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Everything posted by LiemLaw

  1. If there were a new amnesty law to help illegals, I'm sure you'd be hearing all about it nonstop on TV and the radio, so no, there's nothing new now. In the meantime, if you're illegal you have to follow the current law and procedures, which are not easy because there are requirements that you have to meet in order to be eligible for immigration benefits. You're better off consulting with an immigration lawyer than just posting things on a public forum. LiemLaw
  2. "The offense mentioned above (almost 3 years ago now) was expunged and was not reported on our 1-485 (because we understood expungement meant it was not required for us to do so)." That's wrong advice or info you received. An expungement is still a conviction for immigration purposes. It used to not be but since about 1999 or 2000 it has been the law that an expunged conviction still counts as a conviction. You don't have to report an expunged conviction for purpose of state law such as applying for a job, etc., but immigration is not that way. The immigration officer at the interview will still take into account the conviction for the purpose of determining whether it's serious or not. If it is, your application could well be denied and removal (deportation) proceedings initiated against you. The definition of aggravated felony (AF) includes a theft offense for which the term of imprisonment is AT LEAST 1 year. The terms "term of imprisonment" is defined as to include any sentence that was suspended in imposition or execution (not actually served). So, if you received one year of jail time that was suspended by the court, it will still count as a one year term of imprisonment for immigration. Which means it would be an aggravated felony. Maybe what you received instead was just straight probation with no mentioning of any jail time, in which case it would seem to not fall within the AF definition. You should consult an immigration attorney knowledgeable in this type of criminal matter before attending your interview. Larry Liem Doan www.GuruImmigration.com http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com (blog)
  3. LiemLaw

    H1b Visa

    When your husband did his change-of-status application to change over from E-2 to H-1B (if you guys haven't left the US) or applied for the H-1B at the consulate in the UK, he or his attorney should have included you as the spouse in the application. Spouses and minor children of H-1Bs get H-4 visa status. However, H-4s cannot accept employment, unless they themselves are beneficiaries in their own right of a visa classification (such as H1- that authorizes employment. As for whether you can continue working with the work permit, that's an interesting question but I believe that you can work until it expires, which isn't long anyway (a year), so, unfortunately, you really won't be able to keep working for too long. Larry Liem Doan www.GuruImmigration.com http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com (blog)
  4. It's not about entrapment. An expunged conviction, while valid for state law purposes, still counts as a conviction for immigration purposes (with a very limited exception for an expunged 1st time drug possession conviction in the 9th Circuit). So, yes, you can show the expungement order at the interview to the immigration officer, but the conviction will still be taken into account. Depending on what crime and how serious it was, the conviction could result in denial of your case and initiation of removal (deportation) proceedings. You should consult an immigration attorney prior to your interview. Larry Liem Doan www.GuruImmigration.com http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com (blog)
  5. Your boyfriend must go back to his home country to receive the immigrant visa if he's married to a U.S. citizen or petitioned by his mom because he has been here illegally for 10 years. Some people think there's an excuse if a person was brought here illegally as a child by his or her parent but that does not work. If he marries you, then he'll be ready to go to the U.S. consulate (in Juarez if he's Mexican) in about a year or so for an interview. If he gets petitioned by his mother, it's an extremely long wait (currently at least 17 years for Mexicans because of lack of visa numbers). There are no other ways. However, once he sets foot outside the U.S., it triggers the 10-year bar to being approved any visa to return because he's been living in the U.S. illegally for over a year. Yes, it's a catch-22. The only way to get around the bar is to get a waiver by showing extreme hardship to a US citizen spouse and/or child. The interview process can be difficult in Juarez -- I've been hearing stories lately from other attorneys and my own cases. The waiver is also not easy to get either right now. If the waiver is not granted, the person is stuck for a year or more in the home country unable to get back to the U.S. It's a pretty risky process right now. Maybe the law will change with amnesty. You can check out more on this topic at my blog, http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/im-illegal-i-can-still-get-a-green-card-by-marrying-my-us-citizen-boyfriend-or-girlfriend/ Larry Liem Doan www.GuruImmigration.com http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com (blog)
