain this is causing me, and as I sign this affidavit it hasn’t even begun yet.

    13. Another aspect of the hardship is my current work and school situation. As the letters that I have provided state, I am in my last year in the graduate program at a University here in Kentucky. I am scheduled to graduate in December 2006 with an MBA in Human Resources Management. I will be sitting for my PHR (Professional in Human Resources) certification in the spring of 2007 as well. My employer will be promoting me and giving me a very generous salary increase upon completion of my degree. This is an opportunity in which XXXX and I will benefit from greatly. However, I must reside in the U.S. to be afforded such an opportunity.

    14. My program of study is not available in Mexico and if I had to stop taking classes I would lose everything that I have worked so hard for. My successful completion of my studies guarantees a better life for our son than both XXXX and I had growing up. It is only with XXXX support that I will be a Master’s graduate. He takes care of Tomas in the evenings and makes it possible for me to have such a busy schedule. I have chosen a career in human resources and have spent years studying the technical field of labor laws and requirements, regulations regarding fairness and anti-discrimination practices, etc. This knowledge would be useless if I had to move to Mexico. The same laws do not apply there and the employment practices are completely different. Even ignoring the language barrier, I would be looked at by any employer in this field as inexperienced and be unemployable.

    15. Lastly, I have an obligation to take care of my Mother. Long ago, XXXX and I agreed that when my mother retires she will come to live with us. That day is approaching very soon. We have already begun to make the plans so that she will move here in the spring of 2007. She has begun putting her house on the market to sell, and XXXX and I have been saving up a down payment for our first home purchase. We will be having a house built and will have the responsibility of taking care of my Mother. It will be impossible for me to fulfill this obligation if I do not have XXXX here with me. My mother is elderly and ill, and she cannot live by herself. She needs my help financially in order to cover her high health costs and I need to be able to take care of her. My older brother takes care of our Grandmother since my Father died and there is no one who can take care of my Mom. XXXX loves my Mother, and she loves him. Nothing would make all of us happier than to live together as a family. I have made a commitment to her, and I am morally obligated to follow through. I need to be able to take care of her, provide for her and be with her. I need XXXX here to make that possible.

    16. I understand that decisions such as this one cannot be made on emotional appeals alone. I have provided documented evidence of several of the reasons that it would cause me extreme hardship to live here without XXXX or to be forced to live in Mexico with him. I would like to make one last appeal, emotional as it may seem, but nevertheless maybe the most important written words in this letter.

    17. Juan and I have a son. His name is XXXX XXXXX. He was named after both of his Grandfathers. He is now 10 months old and is the best thing that has ever happened to both XXXX and me. XXXX is such a loving and affectionate father. One of the reasons why I wanted to marry XXXX was because I knew he would be a good Father. I wanted to have a son to grow up to be just like XXXX. My heart aches at the thought of Tomás being separated from his Father. There is so much in life that I can’t give Tomás – he can only get it from his Dad. I know this as a fact, because I grew up without my Father. I want Tomás to have a better life than I did. I know that he will………….if we have XXXX here with us. I need XXXX to raise our son. I need XXXX to be the Father and to teach our son how to be a man. There is so much risk of boy growing up and getting involved in gangs, drugs, drinking, smoking, or getting a poor education. Even XXXX himself believes that Tomás will have more opportunity, a better education and will be safer if he stays in the United States. But the simple fact is that if XXXX is not forgiven, and allowed to come back to us, he will not have any of those opportunities. As I explained in this letter – it would be impossible for our son to have the life he has now, or the one we want him to have in the future, if we do not have XXXX here with us. Our lives simply do not work without him.

    18. Please consider our case and forgive XXXX for his illegal presence in the United States. Without my husband, I lose not only a huge financial part of our household, but a part of my soul. He is the best person that I have ever met, and I am a better person because of him. If he is allowed to come back to the United States, our country will have gained a responsible, hard working, tax paying and law abiding individual. We will contribute to the economy and need not receive any assistance from welfare programs or the like. He will appreciate the freedom and opportunity that has been allowed him and we will spend the rest of our lives respecting the incredible gifts we have been so blessed to receive.


    Further the Affidavit sayeth naught.


    ________________________

    STATE OF XXXXXXX
    COUNTY OF XXXXX

    Subscribed and sworn to before me by __________________ on this _________ day of _______________, 2006

    _________________________________
    NOTARY PUBLIC STATE AT LARGE

    My Commission expires: ___________________.

