Legal Question in Immigration Law in Washington

Im a U.S Citizen and I'm married to an Illegal Immigrant from Mexico. We have been together for 10 yrs and married for 7.We have 3 children and the oldest was even born before we were married, that proves we have been together before marriage right? ive already sumbitted a peticion for him and its been approved, hes been caught crossing the border twice. I need to know if he goes to Juarez what is the punishment going to be and does he qualify for a waiver. also is there a way of going thru the process here in the U.S ?

Asked on 3/29/12, 7:42 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Amir John Showrai The Pacific Law Firm, PLLC

He will not automatically get a waiver if he returns to Juarez. You will be required to show an extreme hardship to yourself and other US citizen or legal permanent resident relatives. The hardship has to go beyond missing him, or an inability to be apart. It's not easy to get such a waiver, and it needs to be well documented. Thus, while difficult to obtain, it is not impossible.

In a sign of just how broken our immigration system is, whereas your husband is willing to leave and will be subject to the 10 year bar, if he were detained by ICE and placed into removal proceedings, he may be able to obtain "voluntary departure" which allows him to return, and seek entry without the need for a waiver.

Voluntary departure requires a small bond be put up and that he leave the country within 60-120 days. If he leaves on time, he gets the bond back. In the interim, he will be treated as if he was never here without permission, and thus will not require a waiver. The government offers this relief to avoid the cost of hearing after hearing to process any claims he may have, and the immigrant in a position such as your husband takes them up on it because he knows he has as close to a guaranteed return as possible if he gets this.

The kicker is, often times, if your husband walks right up to an ICE agent and says who he is, explains his unlawful status, and gives his home address, more likely than not, they will do nothing. It will only be if he has warrants out for his arrest that they will do something immediately. Silly, right?

By the way, arrests complicate the situation immensely. If he has been arrested or convicted of just about anything, you will need to sit down with an immigration lawyer who can review all the relevant records first. Actually, to be cautious, I should warn you that no matter what, before you do anything, such as have your husband approach an ICE agent, you should consider investing in a consultation with an immigration attorney, who can review everything, interview you, and then give you a well informed professional opinion on what to do. Best of luck to you!

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Answered on 3/29/12, 11:36 am

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