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We are still waiting

We went to Cincy.  We talked to the person that you check in with.  We were told by her that she would have the request for information remailed to us.  The person I talked to last week has not had it remailed as she had told me she would.  The person that helped us today went so far as to take our phone number and promise to call us by Wednesday.  She is going to find out what is going on with Vilay’s work authorization.  She told us that interim authorizations are no longer done since this September.  I think that the fact that we don’t have a sponsor for the amount of money that is required is the hold up.  She told us that since a request for additional information was made on the Greencard application that the work authorization will be held up until it is resolved.  So, basically we are back where we were.  We are waiting to find out what the additional information is.  I am 99.9 percent sure it is for an additional sponsor to fill out an affidavit of support and meet the financial requirements.  Oh, and the sponsor is totally financially responsible.  All you need to do is read the sponsor contract.  I don’t think that the contract is just to stuff in a file.  It is for real. 

I asked her why as an American citizen with three American children that has been married for almost six years to her French husband would need to have a sponsor.  Polital refugees don’t need sponsors.  I understand that polital refugees are “special”.  I, however, don’t think that they are more special than American citizens.  Why should I have to sponsor my husband when polital refugees don’t need to be sponsored?  I am American.  They are not.  If it turns out that Vilay cannot stay here without a sponsor.  Then, I have less rights than a polital refugee.  That is not right.  I am currently on food stamps and WIC because Vilay can’t work.  We are barely making it.  It is o.k. for us to be on public assistance because of this mess, but it is not o.k. for him to get a temporiary work authorization. 

If we have to go back to France because I don’t make a certain salary and Vilay doesn’t have the right to work, I feel that there is really no benefit to being an American.

I will let you know as soon as I know what the request for more information is.  I hope that I am wrong about it being for a sponsor.  I hope that my basic right as an American to live in her own country with her husband of choice is not based on money especially when my husband can’t even get a job legally.

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  • Jessica January 4, 2007, 8:07 pm

    Oh my, it is turning out to be quite a mess indeed. I do keep your family in my thoughts.

    I don’t want to be pessimistic either, but it sounds like it is the sponser issue.
    I think I’m about out of, as they say, assvice for you.

    Have you considered a teaching job in Ohio, for the time being? Maybe with that salary you’d be eligible.

    In any case, this is a very unlucky situation. It is so hard when you’re dealing with the bureaucracy – even if the individuals agree with you, they are essentially powerless to help you.

    I wish you the best. You’ll come through this mess, somehow. If you end up in France again, perhaps a small part of you will be relieved.

  • Pumpkin January 4, 2007, 8:16 pm

    I can’t teach in Ohio without renewing my certification. I have inquired about a job as a director at a YMCA. We’ll see if that pans out. I told my husband that we are in a pickle to say the least.

  • Jessica January 5, 2007, 1:02 am

    Feel free to tell me to shut up, but I’ve been thinking about this situation, and here I’ve copied the responsiblities of the sponser where it pertains to paying debts:


    Can the applicant use government assistance or public benefits?

    If the sponsored immigrant uses federal means tested public benefits, the sponsor is responsible for repaying the cost of the benefits.

    What are federal means tested public benefits?

    Federal means tested public benefits are the following:

    * Food stamps
    * Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    * Medicaid
    * Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    * State Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

    What assistance programs are not considered means tested public benefit programs?

    The following types of assistance are not considered means tested public benefits and do not have to be repaid.

    * Emergency Medicaid
    * School lunches
    * Immunizations and treatment for communicable diseases
    * Student assistance to attend colleges and institutions of higher learning
    * Some kinds of foster care or adoption assistance
    * Job training programs
    * Head start
    * Short-term, non-cash emergency relief

    The only debts the sponser is responsible for are means tested benefits, and that is a very small category of benefits. As you see, even emergency medicaid isn’t included, and that is written right in the I-864. the sponsers responsibility is pretty small, maybe your father will reconsider?

  • Pumpkin January 5, 2007, 2:38 am

    We are currently on foodstamps and the state of Ohio free health care. However, Vilay is currently not included in the programs. I will have to check and see about how this would affect my father. Maybe, it will be ok if we stop the foodstamps when he begins working and if only myself and the children are on the free health care since he doesn’t qualify anyway. He would have to be American or have worked at least five years in America to qualify.

    I’ll talk to my father, but I can still understand if he doesn’t want to do it. It is stupid that it is asked in the first place. I think that Vilay as the husband of an American citizen should be able to work. We have three children together. It really is not fair. What if I had no living parents and no one else to ask to be a sponsor? It just isn’t right. That is what is getting me so upset. I left the office in Cincy and broke down in the car. I couldn’t believe what I was told. I couldn’t believe that it didn’t matter that we are an American family. We are Americans and this is just wrong.  Having a sponsor really isn’t fool proof anyway.  What if the sponsor lost thier job or income?  Then what?  Why shouldn’t Vilay be able to get public assistance if he really needs it?  He is my husband.  In France, I was covered from day one.  As the wife of a French, I had all the rights of a French.  And, that is how it should be.  That is right.

  • Pumpkin January 5, 2007, 2:43 am

    Jessica, I do want to thank you for helping us. Maybe, it will make a difference. Thank you. I mean it.

  • Alison January 5, 2007, 3:37 am

    Sometimes it’s necessary to go on welfare in order to get out of a “pickle.” On the other hand, you need to think about how you are doing NOW compared to when you left France. If memory serves, you had to move in with Vilay’s parents for financial reasons. You are living with your father now, so it’s a similar situation. But think about your possibilities here. Are they better or worse than in France?