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  13. #7
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    HSL Courtesy of shastamejia

    I am filing this petition to prove hardship to three U. S. citizens. My husband will be banned from getting a visa and from returning to the United States for ten years, due to entering the country illegally. Five years ago, our first son, Christian, was born. Two years later, we decided to get married and spend the rest of our lives together. Now, I am pregnant with our second son. I feel that if Martin is banned from returning to his family for ten years that it will cause overall extreme hardship to all of us.

    MEDICAL

    First and most important, our son, Christian, was born with an encephalocele, which is a neural tube defect. His skull was not completely formed at birth. He actually had a hole in his head that created an outward sack of brain fluid and brain tissue. He was immediately transferred to a high risk hospital for surgery. His defect was repaired and he returned home at five days old. He continues to go to Winston Salem University Hospital for checkups and to ensure that he is not having any complications. As his skull grows larger, the bones may not grow together correctly. I have a list of warning signs and we visit every two years to make sure everything is normal. My son has seen the same neurosurgeon since birth and is receiving care at one of the best hospitals in the area. If we were forced to move to Mexico, to keep our family together, my son would not receive the quality of care that he is receiving here in the United States. It would be impossible to find a neurosurgeon that knows Christian and his history so well. The cost of this in Mexico would be extremely difficult for us and health insurance is not as affordable or as easy to attain. If an emergency arose, my son’s problem can be easily addressed in the United States. It is unknown how that would be in Mexico. Therefore, moving my family to Mexico would complicate my son’s chances of completely recovering from this defect into his adult years. As a mother, the stress of the health of your children is always more important than your own. I have included doctor bills and pictures of Christian’s defect for your review.

    My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998. She had surgery and round of Chemotherapy and Radiation. She has remained cancer free until this date, but it is never a guarantee that she will not become infected with cancer cells again. If that were to happen, she would be dependant on me to help her through treatments. My stepfather runs is own business and would not be able to stop work to help her. My half brother is ten years old, so I am the only adult child that could provide assistance for my mother. This close family history of breast cancer also increased my risk by ten times of being infected with cancer cells. I will have to start mammograms five years earlier than most doctors recommend. I will begin having yearly mammograms at age thirty five. I am thirty, now. If I were to be diagnosed with breast cancer, my chances of surviving the disease is greater in the United States, where we can attain insurance and get the best care there is. I have included documentation of my mom’s cancer and statements describing my risk factor.

    I will be 7 ½ months pregnant (31 weeks) when my husband has his visa interview at the consulate. My husband has been my supporter throughout my pregnancy. I know that he will not be able to be with me for the birth of our son. It is my fear that since my husband will not be with me that I will experience extreme postpartum depression. Without Martin, I will not have anyone here to help me through the first weeks after having a baby. It has been documented that not having an adequate support system can result in postpartum depression. Doctors will order you not to drive or do anything physical for two weeks after the birth. My son, Christian, is not in his school district’s bus route. How will he get to school without jeopardizing my health? Postpartum depression can affect you anytime during the first year after having a baby. If my husband cannot return to the United States to be with his family, I fear what circumstances my family will face. I have included documentation of postpartum depression and its possible effects on the mother and child.

    FAMILY UNITY

    My son, Christian, has only know his father as the “father figure” in his life. He loves his father dearly and will ask about him if one day goes by without seeing him. If his father is required to be separated from him, I fear the psychological hardship it will cause him, at this crucial age of his life. Suddenly taking a father away from a young child can cause serious issues with the child. He is old enough to know who his father is, but not old enough to understand why he is gone. His father gives him a lot of attention daily, and Christian thrives on our family unity. It’s difficult to think about your young child asking, “Where’s my daddy?”, everyday and not knowing when he will actually see his father again. I don’t want Christian to feel as if his father purposely abandoned him. Christian is excelling in school, and the confusion and psychological effects of his father’s absence could cause him to back slide, perform poorly in school, and act out in negative ways. If Martin is barred from re-entering the United States for ten years, Christian’s life will be severely disrupted. This could create severe circumstances for his future, education, emotional stability, and psychological health. The possible effects that my son will face will weigh on me heavily and not allow me to relax and be the mother that my children need. A report describing what the absence of a father can do to a child is included to support these claims.

