The uncertainty has increased after the Florida Congress approved a bill filed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis that makes it a crime to welcome or mobilize an undocumented immigrant. This norm could force hospitals to report if one of these people turns up.
Without implementing the norm, Lyon has already realized how it will suffocate migrants. He works for a local repair company and two and a half months ago the employer took him into confidence that he would have to take action against a Honduran employee, suspecting that he did not have the correct papers and could be fined . He fired her and – ever since – Leon trembles at the thought that the same thing could happen to him, because he hasn’t either.
He is the eldest of five siblings, growing up in the San Pio X neighborhood of Itagui. Four are in the United States and he is the only one who has not obtained legal status. “For bad,” he says. A sister and a brother acquire citizenship by marrying natural persons in unions that demonstrate at least two years of cohabitation. Another sister, who was the eldest, applied for residency and later citizenship with her husband, also from Antioquia. In his favor he said he was dedicated to caring for the elderly, a job well-valued in those parts.
“I married an ‘American’ too. You have to know all the quirks and quirks of the other person because, if you are caught lying, you can be deported and tainted upon re-entering But it didn’t work out. That was in 1995, that year my dad got sick and died, and I couldn’t travel to say goodbye. Then my uncle died and I couldn’t even go to Colombia Could,” he says. I knew it was the road of no return.
Later several attempts were made to get the papers, but without success. The sister “asked for it” since 2007, but 14 years later she is still waiting for the long-awaited response. However, there is a plan B. This includes his mother, who also began on leave and ended up as a resident, requesting a family reunion; a Plan C, which is the same request, but by your daughter as soon as she reaches the age of majority within 3 years; And Plan D, even more remote, is that the youngest daughter, who is barely 16, do it.
“With God’s help, I hope things pick up and let’s see if we can stop this worry,” he added. Had it been legal, as a young man he would have been able to pursue a military career as he wished, or study at university; But with that not happening, over the course of 35 years he had to do different jobs, all demanding physical deployments, all not so well paid. Thus, he has worked as a manager of various trades in a social club, he was employed in road maintenance and for over a decade he has been painting houses and offices, repairing walls and Hanging are setting decorations on paper, which is the closest to the world. The skills he developed as a teenager at an art school in Itagui.
Once he worked as a general worker and the boss saw fit to let him oversee a project. He stayed out for ten years and they thought about promoting him to superintendent again, until the police stopped him on the street, arrested him, called the company, his secret was exposed, they fired him. Removed and the confusion is gone.
Leone warns that “no one can reveal their position to them or to co-workers because the day they get angry they may end up denouncing it. It’s a backlash all the time and doesn’t let you move forward.” And if the DeSantis law passes, matters could get worse.
At this time, Leon is rolling in his truck. Since he doesn’t have a license, he is at risk of going to jail if caught, but he still drives because if he doesn’t drive, he can’t work because he has to carry equipment in the car. If you don’t work, you don’t pay the bills.
León will no longer know what to do in a country like Colombia, even though it is his, depriving him of the comforts of the United States. In fact, his American dream after all these years is more modest: he suggests that obtaining citizenship before age 62 would be enough for him to retire with a salary, converted to pesos, that would allow him to live well. Got permission to perform. in Colombia. And, in the middle of these six years, find enough to buy a country house.