My family and I lawfully entered the United States in 1995 seeking political asylum. I was 15 years old at that time.
I worked very hard to complete my studies to be a productive and contributing member of the United States. I earned my high school diploma from Westmoor High School in Daly City, CA in 1999. I was a pre-med student at San Francisco State University and received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology with a concentration in Physiology in 2005. I originally had plans to apply to Dentistry school upon receiving my college degree; however, my dream was hindered due to my immigration status. As a beneficiary of a pending political asylum claim, I was given a social security number, California driver’s license and employment authorization to legally work here in the United States. I have filed income tax return on a regular and timely basis since finding legal and lawful employment. I currently work as a Registered Dental Assistant and a Dental Laboratory X-ray technician.
On June 2004, my employer filed for an employment-based immigrant petition, which was approved in August 2009. I was unable to adjust my status to permanent resident at that time due to a visa backlog for skilled workers like myself. Although my family’s bid for asylum was first denied in 2005, I decided to appeal my case because of my pending employment- based immigrant petition. For years, I waited for my visa to become available in order for me to adjust my status to permanent resident. While my visa from my employment- based immigrant petition became available, the 9th circuit rendered the final denial of my asylum case in August of 2010.
I have followed the laws of our system, but the logjam in the courts have put me in this untimely predicament. Following the 9th circuit decision, the case was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation proceedings.
I appealed twice to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement to reopen my case in order for me to adjust my status to permanent resident. Both appeals were denied without any explanation. On June 22, 2011, I received a bag and baggage letter from the Department of Homeland Security scheduling me to depart from the United States on August 2, 2011. I reported to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement in July 2011 to apply for stay of deportation but my request was denied on September 2011 and I was obligated to turn in my passport to their possession in October 2011. I am appealing for humanitarian compassion. I have suffered from sleepless nights and anxiety since knowing I have to depart on Monday, November 21, 2011.
I am devastated that I am leaving behind my wife, my family, my friends and my job. They are my reasons to live and pursue greater things in life. I have lived in the United States for 16 years and I consider this country as my home. I have always felt like an American. I wish to stay, live my dreams and build my own family here in the United States. Since childhood, I have not known any home except America and I hope to be given another chance to stay through the help of Senator Durbin, Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
I am a skilled worker with an approved employment- based immigrant petition on June 2004 and a pending permanent residency/ green card application. I have never committed a crime, nor been accused of a crime. I am not a threat to this country.