  6. Natasha, I'm flattered that you started a new thread with my name in the title. However, I'm not sure what you're referring to on my homepage regarding the "through no fault of your own" clause, since I don't have detailed discussion of legal points on there. It will save you and your husband so much time and aggravation just to pick up the phone and call an attorney rather than spinning your wheel doing research on your own. It's just too complicated, and even immigration officers deciding your case can get the law wrong (and be stubborn about it), so you can imagine immigrants needing representation from competent and knowledgeable counsel. I hope you don't take this the wrong way but I can see you are thinking way too much about the "next step" or "what I should do now." It seems your husband qualifies for adjustment of status. Now it's just a matter of executing it through the help of a good attorney. Larry Liem Doan www.GuruImmigration.com http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com (blog)
  7. No, you simply cannot. Exception would be if you were representing your child or appearing on behalf of a business entity as it representative (like in a small claims matter). But not another person. Unless your state has some special exception which I cannot even imagine it having one. LiemLaw
  8. Natasha, I agree with Fallen that you've gone about as far as you can with this thread (20 posts and counting!) You really should consult with new counsel who is a competent immigration attorney. From the new details you just posted, I'm pretty sure your husband entered the U.S. with inspection. You can do whatever you want but I don't recommend trying to file any new application with USCIS such as adjustment on your own, or the case will be delayed for more years. There are simply too many legal issues and roadblocks USCIS will come back to ask you to prove that most laypersons simply cannot handle them. Sure, I offer myself, as a possibility to take on your case, and I can and do represent clients all over the U.S. since immigration is federal law. I'm in the LA area, and I understand that sometimes clients feel comfortable meeting a local attorney in person. That's up to you guys. You know how to contact me through my site and blog. Larry Liem Doan www.GuruImmigration.com http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com (blog)
  9. LiemLaw

    My Son

    That sounds terrible! It seems to me your son got a raw deal. I'm not a criminal defense attorney but I know that ineffective assistance of counsel (IAC) can be asserted by a criminal defendant against his former attorney on appeal. I have had to assert IAC frequently in immigration deportation proceedings because a lot of immigrants were poorly represented there, too. If the IAC prejudiced your son enough to have affected the outcome of his case, he might receive a lesser sentence, or who knows, even a new trial. He needs a good appellate lawyer who can argue this to the appeals court, and tailored specifically to the law on your state, of course. It's definitely something to try. Larry Liem Doan www.GuruImmigration.com http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com (blog)
  10. You could write to USCIS and alert them of this. Whether they will take a third-party's allegations seriously or not is another matter. The local USCIS office near the couple (where they did or doing their case) is found here: https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?action=offices.type&OfficeLocator.office_type=LO Larry Liem Doan www.GuruImmigration.com http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com (blog)
  11. LiemLaw


    Most of the time that will not do anything. Immigration doesn't have the resources and will not follow up on just any old undocumented alien. Unless he is a criminal about to be released from state incarceration, or someone who's already been deported. Also, deportation is not automatic since the alien has the right to be represented in deportation proceedings that can stretch for years if he hires a good attorney. Your aunt should not be afraid of calling the police. There are ways such as restraining order, etc. to keep him away. She should consult a local attorney knowledgeable in domestic violence issues. Larry Liem Doan www.GuruImmigration.com http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com (blog)
  12. I'm pretty sure your friend was admitted when he came to the U.S. as a refugee and thus received his permanent residence in the U.S., or a green card. Whether he is a stateless person or not, which he might be, his more immediate concern is not to be deported and lose his green card status. If he hasn't already, he will be receiving a notice to appear to go to Immigration Court for deportation (removal) hearings. There are legal strategies in court to prevent him from being deported but he would need the expert representation of an immigration attorney who is experienced in litigating this kind of case. Otherwise, he'll be deported by the judge back to either Laos or Thailand. By the way, if either of those countries or no other country is willing to accept him on being deported, the US will have to place him into detention, and then review his case every six months to see if he's suitably for release since they can't detain him indefinitely anymore. If he is in Southern California, he is welcome to consult with me in my office in Los Angeles. Please see my site and blog (links below) for more info. Regards, Larry Liem Doan www.GuruImmigration.com http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com