    Our new son will enter this world without knowing his father’s touch, voice, and love. I can’t possibly describe how this makes me feel. If Martin is not allowed to re-enter the United States, he will never have the opportunity to bond with his new son. This child will grow up not knowing his father. This could impact the child as he grows older. It could definitely create severe repressed feelings and psychological problems that to beyond a quick fix. Martin’s extended absence would disrupt this child’s life from the very beginning.

    FINANCIAL

    My husband and I started our own business in April of 2005. I had quit my full time job to help run the business. He runs the labor and I run the “books” and financial end. The business is in my name and all money earned is reported to my name. This way no money will go unreported. We have tried to earn an honest living. We have sacrificed a lot to start this business. Without my husband here, it will be useless. I have been able to see the economy for our local construction industry grow and thrive. We work with several contractors and drywall companies in the area. If my husband is not allowed to return to the United States, the business will fail. Everything that we have worked so hard for will be gone. I will be out of a job and will not have the promising business to possibly pass on to our children.

    EMOTIONAL

    The loss of my husband will be emotionally rough for me. I will have to play the role of mother and father and try to work extra hours to support my family. It will be very difficult to hide this from my children. I would not know what to say when they catch me in tears. I do not feel as if I should harp on my emotional hardships, but my emotional hardship could directly affect my children’s emotional health. Therefore, I believe that my emotional condition and state of mind is relevant to this wavier. Especially since I will have a newborn, who will depend on me for everything. This will turn simple emotional turmoil into life devastating changes that I am not sure how I will handle.

    MOVING MY FAMILY TO MEXICO

    Other than not having the same level of medical care for my son, there are several other reasons for not moving my family to Mexico. Christian has already entered the school system in the United States. Moving him would be a traumatic cultural change. He does not know Spanish because his father only speaks English to him. Mexico is the number one country for the number of kidnappings. Christian’s physical features and American accent would make him a prime target for one of those kidnappings. If Christian were to be put in a school that could slightly compare to his schooling in the United States, he would have to attend in one of the larger cities, where the kidnappings are very common. Moving to Mexico would put my children’s lives at risk. How can anyone ask me to put a child’s life in danger?

    I do not know the language enough to be able to get a job in Mexico. It would be very difficult for me to carry on any sense of “normal” life. I would feel like a prisoner that could not get around as I could here. I have plans to further my education after the birth of our second son. That would be impossible to do in Mexico. There would be not job or educational opportunities for me in Mexico.

    CONCLUSION

    I know that there are laws and rules and that they are established for a reason. I agree that immigration is a tricky situation. If it weren’t for my children, I wouldn’t feel as if my hardship was so severe. Due to the implications that Martin’s absence will have on my children’s lives, I feel as if our hardships accumulate to cause overall extreme hardship. I ask for consideration of this waiver so that our family can stay together and my children can have the life they deserve with their mother and father. I don’t want to loose my family. Please consider acceptance of this wavier.

    Thank you so much,

    Shasta Carter Mejia

    ************************************************** *******
    My letter was 4 1/2 pages long. I did not have an actual doctor's note for any of my medical conditions. I used medical bills, photos or my son's surgery, and reports off the internet.

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  15. #8
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    February 7, 2006

    From: FIRST MIDDLE LAST NAME
    XXXX XXXX Street
    Los Angeles, CA 900XX

    To: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

    American Consulate General
    Ciudad Juarez, Chih., Mexico
    P.O. Box 9896
    El Paso, Texas 79905-9896

    RE: CDJ XXXX XXX XXX
    Applicant: FIRST LAST NAME
    Application for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability (I-601)
    Claim of Extreme Hardship for U.S. Citizen Spouse


    Dear Sir or Madam:

    I am a U.S. citizen urging the immediate Waiver of Grounds of Excludabilty (I-601) so that my husband FIRST LAST NAME may join me in Los Angeles, California as soon as possible. I have multiple, growing health complications, which make it imperative for us to be reunited in the United States. My most recent medical concern is the presence of a uterine tumor. Because of the critical location, it is difficult to determine if there is malignancy. (See attached clinical proress record.) Initial attempts to extract uterine tissue samples were excrutiating. I have agreed with my doctor to make a return visit for a subsequent endometrial biopsy at an appropriate time when the cyclical nature of my cervix can better accommodate the removal of more tissue from my uterus.

