My battle for a childhood dream

My name is Evgenia, I am Diversity Visa winner 2020. To move to the USA was my dream since I was young girl. When I was 5 years old my family and me watched TV where I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger first time in my life. But I was impressed by not this talented actor but by views around him: streets, roads, buildings. I didn’t remember what this movie was about. I remember the atmosphere and my feelings. I told my parents that somewhen I would live in this beautiful country. They were laughing.

This short episode from my childhood was the first step of my long way to the USA. I have graduated the University and found my first job. But I have never forgot about America. When I met my future husband I decided to take a part in the DV lottery. It is a legal program for everyone who wants to get greencard. I understood that our chance is too small. Because over 14 millions people participate in this lottery every year. Finally only 55000 get visas.

First year we didn’t win. And the second year was also unlucky. But we didn’t give up, I was pregnant and all that I wanted was to win in this lottery. We have never thought about illegal ways to move in America.

In May of 2019 I decided to check the results of DV2020. I wasn’t nervous. Why? I felt that I was so unlucky person and our family would never win. It was our 4 times when we participated. So… I couldn’t believe my eyes! I won! We won!

It was the happiest day of my life. I was crying and dancing, kissing my little son. Oh, my pretty and smart boy, I wanted he would grow up in the USA. The thought that he will live in Russia was incredible for me. There is no good medicine and good education but we have high level of corruption and criminal. I didn’t see his future here. I remembered my childhood, my life in general and I didn’t want he lived the same way. I sweared that I would do everything he will be happy and never faced to problems which I had to solve living here.

Our new life was so close. My husband began learning English, we tried to work hard and we had to save all our money. You know that salaries in Russia are too small. We understood that there was a risk to move to another country, but we were ready to do that for our son.

So our family was waiting for the documents check when the consulate became closing. We didn’t know what to do, we were afraid that our chance was lost. According to the law, DV lottery has deadline (till 30th of September). In April 2020 president Donald Trump issued Proclamation which blocked all legal immigration. We we’re shocked, we were wasting our time. We are legal immigrants with good background, we are high educated and healthy. All that we wanted was to live with our children in safety.

In July we connected with Americans lawyers which agreed to help us. It was our last hope. In September 4th the court said that we had all rights to get our immigration visas. I felt that I won in the lottery again. That time I was sure that everything was gonna be alright. My husband and me started to sell all our property. We need more money for our new life. I know that many migrants think that it will be enough money for 1 months. But we decided to accumulate as much as we can. We were waiting for 1 January. We hoped that Trump would cancel the Proclamation.

Why did we think so? It is really hard to explain but we didn’t see that it was fair. This proclamation was against immigrants. Against me. It didn’t save from COVID 19, it didn’t save from unemployment. Our issued visas have deadline- they expires in March 2021. According to lottery’s rules we have to enter during 6 months. If we don’t enter – we will lose our chance forever. So since January we have only 3 months.

It was really nervous time. It was hard for us. We tried not to give up and hoped that everything would fine, that the worst things were already happened. But we were wrong.

Unfortunately, president Donald Trump extended this Proclamation till the end of the March 2021. It meant that our visas would expire earlier then it cancelled.

I don’t want to describe my feelings at that moment. I was shocked. Again. It was the second time when we lost our chance.

I didn’t understand why?
Why did it happen to me? For what?

All what I know – we will fight for our legal right to be happy again. We are not criminals, we did everything we had to. Our documents were checked, we passed medical checkup, our visas were issued. And now we couldn’t enter to the USA because of Trump’s decision. One person destroyed our lives.

Two years passed since that I knew that we won. Two hard years were full of pain, fear and doubts. There was a moment when my husband and me were so upset that we decided to divorce. A few months we didn’t see each other. We thought a lot about our future and this situation. But then he came to me and said that we had to fight together. This DV lottery was the worst and the best thing for me at the same time. Now I will be like Schwarzenegger in that movie from my childhood- I will “terminate” this unfair and ridiculous Proclamation which destroyed thousands families dreams. We did enough for our future. And we will do even more if necessary.