January 18th, 2003:

looking up

Our situation is looking up, slightly. My mom in New York has a friend that works Customs at the border. I spoke with him for a while regarding policies and procedures. He didn’t know everything, as he doesn’t work for INS, but he did assure me that, as long as she doesn’t have a criminal record (which she doesn’t) they won’t put her in jail, or ban her from the United States. He strongly advised us not to lie about our situation and to be very upfront with the INS officer.

I contacted the Buffalo border again and spoke with a very nice, seemingly knowledgable INS officer. He told me that there was no way that INS would put her in jail, or ban her from the US. He said that, based on the information I gave him, our case is right on the border of being belivable. This means that the actual INS agent that Jess ends up encountering could go either way and it all depends on how well she presents her case.

I think, with this information, we’re going to go ahead and try again. We still have a couple more things to plan out, and a couple more documents to obtain, but all in all, I think it’ll work out okay. I’m still going to look for a free lawyer consultation tomorrow, just for the added comfort that that might bring.

I got my passport in the mail today. That’s pretty exciting. I also got some paperwork from my Congresswoman that I need to fill out before they can take any action. I’ll probably hand deliver that on Monday.

I cleaned up the apartment quite a bit. There’s still a lot of work to do, but it is much more livable. Now I’m heading out to Fort Worth to hang out with an old friend.