    If FIRST NAME were allowed to enter the U.S., it would alleviate the burden of extreme hardship in my situation. Not only would his presence give me the courage to battle the symptoms of my physical condition, -such as menorrhagia or dyfunctional uterine bleeding, his aid and support will permit me to focus on treatment options. I am hoping for a favorable result after the endometrial biopsy, but I am frightened and scared of facing uterine cancer especially after my cousin Kathy (who was around the same age as me) just died of ovarian cancer last year.

    Cancer is a serious threat in my family history. I am at risk for breast cancer since my mother developed it in her 40's and had to have a masectomy and chemotherapy treatment. I too developed a lump in my breast, which was fortunately benign. I have started to get yearly mammograms since I’ve been married. Still, the shadow of cancer lingers in my life.

    I have suffered from two mental conditions, which have been aggravated by the exclusion of my husband from the U.S. First, I had been prescribed Xanax for panic-anxiety attacks and second, I have been diagnosed with depression. I had been encouraged to take Zoloft, but I suffered from a worsening of my depression as well as other side effects due to the consumption of this medication. Last year, I endured months of severe depression since three relatives, -including my cousin Kathy, a friend, and XXXX of mine passed away, one after another. I’ve barely come to terms with the deaths of my loved ones; now my life seems to be falling apart because now I am separated from my husband too.

    I shall resume my prescription for Xanax and I’ll search for the best treatment for my depression. But I am very weary of medication for my depression since I encountered negative results with Zoloft. But really, I think the best medicine for my mental condition and heavy grief would be the removal of the bar placed upon FIRST NAME.

    Because of the bar excluding him, I am struggling in my performance as a XXXX. Being a XXXX is the kind of job where I affect XXXXXXXXXXXX. Separation from my husband is serving as a severe distraction from the quality of time and effort I would normally dedicate to XXXXXXXXXXXX. According to the California Government Code, Chapter XXXX, Section XXXX “Declaration; public employees as disaster service workers... During an emergency, XXXX are responsible for XXXXXXXXXXXX.” So, I am obligated to help restore order and to use planned activities during periods of confinement to lessen possible tension and hysteria of a disaster situation. At anytime, I must be ready to serve as a disaster service worker.

    As far as real prospective injury is concerned, I XXXXXXXXXXXX in the gang-infested neighborhood of Pico-Union. 18th Street and Mara Salvatrucha gangsters make their presence known in the area. Every so often, XXXXXXXXXXXX by lockdown drills, as the XXXXXXX conducts sting operations around the adjacent residential area. Last year XXXXXXXXXXXXX had to be evacuated due to a bomb threat in the commercial building across the street. Not too long ago, hysterical XXXXXXX rushed to the XXXXXXX gates when the city experienced major power outages in the middle of the day. Everyone where I work is sensitive to terror alerts. During the L.A. Riot of 1992, (just a little over 13 years ago) XXXXXXXX was very close to the pathway of burning and looting that took place. Now, XXXXXXX is located several blocks away from XXXXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXXXX, and downtown Los Angeles, which have been considered possible targets for terrorist attacks in our post-911 world. Periodically, my drive home from work is impeded by emergency or tactical drills. So, I hope you understand the extreme safety issues that impact my daily life.

    One of the hardest conditions to endure without FIRST NAME, is looking after my father with Parkinson’s disease and partial hearing loss. The day we learned that FIRST NAME had not acquired his visa after his appointment at the American Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, my father began to tremble and shake a little more than usual. My father who was forced into early retirement because of his disabilities, is also affected by the excludability of my husband. FIRST NAME has a crucial role to play in helping me maintain the quality of my infirm father’s life. FIRST NAME has the physical ability and wherewithal to assist my father in tasks that a person with muscular tremors and weakness should refrain from doing. While I am working XXXXXXXXXX, I need to know that I can rely on the help of FIRST NAME to be responsible for my father in case of an emergency when I am declared a disaster service worker.

    Since I’ve lived in Los Angeles all my life, I am proud to have served the XXXXXXXXX for almost 8 years. It would be terribly difficult to reestablish myself in the remote area of Rancho XXXXX, XXXXX, Jalisco, where my husband lives in Mexico. I have never worked on a farm, and my husband’s family would not be able to pay me anything more than room and board if I were to join him there. While I’d prefer not to lose my senority at XXXXXXX work, I am not proficient enough in Spanish grammar and vocabulary or XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.

