By: Maridex Abraham
Understanding U.S. immigration law and policy can be overwhelming and stressful, especially going through the immigration process alone. Because of the complexities of immigration law, mistakes can occur in the application process. These errors can have devastating consequences, which is why it is important to seek assistance from a qualified immigration attorney who can guide you at every step.
Rowena found herself in a troubling situation after attempting to handle her immigration case on her own. Rowena (whose name has been changed to protect identity) is a Philippine citizen who was engaged to a man from the United States. She hoped to spend the rest of her life with her soon-to-be husband in the U.S. Rowena arrive in the U.S. on a fiancée visa and married the love of her life, or so she thought. Together, they worked on her adjustment of status application. However, while her green card application was pending, her husband became abusive toward her. Rowena was in disbelief having discovered her husband’s true nature. Heartbroken and frightened, Rowena ran away from her abusive relationship. She chose to remain in the United States without authorization, hoping to create a better life.
Rowena divorced her husband and eventually moved past the trauma of her failed marriage. She fell in love and got married to her current husband, Steve (name changed to protect identity). Rowena and Steve had children together, and they lived a happy life. Their only setback was Rowena’s immigration status, so Steve sought to petition his wife. Unbeknownst to Rowena, because she abandoned the immigration case through her ex-husband, she was placed in removal proceedings. Since Rowena was not aware that she had to appear in immigration court, she did not show up to her hearing. The immigration ordered her deported for failure to appear. Rowena was in shock to find out she had a deportation order against her!
Desperate for guidance, Rowena turned to Reeves Immigration Law Group in 2013.The attorneys at Reeves Immigration Law Group was victorious in reopening Rowena’s immigration case in court, which removed the deportation order. RILG then requested the Immigration Judge to administratively close Rowena’s removal proceedings so that she would have the opportunity apply for an I-601A provisional waiver based on her U.S. citizen husband’s extreme hardship.
Brittany Milliasseau, an associate attorney at RILG, successfully demonstrated Steve’s hardship if Rowena was not allowed to remain in the U.S. and secured an approval of the waiver. Not wanting to take any chances on her case, Rowena sought the assistance of RILG to help her resolve her deportation case. RILG filed a motion to recalendar Rowena’s case in court and sought to have proceedings terminated. The Immigration Judge granted the termination request. Rowena was so happy that she no longer had to worry about removal proceedings.
Once proceedings were terminated, Rowena went to the Philippines to attend her interview at the U.S. Embassy in Manila in November 2019. However, the consular officer initially refused to issue Rowena a visa on public charge inadmissibility grounds. The officer ignored evidence of her husband’s business earnings, bank account statements, and joint assets. Rowena and Steve were very scared! Their children were upset that their mother would miss Thanksgiving. They asked Rowena if she would be able to make it back home in time for Christmas. Rowena did not want to let her children down but could not make them any promises.
Maridex Abraham, an associate attorney at RILG, successfully argued that Rowena was not subject to public charge inadmissibility. Within weeks Rowena was issued a visa and able to fly back home for Christmas. Through the years of dedicated service of RILG attorneys and staff, Rowena is now a lawful permanent resident.