A family apart

Couple struggles with immigration system

For Rodney and Renata Beason, the path to U.S. citizenship for their family has been marked with frustration.

The Moffat County couple has spent the past five years trying to get the go-ahead from federal immigration officials for Renata's mother and brother to emigrate to the U.S. from Renata's native Poland.

The process has involved mountains of paperwork and numerous phone calls to immigration offices in Nebraska and California.

Along the way, the Beasons have yet to talk to a live person at the immigration offices -- all of their calls have been answered by machines.

"I wish there was someone you could talk to," said Renata, who immigrated to America in 1991.

Halfway there

The Beasons took a major step in their quest to bring Renata's family to Colorado last week when Renata's mother, Krystyna Brzezinska, moved in with them.

The family started the lengthy process to bring the Beason family to the U.S. in 2001.

Although Renata's mother is already here, the Beasons continue to struggle to bring Renata's brother, Wiesiek Brzezinski to America.

They filed the first official papers to bring Brzezinski to America in 2004.

Rodney said the family has agreed to sponsor Renata's brother and give him a place to live.

Still, they haven't received a yes or no answer from federal immigration officials.

"I was hoping we would know by now either way," Rodney said.

Immigration officials did not return calls for comment.

'Backbone of America'

Following the current immigration debate in the U.S. has been difficult for the Beasons.

"Immigration is the back bone of America," Rodney Beason said. "But you have to do it the right way."

That means coming to the country legally, Beason said.

He gets angry when politicians talk about granting amnesty to immigrants who came to the country illegally and at the same time, his family can't fight its way through the system.

Beason's wife and now her mother and brother worked to learn English and studied American history and civics before being allowed to emigrate here.

"It drives me crazy that here is a group of people trying to do it the right way, and more and more people do it the wrong way," he said.

It is even more frustrating for Rodney that the fact that Poland has been an ally of the U.S. in the war on terrorism doesn't help Polish immigrants who want to come here.

Well worth it

Leaving his hometown of Gdansk, Poland and coming to America will be a difficult decision for Brzezinski, the Beasons said.

The 30-year-old alarm system technician will have to leave behind his wife and 4-year-old daughter, Paulinka for at least the first year he is here.

Despite having to leave his family behind, the Beasons said coming to America would be well worth it.

Unemployment and crime in Poland have made it a difficult place to live, Rodney Beason said.

Brzezinski has a job in Poland, but Beason said the job market there is very competitive.

If people get jobs, whether they're jobs waiting tables or anything else, they keep them for a long time because there are 10 people in line waiting for employment.

Plus, Renata said, she has had success in America that she never would have had she remained in Poland, and her brother would like to do the same thing.

The last time Renata saw her brother was in 2001 when she visited him in Poland.

"Now," Renata said, "I would like him to come and see me."

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