Anyone who enters or lives in the United States illegally - no matter the reason - easily may run afoul of Immigration
and Customs Enforcement.
Durango resident Niels Schroeder is battling the inflexibility of ICE regulations while trying to get his wife back to
the United States. The reason for her deportation: A change of address form was not filed.
Schroeder, who is a marketing associate at Sysco Food Services, hasn't shared the same roof in La Plata County with his
Brazilian wife, Elisangela, since May 2005 when she made what the couple thought was going to be a short trip to the
old country to visit her family.
Schroeder was stopped at the airport in Brazil on her return, her husband said. According to immigration records, she
had been in the United States illegally from April 2004 until the following May when she flew to Brazil.
The period as an undocumented alien" occurred because the couple moved from Farmington to Albuquerque without filing a
change of address, Schroeder said.
As a result, Elisangela Schroe-der missed the interview that would have granted her permanent residency, her husband
said. An extreme hardship" appeal failed, he said.
Now, Niels Schroeder, 35, flies a couple of times a year to visit his wife, 33, in Vinhedo, near São Paulo, where she
works in a retail store. In between trips he works with immigration attorneys and on his own to find a way around the
10-year waiting period she faces to reapply for entry to the United States.