My name is Dana Bautista and I am 34 years old mother of 2 sons, and 1 daughter. I am happily married, but by no fault of my own, I am a single parent. Because my husband and I are separated by borders. I’ve called Fort Myers Florida home for the last two years. But most of my life I lived in Kentucky. Born in Louisville, Kentucky. And, I am a U.S Citizen. I will share a bit of my story.
I met my husband Rene on September 28th, 2011 in Fort Myers, Florida. I went to see my best friend from high school that I hadn’t seen in 15 years. Rene happened to be there, when I arrived. The night before I had prayed to god to send me my soulmate. And he answered my prayers that day. We started dating that very night, and in May 2012 we were married. Shortly after we were married I found out I was 12 weeks pregnant. Rene and I were so excited. We had been trying for a long time, and again I was blessed with being a mother for the 3rd time. This was Rene’s first child. So he couldn’t wait to tell people, and he promised me he’d be the greatest father in the world. And I do not doubt that.
Now let me tell you about my husband. His name is Jose Rene Bautista, he is 30 years old and is from San Pedro Sula, Honduras. I have 2 sons from a previous relationship. But that did not bother Rene one bit. He jumped right in and picked up where my kids father never did. My kids had never met their dad, not by their choice, but their dad’s. Rene had no problem adjusting to the boys. Steven is 15 and Dallas is 13. Rene is the only father they have known. He is a great father to them. They love Rene, and they will tell you he is their father.
Rene is my world, my everything, he completes me 100%. He was everything I ever dreamed of. Rene puts everyones needs before himself. He is very caring, and considerate. He worked hard to provide for us. He would give you the shirt off his back, if you needed it. Rene is the reason I’m the person I am today. He showed me that it is okay to be myself, I do not have to be what others want me to be. He and my children are the reason I am fighting this fight today. If it wasn’t for him, I do not think I would have been strong enough to push myself this last year. He and my children are the reason I’m telling my story.
Rene and I have not seen each other since May 2012. We never got the honeymoon, or the marriage I remember as a child. Unfortunately, he was deported in May 2012. A lawyer told me and I quote ” you may as well get a passport and move to Honduras because you will never be able to make your husband legal”. We have been in constant contact through out the time we’ve been apart.
The law made it to where Rene had to miss the doctor’s appointments, the ultrasound, all the things a first time father wants to be apart of. He even missed the birth of his first born. He wasn’t able to be there, to help me during this time. But he witnessed his daughters first breath. Rene called, and we heard her for the first time, over the phone. Not exactly the same, but what else could we have done. Next week if all goes well Rene will get to see his daughter for the first time in person. We are traveling to Honduras to visit.
I am asking that we be treated the same as everyone else, even though my husband is outside of the country. Please do not exclude him, and keep us apart. I think the bars and bans are unjust. So please take into consideration all the spouse(s) that have a family in the U.S. Things have been said in this immigration debate about what is going to happen to the 11 million undocumented already in the country. Much isn’t being said about us, the U.S. citizens, that are suffering from this same issue, for the families are already out of the country and have been ripped apart by it. Please don’t forget about us. Comprehensive Immigration Reform should be fair to all that our in the country as well as out. WE, as U.S. citizens, should be treated just as fairly as everyone else.