Before our marriage , my husband was stopped in 1996 ( before 1997 changes in deportation proceedings ) by the NY border patrol . As he had overstayed his visa he was told to leave the country by the officers but they did not forward the case to immigration court and no formal deportation was ordered . After we married in 2008 we filed a i485 and I130 . i130 approved but stated i485 was outside their jurisdiction due to having Deportation proceedings in 1996 . We could not get an immigration judge to review his case because he had no actual order of deportation , and appealed the adjudicating officer decision . We received no news about the i485 appeal and now - 4 years later - get a letter from Immigration and Customs enforcement asking to come in for official matter . Reason : status application
More information is necessary. You cannot ignore ICE requests as that is the best way to wind up in detention and then removed. However, it is likely possible for an attorney to speak with them in advance of the meeting and determine a course of action that will hopefully provide time to straighten out his status and not spend time in detention.
I agree with my colleagues: you really need a good immigration lawyer at this point. Do you have any attorney now? If so, did they know of this issue in 1996?
It appears that he is back in the USA; how did he come back? Did he use a visitor visa, and not disclose the previous removal? Or did he sneak back in?
In any event, your husband MUST go to see ICE; it's an offer you can't refuse. But it doesn't necessarily have to end badly; a good attorney can probably work out a deal that your husband gets time to try to seek relief. Since the previous event happened so long ago, it is POSSIBLE that they could exercise their discretion and allow him to remain for the time being, because of you, and perhaps other family issues I am unaware of.
Bottom line: you have options, but they are narrowing rapidly. You will need good legal assistance. You can learn more about our firm at www.hvlawgroup.com, and we have a Bala Cynwyd/Philadelphia office.
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