Family waits to find out if Mexican mother can rejoin them in NTX

FEAR & FRUSTRATION: A DAY WITHOUT IMMIGRANTS

They are the after school conversations they would rather have in person. The "how was your day?" and the "you look beautiful today" that mothers love to recite.
 
But for now, the only way Carmen Lemkelde can see and talk to her husband and children at the end of the day is through the screen of an iPad, using FaceTime.
 
"Our family is being torn apart," says Wayne Lemkelde. "It's hard to live without your wife."
 
That has been Wayne's reality for almost six months now. 
 
He says his wife Carmen, a Mexican national, had been living in Joshua, Texas, illegally since 2011. He says she came here with her daughters after falling in love with Wayne while he was living and working in Veracruz, Mexico.
 
"And so we made a bad decision," Wayne says. "You know, it was so easy to get them here. Within a few hours they were in the United States."
 
But Wayne says from that point on, they've been working to make things legal.
 
"These are years of documents, you know, for the past four years," he shows us.
 
This summer, the family finally had an appointment with the US Consulate in Juarez. The daughters were granted visas, the family says. But Carmen was not. She was penalized because she'd smuggled her daughters across the border years ago.
 
"My family, my kids, my two girls—they need me a lot," she tells us via FaceTime.
 
Carmen is now waiting to find out when-- or rather, if-- she'll ever be able to rejoin her family in Texas. Wayne and the daughters visit Carmen in Veracruz as often as they can, but the family says it's too dangerous for the children to stay with their mother. Plus, they've long gone to school in Texas.
 
We asked Carmen what it's like sitting in Mexico, waiting to find out if she'll be reunited with your family.
 
"Horrible," she says simply. "Yeah. Horrible."
 
The Lemkeldes say they understand their situation isn't unique; many families are facing the same issues. According to the Migration Policy Institute, there are more than 1.1 million unauthorized Mexicans living in Texas. But they want to share their story so people see how normal families are wrapped up in the immigration crisis.
 
"I'm hopeful, yes. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude, but at times you’re driving down the road – you lose it. You lose your hope," Wayne says.
 
Hope-- to one day be together again.
 

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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