What can you do if you’re driving without a driver’s license or you’re arrested as a passenger in a car driven by an unlicensed driver, if you yourself are undocumented? There are ways to help you.
WITHHOLDING OF REMOVAL
Did you cross the border or enter the U.S. without a visa without seeing an immigration officer. If so, what country are you from? If you’re from a country disturbed by civil unrest such as Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador or Honduras, although you may be ineligible because you did not apply for asylum within one year of arrival, you may still be eligible to apply for withholding of removal. If you can prove that it is more likely than not that you would be persecuted if you were to return to your country then we may interpose this defense of withholding of removal and petition for a bond to free you. If you were arrested in a locale that is not where you live, we may also petition for a change of venue to transfer the case to where you live.
MOTION TO SUPPRESS
If you are not from a country where there is civil disturbance, we can still move in your case to suppress the evidence because the police who stopped you could not legally report this to the Immigration Service. This would be beyond the authority of local police officers. To stop you without evidence that the police saw you commit a crime or the police officers did not have a reasonable belief that you committed a crime, gives you the right to ask for the suppression of the evidence. The exclusive jurisdiction of the Immigration laws to the Immigration Service does not include the power to delegate this authority to local police.
CANCELLATION OF REMOVAL
If you have been in the U.S. although illegally, you may still apply for Cancellation of Removal and Adjustment of Status if you have been in the U.S. for more than 10 years and are married to a U.S. citizen and/or have U.S. citizen children. You would need to establish that the U.S. spouse or a U.S. parent or U.S. citizen child would suffer extremely unusual hardship if you were deported. This claim would enable us to petition to a Judge for a bond because of your lawful claim to Adjustment of Status based on your close family members and your presence in the U.S. for more than 10 years.
MARRIAGE TO A U.S. CITIZEN OR PERMANENT RESIDENT
If you’re married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you have the right to ask the Judge to release you on a bond and/or ask a Judge to terminate the proceedings, or if you’re not married, but only engaged, we may ask a Judge to release you on a bond in order to enable you to marry your U.S. citizen or resident spouse. If the Judge permits you to do this, we may apply through your marriage and your spouse may apply for a Waiver here within the U.S. to excuse your illegal entry or stay here. The President issued an executive order in February, 2012 that permits you to apply for a Waiver of Excludability through your spouse. This would avoid a long separation. After the Waiver is granted, if you entered without a visa, you would still need to return to your country for the Immigrant Visa interview, but the wait abroad would be short because the impediment to your return would be eliminated because you would have had the Waiver before leaving.
If any issue arises such as an arrest for lack of documentation, call us or arrange for a family member to call us to help you.
If you need help or advise, call us at 212-944-9420.