LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A San Fernando Valley mom is stranded 8,000 miles from her husband and three sons, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be reunited anytime soon.
Neng Hostetler, 35, went back to her native Thailand to clear up her visa, so she could get a U.S. green card.
Hostetler was smuggled into the United States illegally 17 years ago. She and her husband, Seth, have three sons; twins Landon and Logan, 4, and Jacob, 5.
“She’s told me a few times she feels like she wants to die,” Seth Hostetler said. He and his sons have been keeping in touch with Nang through FaceTime.
Neng Hostetler admits she broke the law when she entered the country in 1999. A smuggler brought her into the country, and her sister paid the bill.
“She came in, not a right way, she knows that, she was a young girl, 19, scared,” said Seth Hostetler. “We’ve gotten everything right, we’ve gotten all the forms. We got a waiver for her unlawful presence in the United States.”
The family also hired an attorney to help with the process.
In January, Nang Hostetler went back to Thailand to clear up her illegal entry into the United States and apply for a visa. She thought it was just a paperwork matter, but the U.S. State Department denied Hostetler’s visa and accused her of being a smuggler.
The family attorney filed an appeal, providing the government with two signed depositions. One was from Hostetler’s sister. Another was from a woman who came to the U.S. with Hostetler. Both said Hostetler was not a smuggler.
The motion to reconsider was denied by the State Department. The Hostetler family says the State Department hasn’t told them what evidence it has, and the department wouldn’t comment on the case to CBS2 News because visa applications are confidential.
“There are four U.S. citizens here, my three sons and me, who are basically being told ‘if you want to live with your mom, you’re not going to live in the U.S.A. any more. You have to go,” said Seth Hostetler.