    You can’t get a teaching certificate for Ohio right now, but I am sure you could get another job (not in retail, I mean) where you could earn sufficient money, especially considering what you would pay in daycare costs right now.

    If Vilay stays home with the children (and you reverse roles), you could look for one stable job to help your family get on its feet.

    Forgive me if I am giving “assvice” that you have already thought of. But you know that I understand how things work in France. And I think you have a real chance of making it here.

  • Jessica January 5, 2007, 4:01 am

    Oh I agree with you, Pumpkin, it is ridiculous. It sucks when our government makes us feel so powerless and vulnerable. I do remember having similar feelings about the sponsorship, because even though we sponsored ourselves, we had to have another one lined up.

    I think you and the children can take the welfare, because you’re all American. I mean, its not like the food stamps are coming in Vilay’s name, I suppose.

    I think you should remind yourself every day that this isn’t your fault, and it’s nothing to feel ashamed of. It’s a hard situation, but you didn’t bring it on yourself.

  • Pumpkin January 5, 2007, 4:08 am

    Alison, I do think that financially if Vilay and I are able to work through this mess we are better off here in the States. The possibility to make more money is greater here and Vilay would be able to go back to college where he could not in France. Our plan when coming here was for Vilay to go back to school for teaching or something else that he likes and afterwards we would live off one salary and use the other to pay back our debts. After two years, we should be free of all debt. We could then save for a house.
    I do understand what you are saying. I am just frustrated that we keep having these obstacles. I know that in another year it will be a memory. I am still going to get my teaching certification started in Florida even if we end up in another state. Who knows wehre we will end up. One thing that is sure…it is always an adventure and never boring! :)

  • Cathy Y. January 5, 2007, 4:09 am

    Does that YMCA have a day care in it? If so, maybe you could get a discount if you worked on it. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but I’m afraid that the cost of day care could be too much for you folks once Vilay is working, unless you work out some other arrangement, like working different hours from each other, but doing that brings its own problems with it as well. At any rate I’m sorry to hear of this setback and hope it all works out well for you soon.

  • Cathy Y. January 5, 2007, 4:10 am

    Oops, correction….I meant to say “if you worked there” (at the Y), not “if you worked on it”….sorry.

  • Pumpkin January 5, 2007, 4:44 am

    I don’t know Cathy, but I bet they do. I do have an opportunity to work at a preschool but that wouldn’t happen until next school year and it is only about 9 bucks an hour. However, it is a wonderful preschool and I would be able to get a discount. I am not giving up on anything. I am just thinking about what ifs and I am not sure my father will do it unless he talks to someone at the service center who will tell him that if Vilay gets in a car accident my father is not going to have to fork over his retirement or any his own money. I am concerned because every time I talk to them that is exactly what they tell me. We’ll see when I can them next and am armed with all this new information. I am looking forward to hearing all about it. If it is true that Dad is not responsible for Vilay’s medical expenses then I am not a happy camper. Because, that means my father would have sponsored him from the beginning and Vilay would be working now and possibly even have his green card. I will give someone an earfull! I’ll keep you informed. Whatever happens I hope this whole experience will be helpful to someone who is in our situation. Maybe, I should make up a category just for immigration headaches.

  • Cathy Y. January 5, 2007, 5:13 am

    I have two relatives here in the States who have married foreigners. I will ask each of them what their experience with the sponsorship issue was like. I’ll have to wait to hear back by e-mail (they live out of town), but if I hear anything noteworthy, I’ll pass it along. Best of luck!

  • Jessica January 5, 2007, 6:05 pm

    Those people may give you misinformation if they don’t understand the regulation themselves. If they tell you the same thing, counter with the point that emergency medicaid is specifically not included. You can read about emergency medicaid here:


    Sorry this is the Utah program, but it’s a federal program and does exist in Ohio.

    Emergency medicaid exists, for well… emergencies (like car accidents, you know…)

  • Jessica January 5, 2007, 6:06 pm

    Besides, Vilay will be able to get insurance as soon as he gets a job!

  • Pumpkin January 6, 2007, 12:50 am

    Jessica, I will have to read more about that program. But, from what I read it is still limited in what coverage is given. Vilay may have insurance depending on the employer. Not all offer it to their employees and more and more employees are paying larger out of pocket fees. I do understand that he would most likely get insurance from his employer. The problem is that we came here for him to go to school. Then, it will fall on me. I’ll have to talk with my father after I have found out more about the emergency medical aid. I did talk to the immigration customer service line today and they told me that yes my father would be held responsible and that there was nothing to be done. I asked to speak to her boss and of course he was on a business call and could not talk to me. We’ll see. At this point I don’t care anymore. I am too tired emotionally to worry about it. I’ll look into this program and if it covers Vilay then perhaps Dad will be willing to do it. I think he is put off by the whole think and thinks that Vilay is having some other problems because Dad can’t understand why he needs to sign something for my husband to be able to stay. I have told him that is the only problem but it is just so unbelievable.

  • Pumpkin January 6, 2007, 1:17 am

    I just read the website again and I don’t think it would help us after Vilay becomes a legal resident…gets his green card.
    It’s for people who are not here legally and people waiting for their green card like Vilay is now. Plus, it doesn’t cover everything.

    Here is the part I read pertaining to this:

    Persons who may be eligible include: temporary entrants such as students, visitors, exchange visitors, and aliens granted legal temporary residence and undocumented aliens. Income and asset limits are based on the program the person would otherwise be eligible for (example: Family Medicaid, Child, Aged, and so forth) if the person was a U.S. citizen or legal, permanent resident.

    Vilay would once he received his green card be a permanent resident and thus be able to receive Medicaid which my father would be responsible to pay back.

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