Mexican national obtains Green Card Despite Illegal Entry Using Unique Documents

Heather Lorraine Poole

Case Conclusion Date:February 1, 2010

Practice Area:Immigration

Outcome:APPROVED.

Description:Roberto entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico. His father had filed for him when he was 22, over 10 years ago. Because he was from Mexico, his visa number would not be current for many years and he would not be eligible to apply for a green card until then so his wife, Lisa, a U.S. citizen decided to sponsor him. Because of his illegal entry, they feared that he would have to go to the consulate in Ciudad Juarez to process his green card, which would result in a 10 year bar which they would have to file a waiver for that posed a significant risk that they could be separated for years. Our Solution & Challenges we faced: Heather argued that he could apply for his lawful permanent residency in the U.S. despite his illegal entry because he “grandfathered” under 245(i). In order to qualify for 245(i) a person must have had a labor certification or a visa petition filed on their behalf on or before April 30, 2001 but also had to prove that they were physically present in the U.S. on the date of the law’s enactment (December 21, 2000). Roberto had the filing cut-off date but he lacked traditional documentation proving he was in the U.S. on December 21, 2000. It was difficult to locate employment documents because his employer from 10 years ago had gone out of business. He did not file taxes because he did not have a social security number and did not know about the ITIN possibility ten years ago. He wasn’t in school so couldn’t provide transcripts and because he had no papers, he did not have a lease, driver’s license, or utility statements typically accepted by CIS to prove physical presence. Heather advised Roberto and Lisa on nontraditional forms of evidence to prove Roberto’s physical presence, knowing that if it didn’t work, he would face the 10 year bar and have to consular process. This made the case longer to process since it took more time and investigative work for Roberto to track down as much evidence as he could. Roberto’s green card case was approved with the documentation Heather suggested. Timing: 1 year Roberto and Lisa write of Heather’s representation “I chose you to represent us because you were highly recommended by family who you have helped before with great results. We were so thrilled to have Heather’s experience on our side, during a very important process in our lives. It feels a bit overwhelming and uneasy –but having been represented by Heather that all changed, knowing she was with us during every step of the way. We are extremely happy with the helpful, friendly, professional service that was provided to us. Text message for email was extremely helpful . . .We would just like to thank you once again.” Roberto and Lisa, Bell, CA