January 9, 2024

Ashley DeAzevedo, American Families United, [email protected]


"A Border and 10 Years Apart"

American Citizens in Mixed-Status Marriages Are Calling For Change to Reunite and Protect Their Families


WASHINGTON - Highlighting the life of mixed-status families in the United States, a new short documentary was featured by Medill on the Hill reporter Angela Zhang. In "A Border and 10 Years Apart," mixed-status families call for immigration reform.


U.S. citizen Laura Araujo and her five children are living in Manchester, Maryland without a big part of their family. Her husband and their father, Alberto "Beto" Araujo Rodriguez, must remain outside the U.S. for 10 years before he can reapply to return.

Zhang provides a real-life view of how this punitive law harms American families.

"Families have been dealing with this for a really long time and nobody is willing to fix it," Araujo said. "When we were dating, my husband told me he was here undocumented and my thought was if we got married he would get a green card because that's what everyone thinks." An attorney advised her that they wouldn't be able to adjust his status because he was undocumented, and told her to fill out a hardship waiver. He was denied during the final interview, after disclosing that he'd entered the U.S. two times. "At first I didn't believe it, I thought it was a mistake," said Araujo, especially after learning her husband cannot apply for reentry until 2027.

Last month, members of the American Families United (AFU), with Araujo and her children, marched in Washington, urging President Biden to take action for the undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens through his parole authority.

"During Christmas when families should be together, our U.S. citizen children were hurting without their mothers and fathers, and we need our spouses," stated Ashley DeAzevedo, president of AFU, a non-partisan organization that represents 1.1 million mixed-status families, including U.S. citizen spouses. "We urgently call on President Biden not to forsake American families and ask him to uphold parole." Families recently delivered Christmas cards to Biden and elected officials, with the message: "Don't sell out our families for the holidays."





American Families United (AFU) is a non-partisan 501(c)(4) non-profit organization established in 2006. AFU proposes practical solutions to Congress and supports efforts to advance legislation that affects U.S. citizens married to foreign nationals. To show your support of the American Families United Act, click here:


American Families United


American Families United proposes solutions to Congress and supports efforts to advance legislation that affects U.S. citizens married to foreign nationals.