At the end of 2006, I was at salsa night at a club in Denver. The handsomest man I have ever seen asked me to dance. We danced all night long, at the end of the night I asked for his name and number and told him that I was looking for a dance partner. We started dancing all the time, and I started showing him all my favorite parts of CO. Rocky Mountain National Park, the Garden of the gods, etc. We got married in 2008, our 4th anniversary is this month. He is from Mexico City originally, he crossed a desert to find a better life and help his mother and sisters. He speaks English, is an extremely hard worker and has never committed a crime. But he can’t get a driver’s license and everyday I worry about him driving to work – that something might happen, he might get sent away, I might not see him again. The stress and pain that we go through everyday is terrible and yet still the government in this country continues to scapegoat immigrants, blame them for everyone else’s problems and refuses even to have a realistic discussion about immigration. Isn’t it obvious yet that building fences is not the answer? Worst of all is the fact that my husband does not have the same rights or privileges that others have. He and others like him do not have access to health benefits, they cannot advance in their jobs, and cannot take action if they are not being treated fairly by their employers. I can’t even get him coverage on my insurance from work because he doesn’t have the right documents. I know there are many couples like us out there and everyday I hope that things will change for us and yet nothing seems to 🙁 The worst thing about it is that my husband cannot visit his family- he is very close to them, especially his mother. She is getting older now and I can see how worried he is that something might happen before he can see her again. I love this man more than anything and I know that it would break his heart if something happened to his mother before he sees her again. It is not fair for me to ask him not to go, but how will he get back? I don’t want him to be stuck, I would miss him so much. This is supposed to be the land of the free! When will all the people in the shadows living and loving and making lives for themselves in the U.S. which they call home- really be able to feel at home- not have to worry about being taken away from their loved ones without notice and not being able to get back, be able to visit their relatives without having to sacrifice the lives and families they have built here? When will we be able to live without the weight of possible loss weighing us down and filling our lives with fear? It is difficult to live life fully with the constant fear that what you hold most dear could be taken away without warning. How do I define American? Someone who lives in America, regardless of how they got here. Aren’t most of us immigrants anyway? More importantly we are all human beings which should entitle us to fair treatment and basic rights without deference to birthplace,color, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Hope does not seem to be enough, maybe if enough stories are told – someday the government will listen, although I am concerned it might not be soon enough. Well hope is all there is after all I guess, so I hope that in 2012 we can come up with a fair and realistic answer to immigration.