Can I get in trouble for my girlfriend being here after her visa expired?

Asked over 1 year ago - Phoenix, AZ

My girlfriend's visa expired about 2 years or so before I met her. I found out about 6 months ago that the only way to get her into a legal status would be to marry her. I am currently legally separated from my wife and have been discussing with her changing it to a divorce so I can marry my girlfriend. A little less than 24 hours ago my girlfriend was arrested by Phoenix PD and is on immigration hold. Can I get into any trouble for having her live with me? Is there any way to prevent her from being deported before I can get divorced and marry her? She is from Peru and has been in the US for about 5 years.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Alexander Joseph Segal

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You will not get in trouble if your only offense is having an illegal immigrant as a girlfriend. AS to your second question, the best thing you can do is to look for an immigration attorney ASAP. That may mean a difference between US and Peru.

  2. Alicia Marie Heflin


    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It may be possible to prevent her from being deported if you marry her, but more information is needed about her immigration history and the reason she was arrested by Phoenix PD. You will not get in trouble for allowing her to live with you. Advise your girlfriend not to sign anything presented to her by ICE - they will give her the opportunity to leave on her own (voluntary departure) and if she signs and agrees to this she will forfeit the right to see an immigration judge.

    I would recommend consulting with an immigration attorney on your girlfriend's behalf to ensure that her rights are protected if she is placed in removal proceedings.

    Answers on Avvo are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice; specific answers require knowledge of... more
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