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Is an immigration sponsor responsible for immigrant beneficiary receiving federal assistance

Sunnyside, WA |

I sponsored my sister in law in September of 2007. She immigrated from the Phillipines, My brother and her were supposed to get jobs and be productive members of society. For 9 months they have been lazy, burdens to society., refusing to work. Now, she is pregnant, with her 5th child. They are planning on getting welfare to pay for it. Am I responsible for repaying the government, as she is not supposed to receive assistance as a condition of her immigration? He receives food stamps and medical for him and his kids,a as they are citizens, but as I understand, she cannot get help. Is there any way that I can possibly get out of this sponsorship role, and send her back to the Phillipines? I am tired of supporting them.

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Attorney answers 1


It seems your deadbeat relatives may be taking advantage of you. The statute regarding the Affidavit of Support, Form I-864, states clearly that in order for an alien to immigrate through a family-based petition, and some employment-based petitions, they must overcome the public charge ground of inadmissibility. Therefore, the petitioner on the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, must execute and submit a legally enforceable Affidavit of Support on Form I-864. The second paragraph of the instructions to Form I-864, advises the sponsor that by executing the form he or she is agreeing "to support the intending immigrant and any spouse and/or children immigrating with him or her" until the contract terminates. In cases where the Affidavit is executed by a spouse, even divorce does not terminate the obligation." Part 7 of Form I-864 states: "The sponsor must provide the sponsored immigrant(s) whatever support is necessary to maintain them at an income that is at least 125 percent of the Federal poverty income guidelines." When a sponsor signs the Affidavit of Support, they are agreeing to provide the sponsored immigrant with that level of support required by law until the contract terminates (that is when the alien becomes a US citizen or has 40 quarters paid into the Social Security system), acknowledging their understanding of when the contract terminates. The sponsored immigrant may sue to enforce the contract, and concedes to the personal jurisdiction of any court in the United States to enforce the contract. The language on the Form I-864 carries the same weight as published regulations. Therefore, you are on the hook if they receive “public means tested assistance” and there is nothing you can do about it . . . you signed an enforceable contract.

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