HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - When travel restrictions were abruptly put into place due to the pandemic, thousands of Americans had no way to get home from countries around the globe.
That includes one Madison County man who said the government is not helping him and his new fiancé get home safely.
Shannon Harding said he has been trying to get home for almost 6 months.
Shannon moved to Colombia in March of 2019 to teach English.
He fell in love with his now fiancé. He has a visa to get home to America but said the government refuses to issue an emergency visa for his fiancé so they can go home together.
Shannon said when he first arrived in Colombia things were great and he felt relatively safe. However, since the pandemic hit the country, he said people have become violent and have threatened Shannon for being an American.
He has contacted the police but said they aren’t able to do much. His fiancé applied for a K-9 visa in June 2020 but said the government isn’t currently processing these types of visas.
Shannon has hired an attorney and requested the visa to be expedited twice but has been denied.
“I am targeted because I am an American and she is targeted because she is with the American,” Shannon said. “They know if they get her, they will try and get money out of me. I can’t just leave Angela here in Colombia and take off. I can leave tomorrow if I wanted to because the quarantine is over. If I leave her, they will kill her or kidnap her for ransom.”
Shannon says he has reached out to senators and Congressman Mo Brooks’ office for help.
According the Brooks’ Deputy Chief of Staff, there is nothing they can do because of the President’s executive order halting visas.
Brooks’ office encouraged Shannon to seek help from the U.S. Embassy, but according to Shannon, Embassy officials said they can’t do much until the couple has a visa.