May 5, 2011
<-- Salvador, Candelaria and Martin
To start this post, I should give some proper backstory. For several years now, we've had a Mexican family working with us on the farm, a great group of people that have fit well within the Windflower family. There's Ezequiel, the patriarch of the family, a gentleman in his sixties, his son Martin, a daughter Candelaria, and Candelaria's husband Salvador. At first Ezequiel and Salvador came to us with Green Cards, and then later we recruited Martin and Candelaria through the
H2A program (this program enables American employers to legally employ migrant labor by showing that no Americans responded to the job offer). This has worked fine and well for several years, but we were excited to learn last year that Salvador and Candelaria had applied for a family visa (like a green card for the entire family).
In the last few years, every farm season Salvador and Candelaria left their children to stay with their grandmother, while they came and worked with us from May to November, which of course is very hard on the family. The new visa would mean that the children could come with them and live in the States with them as they worked.
<-- Ezequiel harvesting husk cherries into his hat.
So, quite happily, they had their final interview on April 20th, and we found out that they got the visa! For them, it's a big change. They'll now stay in the US as permanent residents (on a long, hopeful path towards citizenship), without leaving their kids behind every farm season. For us, it's really exciting to finally meet them, and the farm parties will be even more bilingual this season. Time to brush up on Spanish, folks...