    I declare under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that everything in this correspondence is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

    Sincerely,

    SIGNATURE

    FIRST MIDDLE LAST NAME


    Attachments:

    Kaiser Permanente, Southern California Permanente Medical Group. Clinic Progress Record, LAMC Obstetrics & Gynecology Orders: 1/19/06, [Please Note: PROCEDURES: 45 Biopsy - EMB (EMB is the code used to describe “Endometrium, Biopsy”)]

    Kaiser Permanente, Southern California Permanente Medical Group. Clinic Progress Record, OB/GYN: 2/2/06, (Please Note: Impression & Plan: In regard to repeat Endometrial).

    Kaiser Permanente, Southern California Permanente Region, XXXXXXXXXXX Department: PSYXXXXX PSYXXXX. Provider: XXXXXXXX, L.C.S.W. Psychiatry Department. Payment Receipt.


    ************************************************** *************
    Notes & Reflections:

    This letter was two and a half pages long.
    My husband’s case number was typed on the top right hand corner of every page.
    I stapled the cover letter, this letter, and the attachments all together.
    I sent it in a white 9x12 inch envelope, certified mail with return receipt.
    I didn't want to send anything folded.

    On the cover letter, I rewrote my husband’s case number neatly by his name because it didn’t seem like the official at the consulate wrote it legibly.

    I didn't use the affidavit format because it seemed more challenging yet less effective (in my case) than a personal letter in my own words.

    Weeks or months after I submitted this letter, I realized my first EMB was actually ordered and performed by a Kaiser Permanente nurse practioner, -not a doctor. A doctor performed a second EMB and did not find malignancy. But months later I had another episode of menorrhagia or dysfuntional uterine bleeding. A different doctor prescribed Levlen and told me I may not have malignancy, but if I continue to suffer from more episodes of dysfuntional uterine bleeding, all of my uterine lining may need to be scraped.

    I ended up seeing a new psychiatrist who replaced my past prescription for Xanax with a different medication.

    Around the second week of April, I sent DHS/USCIS/American Consulate General CDJ copies of my new prescription, more psychiatry department/payment receipts and another letter typed and signed by a community service rep and L.C.S.W. from a nonprofit agency affliated with the United Way. Once again, I stapled the cover letter and everything together and sent it in a white, 9x12" envelope, certified mail with return receipt.

    Also, I learned that my father’s partial hearing loss may actually be a symptom of Parkinson’s Disease called “Freezing.”

    I wanted my father to write a letter too, but in his condition it would have been like trying to get a kindergartner to write a term paper.

    In retrospect, I could have added more testimony concerning other hardships I was facing. But then again I really wanted to keep my letter short and easy to read.

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  17. #9
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    Thought this may help those of you getting ready to write the HSL. Good luck to all....I have not forgotten about any of you!!!!!!! I think of you all often Very Happy

    I also included with my HSL a letter from my doctor, reconfirming my conditions as well as a letter from my mom, my dad, and my brother. Those were truly the most heartwrenching. I can not even imagine that the officer could possibly have a dry eye after reading those.


    Re:XXXXX
    Case #: CDJXXXXXXX

    Hardship to U.S Citizen

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I am writing this letter in support of the I-601 petition that I have filed for my husband XXXXX The simple thought that there might be a chance my husbands waiver will not be approved overwhelms me with fear, anxiety and emotion. Thus said, separating from my husband is not an option. As I made a promise to him on our wedding day that I would be by his side thru good times and bad. However, relocation to Mexico would cause me and my family extreme and severe hardship. The emotional aspect of a move to Mexico is clearly a traumatic one. However, more important are the extreme and severe hardships such as lack of educational and employment opportunities. Lack of health care and treatment of preexisting conditions, economic issues and future childbearing plans. These extreme hardships make it essential that my husband join me in the United States.

    EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

    Relocating to Mexico will ruin any of my future plans of educational advancement. I attended California State University, Sacramento for
    2 1/2 years and I would certainly like the opportunity to pursue a degree. My career passion is interior design and though I am currently assisting clients with their design needs, further instruction in the field would benefit me immensely. Attending school in Mexico would be impossible as I speak no spanish. This would be a severe hardship for me because any educational opportunity for myself would be nonexistent.

    EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

    Aside from my husband and family, my career is my greatest passion. I am deeply involved in the family corporation that has been family owned and operated for over 33 years. I have a vital role in the business. Serving as sales manager, interior design consultant, as well as owning a maintaining a portion of the corporation. I locate, purchase and merchandise our Sutter Creek showroom location. I solely run the showroom, the 40,000 square foot warehouse and manage 17 employees when my parents are away on buying trips. If I was to relocate and no longer be a part of this growing company not only would I, but also my family would experience extreme hardship. I am the eldest child and if I was not around to do my part to operate the company, it would cease to exist and go out of business. The President of the company is planning on retiring soon and his plan is to leave the business in my hands. If I was living in Mexico it would be impossible for me to oversee this corporation. My family would be without an income as well as 17 hardworking employees. I would be in Mexico-unemployed as I do not speak Spanish and have no other work skills. My whole life and career training has been in the furniture field. I know nothing else. Finding a furniture related job that requires an English speaking person would be impossible.
    I currently receive a profit sharing plan, corporation bonuses, and an extremely competitive wage. I know that I would not have the same employment opportunity in Mexico. I would suffer severe emotional depression and distress if I was not able to rejoin the family industry. I enjoy my career very much and taking away my contribution to our household would be severe.

    ECONOMIC ISSUES

    I am a person who genuinely helps stimulate the economy. I have many debts and financial responsibilities in the United States. Without my job in the U.S I would be unable to repay these loans. Due to my wage in the U.S I am also accustomed to a certain standard of living. Since, I will be unemployed if living in Mexico this standard of living would be impossible to maintain. This would be a hardship for me because I have worked very hard to be where I am at financially. Changing my lifestyle that I have enjoyed for 27 years would cause a lot of unrest in my life.

    HEALTH ISSUES/CONCERNS

    A move to Mexico would cause severe hardship. My health care or lack thereof and health conditions are also something to consider. Two years ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroid disease. Hypothyroid disease effects the bodies metabolism. xxxx has helped me considerably to get thru the emotional and physical symptoms of this disease. I currently take 150 mcg of Levoxyl to help regulate my thyroid. I am tested approximately once every 6-8 weeks to check my blood levels. Without proper treatment and maintenance the thyroid can become enlarged and have to be surgically removed. Several years ago I was involved in a serious car accident. I suffered a fractured vertebrae. This fracture causes me discomfort. As I age the fracture can become more serious. Surgery is definitely a consideration. However, the recuperation period is very long and I would desperately need xxxx to assist me during that time. The health care I currently receive thru Blue Shield will not cover me in Mexico. Thus said, I would be unable to continue my medication if living in Mexico. This would have a devastating effect on my health and my mental state. Under my current plan prescriptions are very inexpensive as are doctors visits. I have also been seeing my family doctor for over 15 years. Finding a doctor in Mexico that I could communicate my health concerns with would be impossible since I don’t speak Spanish. Concern for my health and the lack of treatment available would cause me much more anxiety and distress than needed.

    FUTURE CHILDREN

    My husband and I are anxiously awaiting the day that we will be blessed with children. This would be extremely difficult for me if living in Mexico, not to mention an extreme hardship. I have been seeing my current OB/GYN for over 8 years and I feel extremely comfortable with her. Due to my thyroid problems I would feel much more confident being in her care while pregnant. If I was to deliver our children in Mexico I would face many problems causing me much more worrisome nights than necessary. One, I do not speak Spanish so I would be unable to communicate my concerns accurately with nurses and doctors. Two, I would be extremely uncomfortable with someone I had no prior relationship with. My health insurance also covers a very large part of maternity costs. I would be unable to afford the same kind of care if living in Mexico.

    When we do have children, I know my family will play a major role in their upbringing. My mom can not wait for grandchildren. The thought of raising them in Mexico with less educational opportunities than the United States and keeping them away from the grandparents make my stomach turn. I do not want our children to grow up without the wisdom and love that my mom and dad will give. It would be impossible for me to travel back and forth between the U.S and Mexico to see my parents. Our finances if living in Mexico would not allow it.


