Waiver of ‘Alien Smuggling’ Leads to Green Card

A green card is not automatically issued to people who have been granted a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver (I-601A). An RMZD client learned this lesson the hard way when she was charged with ‘Alien Smuggling’ and prohibited from returning to the U.S. despite her approved I-601A.

“Theresa” thought that her interview for an Immigrant Visa at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico would just be a formality. She knew that she had lived in the U.S. without authorization for many years, but she also knew that she had been granted a waiver of her unlawful presence (I-601A). This waiver had been granted to Theresa based on hardship to her U.S. citizen husband.

With her waiver in hand, Theresa happily left the U.S. for her native Mexico for her required interview at the U.S. Embassy in Ciudad Juarez.  She was nervous, of course, but she truly believed she would only be outside of the U.S. for a few days, maybe a couple of weeks.  Then the worst thing imaginable happened to Theresa – her application for an Immigrant Visa was denied! She was told she was barred from returning to the U.S. because she had paid somebody to bring her son to the U.S. This charge of “Alien Smuggling” invalidated Theresa’s previously approved I-601A and barred her from ever returning to the U.S.

Understandably, Theresa was incredibly scared. What would happen to her husband back in the U.S. without her? And what about her young daughter, who was also a U.S. citizen? Neither one of them had ever lived in Mexico and were unable to communicate in Spanish.

Rather than panic, Theresa calmly developed a plan. She retained Reeves Miller Zhang & Diza to assist her.  Theresa and her family worked closely with Attorney Devin Connolly, a vice-president of RMZD. Attorney Connolly explained to Theresa and her husband that when the Embassy decided that Theresa was inadmissible to the U.S. due to “Alien Smuggling,” the prior waiver was no longer valid.  Therefore, they had to start all over.

Attorney Connolly immediately began the process of bringing Theresa back to the U.S. He knew how unhappy she was due to the breakup of her family, but he was also confident that he could help them be reunited in the U.S. He prepared a completely new waiver. Attorney Connolly was able to discuss the actual impact that separation had on Theresa’s family, including emotional distress for her husband and daughter due to Theresa being forced to live so far away from them.

Theresa’s request for a waiver was ultimately granted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. She was thereafter issued her Immigrant Visa and permitted to return to the U.S. where she was reunited with friends and family. She ended up spending months in Mexico when she originally only thought it would be days, but she is back home in California now and she could not be happier about it.

*Please note that we have referred to our client as “Theresa” to protect her privacy.