I was living here illegally for past five years , over stayed visitors visa . I married a US citizen end of last year . I filed adjustment of status , I485 , through marriage in Jan , 2013 . Went for finger printing last week . Now waiting for work permit . On the LUSCIOUS website under case status it shows next step as " decision " . My question is what is my status right now ? Let's say cops pull me over driving or if someone reports me right now to ICE . Do I get put into removal proceedings till decision is made on I485 ? Thanks .
spell check changed USCIS to LUSCIOUS above. sorry.
I guess if you continue calling USCIS LUSCIOUS you may be deported. On a more serious note, every alien present in the USA without proper documentation can be deported through a process called removal proceedings. There are some exception to this general truth one way or the other, but it is a very general basic rule nevertheless. The question is that of priority. ICE Director Morton has announced a sort of new policy in 2011 which, based on your facts and provided you do not have a criminal record, makes people like you a low deportation priority. If your marriage is not spurious, you will not be arrested or deported. Too many ifs. I know. Sorry.
Whether you get put in removal proceedings is entirely up to ICE. The odds of that happening is, however, small.
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You can be deported as long as you are illegally present in the US. However, based on the facts you have provided you were not be a high priority for ICE so you will likely be ok until you are able to finalize your adjustment of status through marriage.
You are in what is known as Pending Adjustment of Status or Pending "AOS". This is not an actual immigration status, however it is the written USCIS policy not to refer you to ICE to be placed into removal proceedings unless there is reason to believe that you are potential danger to the community you live in.
I've assisted hundred of clients that have overstayed their b-2 visa to adjust status to Legal Permanent Resident, and none have ever been referred to removal. By law it is possible, but by policy it is not done in order to focus resources of foreign nationals that pose a risk to the US.
State driving laws are different state to state. In Ohio for example you can drive with any valid drivers license if you are a visitor. Once you become a resident you need to obtain a Ohio drivers license. On the bright side most states will issue a drivers license once you have your EAD card.
I strongly recommend that you do not drive if you are not legally licensed to drive under the laws of the state that you are in. The number one reason I've found that let to a foreign national that overstayed a visa to be referred to deportation is driving without a valid license. You should NOT drive without a valid license.
Anyone can always report you to ICE. However ICE will likely not care about you unless you have a criminal record as I implied above. It is the current written policy of both ICE and USCIS to only actively investigate a refer foreign nationals to deportation that pose a danger to their community. Indeed most immigration courts will grant a motion to terminate a deportation proceeding to allow someone to apply for the benefit that you already applied for. It would be a waste of resource to place you in removal when the court will most likely dismiss your case to allow you the opportunity for adjust status based upon your marriage to a US citizen. In fact it is the current policy of most DHS lawyers to join in the motion to terminate proceedings where a foreign national has an approved I-130 and shows they are eligible to adjust their status.
Hope this helps. I strongly recommend however that you retain a lawyer ASAP in your area to review your case and attend your marriage interview. If your I-130 or I-485 are denied rightly or wrongly you will likely be placed in deportation and this is a risk that no one without an immigration status to fall back on should take.
(513) 549-4420 - Attorney Christopher M. Pogue, Esq., I cannot provide legal advice or recommendations unless you retain our law firm to represent you. No attorney/client relationship will begin until you sign a representation agreement and make a retainer payment to open a case with us.