  13. I know this question is a couple weeks old but I’ve only started on this board less than a week ago, and this is an interesting situation that may help other readers. First of all, it's unclear from your question whether you’re still married to him or not. You cannot file a petition for him if you two are divorced, since only a spouse can petition for the other spouse. But, assuming you're still married, Jorgy above is correct that one way for your husband to get his legal papers (permanent residence, or green card) is to go back to Mexico to get approved, specifically at the Juarez U.S. consulate, if you file an I-130 petition for him. He has to risk it and go to Mexico to do that because he is an EWI (entry without inspection, or illegal entry). But, going to Juarez is very risky if a person has been living illegally for over a year in the U.S., like your husband. That person is barred for ten years from being admitted back to the U.S. even if the I-130 petition is approved, unless there’s also a hardship waiver approved, which requires showing extreme hardship to his US citizen spouse and kids. The waiver is difficult to get, and if it’s denied, the person will be stuck for at least a year or more in Mexico (the consulate does give a chance to supplement the hardship evidence after the initial denial). That's why many aliens choose not to go to their home country to do the consulate processing. But some do with the assistance of a good immigration attorney. You stated “He is now facing a removal order.” So, he is in removal proceedings in front ofan immigration judge here in the U.S. He has not been removed yet because he wants you to come to court to help him still. If he had come here legally 10 years ago, and you were still married to him, the judge could grant him his green card in court after your I-130 is approved. However, since he is EWI, that will not be possible. BUT, there is an alternate form of relief called “cancellation of removal” for an alien who’s been living in the U.S. for at least 10 years, a person of good moral character, and can demonstrate exceptional and unusual hardship to his US citizen or resident spouse, parent, or child. This is a difficult form of relief to win if the qualifying relatives (the two kids, plus possibly you if you’re still married to him) do not have special medical or educational needs. Normal separation or financial hardship is not going to be enough. You could go to court to testify for him as his spouse, or if not still married, testify as to issues of child support, impact on his kids if he’s removed to Mexico, etc. But, without special needs, he’s most likely going to lose. Cancellation of removal is useful because it allows the alien to buy time on appeal, when there’s no other way. By the way, you mentioned he came here ten years ago. When he was placed into removal proceedings, there was a document given or mailed to him ordering him to go to court called the Notice to Appear (NTA). If on the date of the NTA, he had not completed 10 years of living in the U.S., he will not qualify for cancellation of removal. In that case, there's really no meaningful relief for your husband in court except for voluntary departure. Who knows, with comprehensive immigration reform possibly coming under President Obama, people like your husband could still become legal at that time, as long as he has a case on appeal (assuming he does have the required ten-year of residence in the U.S. to apply for cancellation of removal with the judge). Larry Liem Doan www.GuruImmigration.com http://GuruImmigration.wordpress.com (My immigration blog) Note: The above response is provided for legal information only and should not be construed as legal advice, nor to create an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established through payment of consideration. We do not offer free advice except for the information provided herein on FindLaw which has been screened. If follow-up advice on your specific situation is desired, we offer a paid consultation in person if you are in the Los Angeles area, or by phone or email. Please visit our website ...[Message truncated]
  14. Any adult US citizen or legal permanent resident (green-card holder) can be a joint sponsor. They combine their income with your income and the combined incomes need to be 125% over the poverty line for the current year for your family size. The joint sponsor will have to sign a separate I-864 Affidavit of Support form, just like you did, agreeing to be jointly liable to the government with you if your wife should ever go on welfare or public assistance. That's pretty much all the requirements. Larry Liem Doan www.GuruImmigration.com http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com
