Immigration matters often include factors that are outside of your control. For example, many people are brought to the United Staes as children by their parents or other family members. These young children clearly do not have a choice over whether they are moving to the U.S. or staying in their home country. And in many of these cases, the children are entering the U.S. either without authorization or by using fake or fraudulent documents.
This is exactly what happened to one of our clients, who we will refer to as Michelle to maintain our client’s privacy. Michelle was born in the Philippines, but she was brought to the U.S. by family members in the 1990s. Michelle was only 8 years old at the time, so she had no idea that she was illegally entering the U.S. by using someone else’s U.S. passport.
It was not until Michelle applied for a driver’s license that she learned the truth about her immigration status. She was shocked to learn that she was actually undocumented. This is not uncommon though, as many people brought to the U.S. as children only learn the truth when facing a milestone requiring formal identification, such as applying for a driver’s license or for college.
Michelle continued to live and go to school in the U.S. even after learning she was undocumented. After all, she really did not have a home to go back to in the Philippines since she grew up in the U.S. Michelle built a life for herself in this country, including getting married, having a career, and spending time with family members and close friends. Michelle did seek immigration help, but she felt hopeless.
Michelle ultimately consulted with Reeves Immigration Law Group. She was represented by Attorney Theresa Calimag. Attorney Calimag understood that Michelle would be devastated if she was forced to leave the U.S. She therefore devised a strategy that would have Michelle apply for permanent resident status (green card) based on her marriage to a U.S. citizen. The more difficult issue though would be avoiding a lifetime bar to a green card since Michelle had entered the U.S. with a U.S. passport. Michelle’s false claim to U.S. citizenship is considered to be perhaps the most serious violation of the country’s immigration laws.
Attorney Calimag argued to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that Michelle should not be barred because Michelle did not choose to enter the country illegally. On the contrary, she was a young, impressionable child who fell victim to her circumstances. Attorney Calimag also said that since Michelle has lived in the U.S. for most of her life, it would be nothing short of cruel for her to have to depart.
Michelle’s application for adjustment of status was approved and she was thrilled to receive her green card. She no longer has to fear being deported! She is thankful she found Reeves Immigration Law Group, and attorneys who will do everything they can to search for a solution to their clients’ immigration problems.