So it’s been a million years (or since May) since I last posted on the blog. It was a crazy summer of back and forth between NM and Mexico – lots of work, lots of good times with family and friends, and too much packing and unpacking. This included an unexpected 3 week return in August, so that we could go to the MX Consulate in Laredo, TX to get our residency visa applications approved – since ABQ was just too much work and effort and loads of additional paperwork.
We’ve been back in Oaxaca (FINALLY!) for a month now, enjoying the slower pace and the food. Snuggling back into this town that we love so much – wandering her streets, waking up to the familiar sounds of MX, visiting all our favorite spots, and discovering all the new ones that popped up since we were last really here in the spring.
I am also pleased as punch to announce that Kyle and I are now officially official residents of Mexico. We’ve gone through the process on both sides of the border. We’ve shown our financials, chatted about why we love Mexico and want to be here, been fingerprinted and had our mug shots taken (you’ll have to wait until our holiday card this year to see those pics), and we’ve signed our name over and over and over to all sorts of documents. We’ve jumped through every hoop, and attended every appointment, and paid every fee.
And a week ago today, we picked up our residency cards. We’re officially legit residents of Mexico. We’ve made the transition from expat to immigrant. And it feels good. Really good. Like Christmas and our birthdays all came early and all at once.
At the same time, our residency is bittersweet. It was so easy for us to get residency in Mexico. We just had to show a few financials to prove we could support ourselves, and jump through a few (very easy) hoops – the entire process took a little over a month. In the US, it can take the better part of a year to finally get your green card.
It also doesn’t seem fair given what is currently going on at the border these days – families torn apart, Mexican Americans having their US passports taken away, children being ripped away from their families and incarcerated in camps far away from anything or anyone they know. People being arrested and sent back to places they fled because it was too dangerous for them to stay there – so much hatred, and violence, and emotional abuse being perpetrated on these people on behalf of our government.
While all of this was going on, Kyle and I were warmly welcomed into consular offices in Albuquerque and Texas, and immigration offices in Oaxaca, and patiently walked through the process and the paperwork. It’s an insane juxtaposition and an incredibly depressing and infuriating example of white privilege. And we know it. To that end, we work hard to do all we can to bring about change, even from afar. (Skype, email, and faxes still work, even from Oaxaca.)
Kyle and I urge all of you to continue speaking up and to vote in November. We will continue to call our congresspeople, and our absentee ballots will be filled out and returned to ABQ next month. We can all make a difference. And change – it’s coming…
Abrazos to all of you!