Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monica and Cristina: Binational Lesbian Couple in Queens Fights DOMA and Deportation

See update here (March 21, 2011).

Monica Alcota and Cristina Ojeda Exchanging Vows
My name is Cristina Ojeda and I am an American citizen. I work as a social worker and live with my wife, Monica Alcota, in Queens, New York. Monica is a citizen of Argentina, although she left that country many years ago because of anti-gay persecution, hoping to find a safe life and a new start in America.
I have known Monica Alcota for over two years and have been in a romantic relationship with her since July 3, 2008.  In May 2008 when we first met online, Monica lived in New York City and I lived in Buffalo where I was going to graduate school.  After a few online conversations we decided to talk over the phone because we both found something interesting about each other. After several lengthy phone conversations the attraction became even stronger and meeting in person was something we both longed for. Monica decided to surprise me and traveled to see me in Buffalo, NY on July 3, 2008 and it was then that we decided to make the relationship official and committed to each other romantically.
Monica Alcota and Cristina Ojeda at the Marriage Equality Wedding March
September 26, 2010

Monica returned to her obligations back to New York City and I stayed in Buffalo, but we decided to spend my last month before school started again together. I traveled to New York City and stayed with Monica. Once school started I returned to Buffalo but came to visit Monica at least once a month during the first semester. I spent my winter break with Monica instead of going to visit my parents and we had our first Christmas and New Year’s together as a couple. During my last semester I arranged my schedule to have Thursdays and Fridays off and I traveled every Wednesday night to New York City to spend long weekends with her. Monica and I grew more and more committed to each other.We agreed to move in together after I finished graduate school in 2009. Once that happened I looked for and found employment in New York. We have been living together for over a year now and our relationship has grown stronger. We are as close and committed as two people in love can be. After experiencing a series of devastating events I realized that I need Monica by my side and that I did not want to be separated from her. I am in love with her and decided that there was no better way to show my love for her and celebrate our union than by marrying each other. I am happy about the decision I have made because Monica has given me many of the things I was missing in my life, she has taught me many amazing things and I look forward to having a family with her and spending many years together.
I have filed a "Petition for Alien Relative" for my wife Monica because I love her. I believe that my government should grant this petition so that Monica can become a permanent resident and so that we can live together like any other couple that is deeply in love and committed to each other.
Monica is currently in deportation proceedings. She was taken into custody when the Border Patrol boarded a bus she was on in upstate New York. It was on our way back from our last trip to Buffalo as we had gone to get my belongings to finally move in together. That random day changed our lives. She was placed in a detention facility for three long and horrible months, which was the worst time we had both experienced in our lives. Monica left Argentina because of homophobia and intolerance that forced her to flee in fear of her personal safety. More than 10 years later, she is again in a fight for her life and her love. As an American I believe my government should recognize our marriage and give Monica a green card. Too many couples have suffered like us for too long. The deportations and separations have to end.


  1. What I find amusing in this fucked up debacle is the refusal of the left to recognize that the degree to which government has infiltrated every aspect of people's lives as being the central problem.

  2. I'm a Canadian who used to work and live in the USA. That's where I met my partner over a decade ago. We've been separated in a long-distance relationship for over five years, each of us flying back and forth to the other. Every time, we are scared that a US border agent will figure out that we are in a relationship and deny me entry to the USA for having immigrant intent. We would have gotten married years ago but apparently that would bar me from visiting the USA for the same reason. He's at his wit's end and we are close to having him move up to Canada but neither of us wants that because he has many relatives who don't want to lose him. When will this vicious hateful law end?

  3. Bill, you are exactly right! If the government removed itself from selecting which couples deserve partner immigration rights and which do not, we would not have had a problem in the first place.