Though you may have felt a great sense of pride for your native country, you may have always known that its borders did not act as a safe harbor. You and your family may have had the ability to remain off the radar of any real danger for a time, but some incident led to you and your loved ones becoming a target.
Coming to the United States to begin a new job can be exciting and frightening. In addition to starting new employment, you will be entering a new culture with many unfamiliar practices and customs. Nevertheless, you may be looking forward to the challenges, and perhaps obtaining your visa to work in the U.S. is something you have wanted to do for a long time.
When you get together with your friends or go out on a date with your spouse, you might be among many others in Mississippi who like to have a beer, glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage with their meals. As long as you are age 21 or older, that's perfectly legal. As a conscientious citizen, you know you're responsible for the choices you make regarding alcohol consumption and operating motor vehicles. The last way you want your evening to end is behind county jail bars.
If you have had too much to drink and you decide to drive home anyway, you'd better hope you're not in Mississippi. Law enforcement in this state may be trying to improve its reputation for leniency on drunk drivers, and you just may be the example they are looking for.
Living in the United States on a temporary visa has likely provided you with many positive opportunities. You may have come here to work or study with the understanding that your stay in the U.S. would eventually come to an end. However, when the deadline approached for your visa to expire, for whatever reason, you did not return to your native country. Now your status in the U.S. is "unlawfully present."
The night Mississippi police put handcuffs on your wrists and drove you to the county jail in the back of a squad car may still seem like a bad dream. However, the fact that you had to call your spouse and come up with money to post bail quickly brought home the reality of your situation. The officer who arrested you may have mentioned that your tires drifted over the yellow line before he or she stopped you.
When you came to Mississippi in search of a better life for yourself and your family, you were willing to work hard and do what's necessary to make it happen. In fact, your first few years were fairly enjoyable as you set down roots and grew accustomed to life in the United States. Yes, you were nervous and suffered anxiety from time to time regarding your residency status, but you also knew you were not alone, as thousands of other immigrants share similar circumstances.