Over 1 Year Later, Local Family Still Waiting on Citizenship for Their Father, Husband

LITTLE ROCK, AR - An Arkansas family is waiting for the immigration process in Mexico, as a father and husband is trying to become a U.S. Citizen.

In 2013, Oscar Alcazar went back to Mexico to start the process of becoming a citizen of the United States, a year and a half later his family is still waiting for him to come home.

His wife, Dulce, said, "I've lost it at times, but yes, I do still have hope, and my hope is that this year he'll spend his little girl's birthday with her."

We talked to immigration lawyer Guillermo Hernandez about the struggles of people like the Alcazars.

"It's very subjective, there's no standardized response."

In situations like Alcazar's, who was undocumented living in Arkansas, Hernandez said it's a tough process.

"Voluntary deportation means that you are going to get out of the country on your own, but it's a legal process, and it has to be granted by a judge, it's not automatic."

After leaving the country, any immigrant wanting to come back must meet with an official.

"The officer over there is going to figure out that you have been in the United States illegally before, so you have a bar. It's called, at least a ten year bar. Okay, for ten years you cannot get a visa."

A decade of waiting, Hernandez said, can be shortened because of marriage.

"Because you are married to a U.S. citizen, you are eligible to file for a waiver."

"The waiver, you have to prove that there is going to be an extreme hardship to your U.S. citizen spouse before you are granted the waiver."

"In the opinion of the immigration services, there's not enough hardship, it's not an extreme hardship, they will just deny the case, that's it."

The Alcazar family told us they have reached out to Congressman Tim Griffin for help.

Congressman Griffin said he could not talk specifically about any case, but said, "We can provide information, and we have a lot resources to help people, particularly if you are a U.S. citizen and you have a spouse that you are trying to get in to the United States through the legal process."

We will continue to follow this story.

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