Immigration issue could split Hernando couple

Marvin and Jessica Gonzalez
Marvin and Jessica Gonzalez

By Chip Washington - bio | email

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - A Hernando couple is facing the reality of an immigration issue that could ultimately split up their young family.

It started when Marvin Gonzalez was pulled over during a traffic stop by Hernando police.  Officers found that Gonzalez, who was driving a friend's car, had no driver's license, and a background check showed him to be in the United States illegally.

Subsequently, Gonzalez was arrested.

"He has committed no crimes," said his wife, Jessica. "The only charge that immigration or law enforcement have against him is that he entered the country without inspection, which means he's here illegally."

Jessica Gonzalez, an American citizen, married Marvin last year. However, there is no law that states a person automatically becomes a citizen by marriage.  To stay in the United States, Marvin was required to file certain paperwork, which he did not.

"That's not the issue," Jessica argues. "The issue is that I've been married to this person. He's the head of our household, and now we're gonna lose him."

But according to immigration attorney Jamie Naini, now that Marvin has been arrested, staying in the United States legally will be very difficult for him.

"Especially before the immigration courts, the success rate is not very high," Naini said. "It's very difficult."

Pregnant with their first child, Jessica makes no excuses for Marvin, or their circumstances, and says if he has to return to Mexico, she will go too.

"Just because they tell him to leave doesn't mean the end of our marriage," she said.

Gonzalez will appear before an immigration judge in November, at which time he could either be deported immediately, or several months later.

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