Although it’s been tough, Candice doesn’t regret leaving her native Utah. “Mexico has challenged me in ways I never imagined but I don’t regret my decision,” she insists
Some people will do anything for love, even if that means dropping everything to go and embark on a new adventure together with their beloved partner. Such is the case of Candice, an American woman who decided to go and live in Mexico with her husband, after he was deported from the US.
La guerita, as she is known on social media, said that she doesn’t regret her decision, despite having left behind a life that was arguably more materially comfortable than the one she now leads in the small city of Puebla, with her husband Fidel and their family.
“Mexico has challenged me in ways I never imagined but I don’t regret my decision to live in this country with my husband and our two children. I did what’s best for my family and my kids are happy to be growing up with both their parents.” Candice said in a conversation with local media outlet La Opinión.
Candice, who is using a false name for security reasons, met her husband in 2007 when she went on a night out with a friend and her boyfriend, who invited along a fourth person: Fidel.
“I liked him a lot from the moment I saw him. He had a beautiful smile and was very handsome. He impressed me with his boots, his cowboy hat and his big red pickup truck” she said.
“From that moment on we started texting in Spanish. I had learned a little Spanish before meeting him, thanks to overhearing conversations. And every night I used the free app Duolingo to chat with him,” she added.
After less than a year of dating she fell pregnant with their first child. Diego was born in 2009 and Candice and Fidel moved in together to live as a family. At the time he was working 6 days a week with little time off and she was juggling work with her studies, before graduating in Criminal Justice and Human Services.
Fidel arrived in the United States when he was 17 years old and spent nearly two decades living illegally in the country. It was a situation that worried the family but it never jeopardized their relationship, because their love was stronger.
“The whole time I was worried that he was going to be detained when he went to work,” she said. Until finally her nightmare became a reality.
One day, as he left for work with a colleague, a police officer asked to see his ID and something Fidel had managed to avoid for years, finally came to pass. “My husband didn’t have any ID to show them. The police arrested him and contacted and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” Candice remembers.
“My world collapsed around me. I didn’t know what to do. The police told me they’d arrested him because they thought he was stealing tools,” she added.
They managed to get married in 2016, before Fidel was taken away by ICE and later deported. “When they declared us husband and wife we couldn’t hug each other. It was very sad. During the wedding ceremony we were separated by a glass barrier.”
Fidel was held in a migration detention center in Utah for almost a year. And try as they might, the couple were unable to stop the deportation, which eventually took place on August 1st, 2017 when Fidel was 36 years old.
Less than a week went by before Candice went to Mexico to visit her husband for just two weeks. However on the return flight she made the decision to go and live in the Aztec country, after seeing her son crying.
“I never wanted to see my son with such a sad look on his face again.” she expressed. In December of that year she left for Mexico, and although she struggled at the beginning, she believes she made the right decision.
And they were relieved to be able to raise their family in peace without having to worry about their migration status. “We no longer had that threat of deportation hanging over our heads” she declared.