  15. If your brother had lived legally his entire life in the U.S., as you stated, then I'm not sure why he was deported. Either his attorney (if he had one) was not very good defending him in deportation proceedings or he was actually living here illegally. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to obtain a visa to come back to the U.S. for at least 10 years, whether a tourist visa or a permanent visa due to the deportation order. A possibility exists if his wife (if she’s a US citizen) or a child over 21 can petition for him again. Then, he still would need to get a waiver of the deportation (also known as a pardon) approved. That is not going to be easy to get, especially since he’s just been deported. But, there’s always a possibility that with enough family ties back at home and with exceptional circumstances, and the crime he was convicted was not too serious, the waiver might be approved. Even if he applies for only a temporary tourist visa, he still would need to get the waiver approved under the same standard. Overall, it's a longshot but only he can decide if it's worth it to apply, with the help of an attorney. You’re welcome to visit my blog and site for more info. Larry Liem Doan www.GuruImmigration.com http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com
  16. Fallen, Yes, I did think the lack of clarity on whether Natasha's husband entered with a student visa or not was a little strange but didn't want to delve into all aspects of the situation on the thread. The way to show that someone entered with inspection is usually straightforward: his or her passport will contain the visa issued by the U.S. consulate and also the entry stamps in the passport, even in the 80s. So, all they need to do is find their old passports. If not, then USCIS and ICE should have old archival records showing that they were inspected upon entry. The State Department would also have records that visas were issued for them. The burden of proof to show eligibility for adjustment of status is on the alien, of course, but in this case, it may not matter that much whether he really entered as a student or not. The "approvable when filed" standard for the I-130 is not strict, since the purpose of an I-130 is only to establish that a relative relationship, in this case father and son, exists. You’d be hard pressed to fake that (although that has happened)! If the father was a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident at the time the I-130 was filed, it most likely was approvable when filed. So, yes, USCIS will deem that Natasha’s husband entered illegally if his proof of student visa entry is iffy, but ultimately, he can still adjust status under 245(i) because of the I-130’s valid filing. Sure, he has to pay an additional $1,000 penalty, but that definitely would be a lot better than having to travel to Juarez and be dependent on the whim of the Juarez consulate officers on that extreme hardship waiver. Liemlaw www.GuruImmigration.com http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com
  17. Because you mentioned "Judge", it seems that you were in deportation or removal proceedings that have been reopened. In that case, you should ask counsel (if you have one) to ask the judge to advance the calendar to allow you to seek "voluntary departure" as soon as possible. Most of the time, voluntary departure will allow you to return to the U.S. in the future, it's a way to depart the U.S. without penalties. However, if you just leave suddenly on your own, that will be considered self-deporting, which is pretty much the same as having a deportation/removal order against you. That would subject you to a 10-year bar from returning here, assuming you were out-of-status for a year or more in the U.S. prior to being placed into court proceedings. Larry Liem Doan, Esq. www.GuruImmgration.com http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com
  18. Natasha, This may actually be more simple than it looks. The key is in this statement you finally made in your 4th post or something: "I also have one further question, on the petition for alien relative that was filed back in the 80's, there is a section that asks either manner of entry, or port of entry, regarding my husband. The authorities put down in that section "student with inspection" What does that mean?" If that entry in the I-130 was accurate, then your husband did not even come here illegally but came to the U.S. with a student visa and was inspected. In that case, he will be able to do “regular adjustment of status” (adjust to green card) if you also file a new I-130 Petition for him as his citizen spouse. In that case, he does not even need to travel to Juarez as advised, which is risky, since the waiver is not easy to get, and he might be stuck there for a year and half or more. However, if the I-130 was not correct and your husband did enter the U.S. illegally, then if that I-130 was "approvable when filed," meaning that it wasn't filed out of fraud or something from the start, then it will allow your husband to adjust his status in this country, even if the I-130 ultimately was denied due to failure to show up at some interview. He will be able to adjust his status under section 245(i) of the Immigration & Nationality Act. 245(i) is simply the section law that allows an alien who cannot do “regular adjustment” (usually those who came illegally, without inspection) to adjust here rather than having to go to his/her home country consulate to get the