Rifle family reunited after immigration snag
Irene Caraveo Flores, a Rifle woman who because of an attorney’s mistake was stuck in Mexico earlier this year with her two sons, one of whom requires intensive medical care, is reunited with her family in Colorado.
Her husband, Alberto Chavez-Tena, was separated from his wife and sons while Fred Hartman, with the Ted Hess law firm in Glenwood Springs, and immigrant advocates lobbied to get the situation sorted out. U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s office also pressed to get Flores and the boys back in the country.
In July, Chavez-Tena learned that Caraveo Flores’ case would be expedited.
The case was critical because 20-month-old Daniel, who has short-limbed dwarfism, needs regular check-ups and care from specialists that’s not available in Mexico. Medical workers trained Caraveo Flores to tend to Daniel around the clock, and Chavez-Tena worked too much to be able to care for the children, including 4-year-old Diego.
Chavez-Tena, the son of a U.S. citizen, has permanent U.S. residency. His sons, born here, are American citizens. His wife, though, previously was in the United States without legal status. Chavez-Tena and Caraveo Flores, who married in 2008, started the process to gain legal status for her “a few years ago.”
That took on new urgency when Daniel was born.
As part of the complex process to gain residency, a spouse of a legal resident must leave the country to apply for residency. Caraveo Flores left the country as advised by the family’s previous lawyer, expecting to come back soon.
After Caraveo Flores traveled to Juarez, Mexico, with her sons for an interview at the U.S. consulate, the family found out the previous attorney failed to complete a necessary waiver form, causing her to be stuck there for months.
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