An elderly couple’s long battle with US immigration authorities is finally over as they hear dying husband wish to allow his wife to come back home. Joe Sandoval is a stage four cancer patient and has been trying to get his wife to the US from El Salvador. And finally, the couple received a green signal from the US government, which means his wife will be in Iowa in the next two weeks. Even though the 72-year old has known his wife for the past 15 years, they married only six years ago in 2012. After getting married, Sandoval sponsored Mercedes’s daughter, Sarai Chavez, and she became a permanent resident without any difficulty. Around a year ago, she left for El Salvador so that she could return to the US legally on a spousal visa, but the US Consulate in San Salvador rejected the application because they felt her marriage was a fraud. They said that the couple was unable to answer several questions asked by US Immigration Services back in December 2016. However, Joe replied to them saying that the interview was conducted in November 2016 and not December. Della Arriaga, Sandoval’s attorney, also sent tax documents and bills the two paid at the same residence address, photocopy of his will, and power of attorney to the Homeland Security. She also sent documents of financial proof that he was supporting his wife when she was in El Salvador and his medical hardship reports.

Difficulty after Trump took office

Sandoval’s case got more and more difficult after Donald Trump became the president in January 2017. His intensified efforts to reduce Salvadorans who entered legally and deport those who entered illegally affected the couple’s case as well. But they were finally given a green signal. In January 2018, Trump ended Temporary Protected Status of 200,000 Salvadorans who came to the US because of the massive earthquake that hit their home country more than two decades ago.

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