Three days after denying a humanitarian parole request from Gloria Arellano de la Rosa, U.S. immigration officials granted her a 30-day permit to say goodbye to her dying husband of over two decades.
“I feel happy because we will all be reunited again and my dad is going to get to see her again after being in the health condition he is,” 17-year-old Naomi de la Rosa said.
Arsenio de la Rosa is in dire condition spending what could be his last days of life at a Tucson hospital.
“My father is on the verge of death,” Bill de la Rosa said Tuesday morning. “The least they can do is allow her to be with him during these last few moments, to allow him to see his wife one last time.”
But when Bill and Gloria went to the port of entry in Nogales to ask for the temporary humanitarian parole that afternoon, they were denied.
Officials told Bill that the denial was because in 2009 Gloria had been rejected for a green card. At that appointment in 2009, she was banned from entering the U.S. for 10 years due to having been here illegally before.
However, back in 2011, when Arsenio had his first stroke, Gloria had been granted a five-day pass to be with her husband in the U.S. When that humanitarian parole expired, Bill said she checked in with immigration officials and returned to Mexico where she remained until now.
The U.S. government sparingly grants what is known as Humanitarian Parole to “bring someone who is otherwise inadmissible into the U.S. for a temporary period of time due to a compelling emergency,” according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
For much of this week, Bill had reached out to local and national media, organized a press conference with government officials in Tucson where U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva urged the Department of Homeland Security to reconsider the request.
“I feel proud because Bill did everything he could to bring her back,” Naomi said. “Not only him but the community,” speaking about a Change.org petition that has received over 13,000 signatures so far.”
Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not immediately respond for comment on why the denial was reversed Friday morning.
Ever since the green card appointment in 2009, the family has been split apart, with Gloria living in Nogales, Mexico and Arsenio and the kids in Tucson, driving down to Nogales from time to time.
The separation affected each one of them differently, but even when Gloria was depressed and lonely in Mexico, and when the family was struggling, she never tried to cross back into the U.S.
This weekend they will be together one last time, at the hospital with Arsenio. This weekend will also be Naomi’s 18th birthday.
“I feel excited because she’s going to be here to celebrate with me,” Naomi said. “That’s something I’ve been looking forward to since I was 9, having every family member here.”
In 2015 Fernanda Echavarri and Perla Trevizo met the family and produced a multimedia documentary about their lives. You can find it here: www.dividedbylaw.com