Priscilla and Elizabrth

Posted on January 22, 2010. Filed under: Stories - from other sites |

Priscilla (U.S.) & Elizabeth (United Kingdom)

My name is Priscilla. I am an attorney with the Office of the Los Angeles County Counsel. My partner lives in England.

I met Elizabeth through the internet in June 1997. In October 1997, she visited me for the first time. We surely did fall in love with one another in the two weeks of the visit. Having to say good-bye to her at the airport was and still is the MOST TRAUMATIC thing I will ever do.

In 1998, Elizabeth decided to come be with me in the U.S. on a tourist visa. During her six-month stay, she decided she wanted to start school and get a bachelor’s degree. She applied at a local college and was accepted there. She was advised by the foreign students department of the college that she should return to England and adjust her status there by getting a student visa. Elizabeth chose to follow this advice.

She applied at the U.S. Embassy in London on her return to England on December 23, 1998. The U.S. Embassy denied her application because they felt she had not demonstrated sufficient ties to the U.K.

Later, I asked my congressman to inquire at the Embassy. In the letter they wrote to the congressman the Embassy stated that Elizabeth applied for her visa after being only 2 weeks back in England. That fact apparently weighed against her, despite the fact that she had been advised to do so by the foreign students office at her college, and despite the fact that the winter term was due to begin January 20, 1999.

The Embassy then stated in the letter that Elizabeth had been denied a visa twice, first in December on her first application, then in January 1999 when she attempted to supplement her initial application.

I still get very angry when I think how the Embassy mischaracterized the whole process in an attempt to make her look and feel like a criminal. Elizabeth still lives in England. We see each other whenever we can afford to do so. Separating is enormously painful. But I cannot and will not live my life without her.

I am so angry that as a so-called American citizen the most basic rights that others take for granted, that is, having your partner with you, is not available to me in this country.

I pay over $20,000 in federal taxes each year, yet I am not allowed to enjoy one of the most fundamental experiences in life.

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