An Ocean Between Them
Published December 10, 2020
“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” – Mark 10:9
A few years ago, a young woman named Jackie* traveled to Rwanda. She had only planned on a brief visit… little did she know that during her travels she would meet and soon fall in love with Corey, A Rwanda native. Soon, in hopes of starting their lives together, Jackie and Corey were married. It was a joyous celebration with family and friends. Not long after, Jackie and Corey decided to start a family. They were thrilled to find that Jackie was pregnant just a few months later with their first child.
Although pregnancy should be an exciting time of anticipation and preparation, when Jackie first came into our office, we could sense that along with her joy came some sadness and even fear. You see, Jackie was alone. Although the couple knew that it would be best for Jackie to remain in the US until the baby was born, it meant that they would have to navigate their new marriage and the birth of their first child with an ocean between them.
The US government requires that citizens who marry non-citizens complete a rigorous application process, beginning with a Petition called a Form I-130, and supply ample evidence to prove the validity of their marriage before a foreign spouse can apply to obtain legal residence in the United States.
In early 2018, shortly after the baby was born, CIAC worked with Jackie and Corey to complete the immigration process and Corey was able to make his new home with his new family in the United States. They were overjoyed to be together and have the freedom to live life and experience family with one another as God had always intended.
Family and Unity
All throughout scripture, God champions unity and family restoration. In fact, the Bible itself is the story of God’s separation from His beloved people, and their ultimate reunification through Christ’s sacrifice. Many places in scripture, God’s love for his people is likened to a marriage.
“And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.”
“For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”
In other verses, we see that God describes his relationship to his people as that of a Father and his children:
“The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.”
Sometimes immigration laws and regulations, however necessary or well-intentioned, keep families apart. The instructions for the Form I-130 state that its purpose is for a Petitioner to “establish the existence of a relationship to certain alien relatives who wish to immigrate to the United States.”
As you begin the journey of filing the Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, whether it be for yourself, a family member or friend, or a client- remember that the relationship you are establishing is not one created by man, but by God. It is holy and sacred. Pursue the reunification of family as God pursues His people.
Love them as God our Father loves us.
If you would like to invest in the lives of our refugee and immigrant neighbors as they are on this journey of family reunification, please consider giving to CIAC, which will enable us to continue providing immigration legal services at a low cost to each of these sojourners in our city and country.