My name is Nicholas Martin. I work for Heritage Plastics, a small company in Sylacauga, Alabama, and I am a U.S. Citizen. I met my wife Cristina here in Sylacauga, in 2005, at a local restaurant. We began dating and in 2008 eventually were married. She is the guiding light in my life that makes me want to be a better person and her approval is all that matters to me. She knows and understands me better than anyone else. I love her. She is my soulmate.
Our daughter, Celindia, was born in 2007 with severe infantile glaucoma, cataracts, severe to moderate inner ear damage, a cleft pallet, and genetic abnormalities that have never been seen before. To make a long story short, she was born blind and deaf with a hole in her mouth and a gene that could mutate into who knows what, as her life progresses. She has had 12 individual surgeries in the short time she has been on this earth. Five on her eyes, six on her ears, one in her mouth and more in the future are a certainty. Thanks to her wonderful doctors, my daughter has been given the ability to see, but not well. Her vision is 20/200 in her right eye and 20/400 in her left. If you were to hold a finger in front of one eye and blur out everything else, you could get an idea of her visual capabilities. She will always be legally blind and her ophthalmologists are ever watchful. She saw a plastic surgeon who repaired the hole in her mouth, but the damage caused by it, to her ears, is irreversible. She has severe to moderate hearing loss and wears hearing aides. They are always the first thing she asks for when she wakes up in the morning.
We began the process of applying for Cristina’s immigrant visa in 2010. The day we went to her visa interview was when our world came crashing
down on us. Cristina received a lifetime bar for making a false claim to U.S. citizenship with no opportunity for a waiver. My wife made a mistake.
But, I don’t think that mistake constitutes my disabled daughter having to grow up without her mother at her side. Cristina is a good person. She’s never hurt anybody. She just made one mistake. Our daughter is disabled. She needs her doctors here in the U.S. but, she needs her mother from Mexico as well.
There is a lack of attention that is being paid to us, as U.S. citizens, that are suffering from this same issue and whose families are already out of the country and have been ripped apart by it. I feel like our rights a US Citizens have been taken away. Our rights for our case to be heard in front of a judge and to ensure Due Process. WE, as U.S. citizens, should be treated as a priority.