    FAMILY TIES

    My relationship with my family is like no other. xxxx relationship with my family is also like no other. The bond between us is very strong one that I suppose distance couldn’t even break. However, being away from my family would be devastating both to xxxx and I, but also my mom, dad and brother. They are a vital part of my well being. They think of xxxx like another son. They would suffer a huge loss if they were unable to continue the relationship they have with him.We have a Sunday dinner tradition each and every Sunday...none of us have ever missed. We go on many outings together as a family. These outings include my brothers sporting events, college football games, dinner outings and trips to the city. My relationship with my mom is so unique. She is the kindest, wisest most loving mom that a daughter or son in law could ever have. She lends me not only advice but also a fabulous friendship. My dad and I are also very close. We work together every day so our relationship is also very unique and special. My brother is just 16 years old and he and I are very very close. My husband is his confidant and they share a very special bond...a bond of true brotherhood. Taking both of us away from him, would be detrimental to his emotional and mental state. He needs our guidance and wisdom to help him thru the next few years. Since, my parents do travel extensively I am the one who would take care of my brother if anything ever happened to my parents. It would be absolutely impossible for my brother to relocate to Mexico with xxxx and I. That would destroy his future, offering him much less in educational and career opportunities than he deserves.


    One could say, my life would be over if xxxx was not allowed to return to the U.S and I had to relocate to Mexico. I would be emotionally, physically and mentally traumatized. I do not speak Spanish and therefore, would not be able to communicate. Going to the store for groceries would be a painful task., the doctor, the post office, everywhere. I would be unemployable and helpless.
    Separating myself from the educational opportunities, the health care, my career, the standard of living, and my family relationships would be devastating and could lead to further more serious hardships and/or health issues. I have high hopes for my career and the future of our family business. Living in Mexico would make this impossible. I have good health care and health issues that need to be treated and taken care of in the U.S. I have debts that must be paid and a standard of living to continue. My relationship with my family would be torn apart and they too would suffer a significant loss. It is imperative for xxxx to be allowed to return to the United States so that we can continue our love and our life together.
    He is a good man who possesses great integrity, wisdom and love for our family. Taking both of us away from our lives in the United States of America would be devastating.

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  19. #10
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    I, China, wife of Husband will find it really difficult to be apart from my husband for many reasons. I feel that my situation in particular will be defined as “extreme hardship” for the simple fact that my husband and I have three kids all under the age of four, my husband is my other half, and finally my husband I our only source of income.

    The first and the most important reason why I need my husband is because of our three kids. We have three children and our oldest should be turning four in the month of May but suffers in communication. He is being treated for speech therapy because his communication skills are not that of a four year old. Our second son is one and a half and he was diagnosed with baby asthma at birth. And finally our youngest who is seven months. With my oldest sons issues and his attendance at head-start I need a lot of help.

    Secondly, I myself need my husband. He is my other half, my rock, and most importantly the father of my children. We have been married for five years now and I have never been a part of him. I need him to help me raise our children. It is very important to me that my children have their father. He has never been in jail since he arrived to the US eight years ago. I will miss to see him play outside with our boys and help me around the house with them. He would cook for them, bathe them, and change their diaper. And for the time frame that I was working he took care of them and our godson for one week. We are also godparents for two other kids and my sister who will soon give birth asked if we could be her babies godparents and we agreed and so we hope that we can do that. While I went to church I would take my oldest son with me and he would stay with the two youngest ones and take care of them while I will return.

    Finally, Husband is our only source of income. He is a hardworking man and very caring person. We have recently purchased a home two years ago and so right now we are barely making it. We will find ourselves in a situation rather difficult financially. When I return back to Houston instead of going home and attend to my children I will have to find a job. And so our children will not have a fulltime mother nor father to attend to their every need. I will have to be mother and father to our children and that brakes my heart. With our mortgage payment being close to $1000.00 and our utilities close to $200.00 that in itself I find to be very difficult for me myself to pay. I worked for several months and it helped us a lot. But with childcare being so high and my working hours being reduced to 20 that was just not enough. His employer has agreed to keep his position open until he returns so that makes me feel a lot better because at least we know that he will have a job when he returns back to the US.

    In conclusion, I feel that I do meet the “extreme hardship” by not having my husband with my children and myself. Let alone financially. All I can do at this point in time is pray and be patient until my husband returns and reunites with our children. I wish that no one would have to go through this process but I understand that it is the law. All I can do is just ask you to put yourself in my shoes and understand that this is a very difficult time for my husband, myself and our children. All I want is for my children not to forget their father. So please I will really appreciate it if you could understand my situation. Just imagine all the time that my husband will not be able to see our kids. It is going to feel lik an eternity. So please help me and let my kids be with their father. Thank you.

    Sincerely
    China

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