#MyAAPIStory: "It was easier to do family reunification in Canada. They actually practiced it."

Carolina, Atilano, Almira, and Amanda finally reunited in North America. (Baby Clarissa was too young to make the trip, but met her oldest sister at home in Canada.)

In this third and final installment of Atilano and Carolina's immigration story, they talk about how they had to move to Canada from the US in order to finally be reunited with their eldest daughter. Part 1 and Part 2 are also published on this blog.


Carolina (C): Daddy was sponsored by his boss in Newfoundland who recruited him, Shao nan Huang. Promised him that if he will take the job in Newfoundland, he would work for a kind of visa where he can bring his family.

Atilano (At): My option was Canada, Australia, those kinds of things. Since Canada was closest, I wanted to go to Canada. But for some reason I only applied in the eastern part of Canada. And the first one I wrote to, Newfoundland, took me, so I said, “oh, good.” But I had, before we got there, I actually had a landed immigrant visa. Which came as a permanent resident in the States. Having a landed immigrant visa allowed me to petition direct family. That's what happened with Almira.

C: It was just easier to family reunification of Canada was, they actually practiced it. US had the policy of family reunification but it never happened. They would deny visas. That's why Ate and I were left behind because they would deny visa even if they had supposedly wanted to keep families together.

At: Almira had to enter through the United States because that's where I got my landed immigrant status from Boston, and so all of my paperwork was going through Boston.

C: The port of entry would have been Boston to Halifax. Halifax was the – there was no Newfoundland connection.

At: We didn't know anyone in Boston. We knew Tita Fely in New York, we flew her to New York instead so they could have a little reunion there, right?

C: The one who brought Almira was Romeo de Gracia's sister.

Amanda (Am): Okay, Tita Kiddie is -

C: Kiddie and Chona, I think the three of them was the ones bringing Almira.

Am: So did we drive to Boston from Newfoundland?

C: Yes.

A: Okay.

At: We flew actually. We flew from Newfoundland to Boston. For some reason we wound up in Boston, and then we drove from Boston to New York to pick up Ate, and then stayed there a couple of days or something, then we drove back to Boston so we could fly out of Boston and clear the visa thing with the office there. And, but, on the way from New York to Boston, we had to have deadlines. The flight was scheduled and all of that. But on the way from New York to Boston, we drove at night, and it was in the middle of a snowstorm. Bad bad bad bad snowstorm. So we were driving in this car, right? And from Connecticut, the good thing was that they had all of the snow plows working that night. So I kind of followed one of the snow plows. So they cleared the highway and I was following them. And then we got to Boston, did the papers, and then, yeah.

C: When we were in Boston, we visited his professor, Remy Rosales in her house and you were running around with Almira in her house. And then I think we flew to Halifax, because I remember a, a plane, that we got off the plane or something like that.