An Immigrant Living in Yakima Fights to be Reunited with Her Son
YAKIMA, Wa - An Australian woman who now lives in Yakima is fighting government bureaucracy to be reunited with her eleven year-old son.
Evelyn Harris says she has spent the last three years trying to get a visa for her son Michael. She says he was approved for a visa this past spring, but the National Visa Center is still giving her the run around.
"This is Michael here," says Harris point to a picture of her son. It is a picture of the two of them when she last saw him back in November.
"You're heart bleeds, cries. Just want to be with your son, but this whole red tape stuff is ridiculous," says Harris.
She met her husband online, then moved to Yakima to marry him. They have one biological son together, plus his two children.
They have been trying to get a visa for her son Michael for the last three years, but the process has been slowed by red tape.
Evelyn tells KNDO at one point last year the National Visa Center told her that she had to pay a 70-dollar finger-printing fee for her son. Then they told her she didn't have to pay it and refunded her money. Eight months later, she was told to pay the fee again.
"You call up and they say it is a waiting period... 2-4 weeks," Says Harris, "You're case is going to be reviewed after they have made a mistake on their part."
Michael is still in Melbourne, Australia, 8,400 miles away. Evelyn says the situation is becoming more urgent because Michael had to removed from his biological father's care and placed in protective custody.
She's now trying to get help through Senator Patty Murray's office.
A representative from Congressman Doc Hastings office contacted KNDO the day after the story aired and is now willing to help the Evelyn in getting her son back.