Family Separated by Immigration Woes, Waiting for Reform

BY Cindy Huang  June 27, 2013 at 3:28 PM EST

NewsHour correspondent Ray Suarez spoke to a family faced with the challenges of having mixed immigration status in the United States. He spoke to them, an immigration reporter and a lawyer in a Google Hangout Thursday.

Crystal Mendez met her husband Raul at a restaurant in 2006. He didn’t speak English, but he sure could dance. They fell in love, had a son together and eventually got married in 2009. But when the couple went to petition for his Green Card they discovered it was impossible due to a prior deportation order — something neither of them knew. This is when Crystal found out Raul was undocumented. For the full story on how mixed status families are affected by immigration law, including Crystal and Raul’s full story, see here.

Raul is now serving a five-year bar from the U.S. in the Dominican Republic. Crystal and her son, both U.S. citizens, live in Perkasie, Pa. Her health problems require medical attention in the U.S., and prevent her from joining her husband in his home country.

Both Crystal and Raul spoke with NewsHour correspondent Ray Suarez in a Google Hangout to discuss the personal struggles of their mixed-status family. Alan Gomez, an immigration reporter from USA today and Lizz Cannon, the lawyer for the Mendez family, also joined the Hangout to talk about immigration law as it stands today, and potential changes to the law as the immigration reform bill is debated on Capitol Hill.