She is there when he wakes up, telling him she loves him and helping him coax their son, Ashton, to finish his Honey Nut Cheerios before the school bus whisks him to kindergarten.
She is there when he is at work delivering UPS packages, and she’s there to greet their 6-year-old when he gets home from school, bounces up and down the stairs, and pulls the arms and legs of his Stretch Force Fireman.
Yet Jason Rochester’s wife, Cecilia, is not really there.
Her dark-brown eyes gaze out of a slick iPad screen and her voice floats through a tiny hole in the side of the machine.
I can’t sleep. I keep waking up every hour.
What are you wearing today, Ashton? Shorts or pants?
Papi, I want to see you. Can you stay in front of the camera?… Come on.
Forced apart by President Trump’s stringent immigration policies, Jason Rochester and Cecilia Gonzalez have spent the last 16 months raising their 6-year-old son from opposite sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Like so many separated families, the couple have experienced the years of Trump’s presidency as a grim journey of restless nights and tearful goodbyes. But unlike many in their predicament, Jason voted for Trump.
He knew Trump planned to get tough on immigration — building a wall and deporting drug dealers, rapists and killers. He never imagined anyone would consider his sweet stay-at-home wife a “bad hombre.”
A white delivery driver born and raised in the tiny Alabama town of Smiths Station, Jason, 43, is a laid-back evangelical Christian, and the kind of man who takes the time to ask a customer how her baby carriage turned out and coo over its color.
About 15 years ago, a few years after he moved to the northern suburbs of Atlanta, he met Cecilia at work as he began a shift unloading packages.
She was petite — at 5-foot-4, just an inch shorter than him, with big brown eyes. He was instantly smitten.
By Jenny Jarvie for LOS ANGELES TIME
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