I can't believe that I'm in this situation, and it was completely avoidable. Now I'm scared and could use words of wisdom more than anything. And perhaps others can learn from my mistakes.
My wife had her interview for her I-485 scheduled for mid March of this year. She is from Colombia, and does not speak english well, but my spanish is pretty good, and she's learning. However the day before the interview I got a migraine headache that took me out of commission, and, long story short, we missed the interview. I called when I was able (after the fact) and later got a letter saying that our case was reopened, and later another letter came with the new interview date. There was no way that we were going to miss this one.
We arrived at the interview and waited, and then were called back into the office. The officer asked if we had an interpreter, and I said that we did not. I told her that I could speak to my wife, as I always did, and explain things to her. It was my impression that USCIS had interpreters there for people that needed them. At this point though, I did not yet know this was not the case. My misunderstanding was further strengthened when the agent told me "we don't have anyone here that can do that for you today", as if we had just caught them on an off day. To her credit, she let me continue after being sworn in. Eventually she stopped the interview, explaining that the questions only got more technical as the interview went on. This was disappointing. She scheduled a new date and told us to come back. She printed out a list of things to bring, including the last page of the medical forms. For some reason, and she said that she she's it often, the page that shows the immunization records was not included in her materials. An important thing to note: I noticed on my wife's application papers a large stamp that said DENIED on it. I asked about it, and she said that when you don't show up for an interview you are automatically denied, and that we were lucky it was reopened. Of course I felt extremely luck.
We went to the doctor and got what was needed, and returned a couple of weeks later. And this is where the ultimate problem began.
I was still under the impression that an interpreter would be provided. When I found out that it was our responsibility I was in shock, and heartbroken. The agent of course explained that was not the case, and briefly stepped out to consult the agent who gave the first interview. He came back and said that we would try it again, with me as the interpreter, and swore me in. We continued through the interview, getting to the questions where of course they are just a series of "no" responses (Have you ever done bad things, etc). I can't remember the question that tripped me up, but whatever it was, I just did not know the proper words for it, and being an honest rule following person, had to say that I just didn't know how to say it. At that point, he stopped the interview and said that they would let us know within a couple of weeks what their decision was. To say he was not warm, understanding or encouraging is a bit of an understatement. Of course I understand the mistake was ours, but all it was was a mistake, albeit a big one. If I had understood that we needed to bring a translator of course I would have brought one. We have done everything else successfully to this point, I certainly wouldn't have stopped at that.
So now we wait, and I am scared. I have read that an appeal is tough to win. I have read that nobody gets denied twice and is allowed an appeal. I will tell you that my wife and I have ample proof of our relationship. We got married in my mother's backyard in September (with photos). We had a miscarriage in October (with hospital bills). We are 21 weeks pregnant now (with photos.) And any grey area in between we have color photos documenting our relationship. So absolutely none of that is an issue, and has never been questioned.
I looked back at the first letter for the interview (the missed interview) as well as the second. Both say to bring an interpreter if you do not speak english. I understood that, but felt I was qualified to do it. But when the pressure was on, I just wasn't. But I looked at the letter that we left the original interview with (which was the second interview date due to missing the first) and NOWHERE on it does it say to bring an interpreter. It listed a lot of other things, specific to our case, to bring. We brought all of those things. I am not trying to prove that I'm right, only point out why I was under the impression that an interpreter would be provided.
Needless to say, I love my wife very much, and she loves me. We will have a boy in November and I can't imagine not being with her.
To further complicate things, she was planning on returning to Colombia for a few weeks in late June. She has was approved for advance parole, but I have no idea IF she is denied if that means that traveling is a bad idea.
I think that is most, if not all, of the pertinent information. If any experts out there have any advice, please pass it along.
I am very grateful to this community already. Thank you.