In March of 2013, Rosa was at home with her U.S. citizen boyfriend, now husband, enjoying a quiet evening at home when the police showed and arrested her boyfriend.  Because Rosa was at home and undocumented, she was taken to Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) who placed her in removal (deportation) proceedings.  Rosa was then pregnant with their first child.  ICE released her on a bail (immigration bond) but she had to periodically present herself to the government.  When she was released, she hired Andres Mejer Law to allow her to help her stay in the U.S.
As soon as the couple married, we helped the husband file a Petition for Alien Relative (I-130)for Rosa.  We heavily documented how they met, their courting period, their engagement, and their wedding.  We showed how the couple co-mingled their personal and financial lives together.  When she gave birth to their son, we included the birth certificate and photos showing the loving family. Unfortunately, before their interview, Rosa’s husband plead guilty to an indictable offense (we weren’t involved in the criminal defense).  He was not yet sentenced but is facing several years’ jail.  We sat with the couple went over the potential questions the officer could ask them.  We advised them to be ready for a hostile interview by an aggressive officer who could ask personal and intimate questions.

Snow Day Interview Surprises

On the interview date, the couple had all original documents with them.  The documents were organized, indexed, and methodical.  We prepared them.  Of course, this was the date of the blizzard.  I told them to get there as early as possible just in case since Mt. Laurel hadn’t closed.  I left two hours early, got to the interview five minutes early only to find out the officer had already interviewed Rosa and her husband without me!

I immediately asked for the supervisor.  I couldn’t believe they would interview my client knowing I was on the way.  The supervisor advised me that the interview lasted less than five substantive minutes.  She approved Rosa right away and complimented me on our organization which made her job a lot easier.  She explained because they were closing early and she knew she was going to approve the petition she took them without me as a courtesy.

Rosa was fortunate.  She should never have agreed to meet with the officer without me.  Particularly, since she knew I was on my way and that she had paid for me to be there.  The officer could have made Rosa’s experience very difficult. Because Rosa was married after she was placed in removal proceedings, the standard of proof is higher.  That is why we weren’t taking any chances on her petition.

Next Steps after the Approval

Once we receive the approval notice, we will file a request to terminate the proceedings against her.  We will then file for her adjustment of status (Form I-485).  This will get her green card.  Because she is in removal proceedings, either

  1. Rosa’s removal proceedings must be closed so that USCIS can adjudicate her adjustment of status petition; or
  2. The Immigration Judge must hold a hearing to do adjust her status.

Rosa is on track to get her green card in the U.S.

Free Resources Available for You

If you face immigration an immigration challenge we have some valuable resources for you:

  1. Do You Need an Immigration Attorney? You Might Not – I will explain when you need an immigration attorney.  Not every needs one.  I will also explain the benefits of hiring one in any immigration challenge.
  2. 7 Critical Questions to ask Before Hiring an Immigration Attorney – If you have decided that you need an immigration attorney, how do you make sure you hire a good one?  I explain to you the questions you need to ask before you hire your immigration attorney.
  3. An Immigrant’s Guide to Municipal Court – Here I discuss what happens if you get arrested by Immigration Customs Enforcement, what you need to know to get out of custody, and what to expect if you are placed in removal hearings.  I also explain the municipal court process and how a municipal court matter can result in your being placed into removal proceedings.

If you have immigration questions, we have answers.  You can

  1. Call our knowledgeable staff ;
  2. Fill out the contact us form on this page; or
  3. Select our live chat feature to speak to someone right away.

We help immigrants, one petition at a time.

Rosa gets her I-130 approved despite her removal proceedings