Instead, the immigration official picked up his phone and made a quiet call. Moments later, an officer wearing the uniform of the United States Department of Homeland Security came and took my baby away.
The uniformed men at the Dallas airport held Felipe in interrogation for six hours. For six hours, forbidden to see him or ask questions, I sat there in a Homeland Security waiting room—a bland, fluorescent-lit space filled with apprehensive people from all over the world, all of us equally rigid with fear. I had no idea what they were doing to Felipe back there or what they were asking from him. I knew that he had not broken any laws, but this was not as comforting a thought as you might imagine. These were the late years of George W. Bush's presidential administration: not a relaxing moment in history to have your foreign-born sweetheart held in government custody. I kept trying to calm myself with the famous prayer of the fourteenth-century mystic Juliana of Norwich ("All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well"), but I didn't believe a word of it. Nothing was well. Not one single manner of thing whatsoever was well.