immigrant visa (Juarez in this case). By the way, 245(i) exists independently of the LIFE Act. Under current law, all aliens who came here illegally without inspection do not qualify for adjustment of status in the U.S. no matter how long they’ve been living here, UNLESS they have an immigrant petition filed for them prior to or on April 30, 2001. Based on the facts you’ve given here, it appears your husband does not have to go to Juarez if USCIS can pull his records and see the I-130 that was filed for him. Or, you can do the Freedom of Information Act request. Your attorney should have seen the I-130 and advised you differently, but then, I do not know if she knew about the I-130. You’re welcome to visit my site and blog for more info. Regards, Larry Liem Doan www.GuruImmgration.com http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com
  19. LiemLaw


    Really not much, because she is illegal and only 15. She's too young to get married, although I could imagine her becoming an emancipated minor and marrying a citizen husband. You can visit my blog at http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/im-illegal-i-can-still-get-a-green-card-by-marrying-my-us-citizen-boyfriend-or-girlfriend/ for more info. Larry Liem Doan, Esq. www.GuruImmigration.com
  20. Before your girlfriend can become a naturalized citizen, she would have to obtain her permanent residence, or green card, first, and hold the green card for at least 5 years (usually). Unfortunately, because she came here illegally and has been undocumented for so long, even if she were to marry you, she cannot obtain the green card here, but would have to go to the US consulate in Juarez to be interviewed. This is a very difficult and risky process, and she would need a competent immigration attorney to represent her. It is an unfortunate fact of present US immigration laws that children who came here illegally are penalized in this way for their parents bringing them here. Hopefully, that will change in the near future with amnesty or other changes. I've blogged about this recently and invite you to visit my blog for more info: http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/im-illegal-i-can-still-get-a-green-card-by-marrying-my-us-citizen-boyfriend-or-girlfriend/ Best, Larry Liem Doan www.GuruImmigration.com
  21. First of all, Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) cannot "remove" an immigration hold for an undocumented alien such as your boyfriend (I'm assuming he's undocumented). He has to go through the criminal case and see what happens, whether he will be convicted and spend time in jail or get probation. He needs first of all a criminal defense attorney or public defender to represent him. Criminal matters are how undocumented aliens come to the attention of ICE for possible deportation. Depending on whether he has other convictions before, ICE will pick him up as part of the hold and transfer him to immigration detention where he will be placed into deportation proceedings. Domestic violence is a deportable crime. Secondly, there's nothing you can do to help him since you're not married to him. I have no idea what state you're in (Lake Co.?). If you want to read up on the penalties for DUI and domestic battery, you should consult the criminal code of your state. I invite you to visit my blog for more immigration answers, http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com/ Best, Larry Liem Doan www.GuruImmigration.com
  22. Unfortunately, it will take years under the current US immigration system. Your mom can file a relative petition for your brother now and get it approved soon, but it will be 10 years or more before a visa number is available for him and his other kid under 21 at that time (the petition is a must but it basically only reserves a place in line for visa numbers). The 3-year old is a US citizen but cannot petition for his father until he's 21. I invite you to visit my blog for more immigration questions and answers, http://guruimmigration.wordpress.com/ Best, Larry Liem Doan, Esq. www.GuruImmigration.com
  23. Thanks for the new info. However, I had asked as part of question 3: "And why were you not included as your mother's child on that old petition?" This is not really asking if your dad also petitioned for you with a separate I-130 in 1994. We know he did not. This is asking if on that I-130 he did for your mom in 1994, where it asks "List all children of your relative," did he list you and your siblings as your mother's children? You may have to go back and ask him or check if he or your mom has a copy of that I-130 still. Because if he did list you on there, there is an argument that can be made that your priority date was actually 1994. Let me know. Larry L. Doan http://GuruImmigration.wordpress.com (blog) Note: The above response is provided for legal information only and should not be construed as legal advice, nor to create an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established through payment of consideration. We do not offer free advice except for the information provided herein on FindLaw Answers which has been screened. If follow-up advice on your specific situation is desired, please visit my website www.GuruImmigration.com for more details.
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