MADISON, Wis. – A Michael’s Frozen Custard shop in Madison is closing this fall, and the other two locations are also in jeopardy of closing, after the owner’s spouse was denied a U.S. visa.
The shop on Monroe Street will close in September, according to Jessica Slind, an immigration attorney representing Michael Dix and his husband, Sergio De La Hernandez.
The pair were married on New Year’s Eve in 2015.
After their marriage, Dix sponsored Hernandez for a U.S. visa so that Hernandez could acquire legal status. In August 2018, Hernandez was denied a visa that would allow him to gain legal status in the United States and continue to live with Dix at their home outside of Madison. Hernandez is an undocumented Madison resident who has lived in Wisconsin the past 30 years, Slind said.
“He has spent that time working hard and contributing to this community, he has a spouse and a daughter here, and he has no criminal record,” Slind said.
The two are currently in Mexico, where Hernandez is from.
Hernandez helps run Michael’s Frozen Custard, which Dix opened in 1986.
More than three decades later, it has expanded to two more locations and has become a staple in the city.
Dix said the company has sustained significant financial losses in Hernandez’s absence, which is why he is closing the original Michael’s location.
“It is with a heavy heart that I will be closing the Monroe Street location—the first Michael’s location—on Sept. 9 to prevent additional losses to our business,” Dix said.
“My separation from Sergio has been extremely painful for both of us and has been disastrous for my business.”