by: Diana Davis Updated:DALTON, Ga. —
A newlywed couple from Dalton is stuck in Mexico locked in an immigration battle.
Ramon Gonzales is a legal U.S. citizen, but his wife of one year, Angelica Carranza, is not. Now, Carranza has made a direct appeal to President Barack Obama in a video posted on YouTube.
Carranza grew up in Dalton and considers herself American but was brought to the country illegally by her parents as a child. In her new video, she says she doesn’t remember much about getting across the border, only that she was afraid. She said she had to cross a river and didn’t know how to swim.
Now at 24, Carranza is stuck in Mexico, thousands of miles away from her family in Dalton. She and her husband went to the U.S. consulate in Mexico in May to get a visa, but she was turned down and told she must stay in Mexico for 10 years.
Channel 2’s Diana Davis watched Carranza’s YouTube video with her family Friday. Choking back tears, Carranza’s mother, Sandra Merlo, said, “I need my daughter with me. I miss my daughter every day, all day.”
Carranza’s in-laws are also devastated. Her husband could leave the country but he doesn’t want to leave his wife. His mother told Davis she recently visited the couple in Mexico, where they are living near extended family members.
“I miss Angie a lot. They were living with me at my house, and now, my house is empty, and it just broke my heart to see them,” Martha Gonzales said.
Carranza’s younger sister, Lupita, was born in the U.S., though she is a legal citizen. She also visited the couple in Mexico and said her sister is getting desperate.
“I would just say to her, ‘You know, don’t lose your hopes. You’ll be home soon.’ She was just like my best friend. She would cry to me, telling me that you know, she wanted to come home, that she missed home,” Lupita Carranza said.
If the couple had waited six weeks, her sister would have qualified for a new program to allow her to stay in U.S. The program, recently announced by Obama, allows many undocumented immigrants brought over as children to stay in the country without risk of deportation.
The couple posted an online petition, calling for Carranza’s reentry into the U.S. It has 100 signatures so far.
Gonzales plans to return to the U.S. next month to find a lawyer he hopes will be able to help. Then, he will return to Mexico to be with his wife.