Discussion Points for Punto Legal- March 16, 2016
The April visa bulletin is out. The cut-off date for spouses and children of residents from Mexico is 22 July 2014; last month is was 15 June 2015. The cut-off date for brothers and sisters of citizens from Mexico is 8 April 1997. It has not moved forward for 5 months.
A Mexican woman is married to United States-citizen. Her youngest was born in the United States. This boy is very sick. The child gets care at the Children’s Hospital in Denver because he has a number of complicated disorders. Her husband is the children’s step-father. This couple went to a notaria who advised them the wife was eligible for the provisional, or stateside, waiver. She wasn’t. The notaria also set up the woman for a consular interview in Ciudad Juarez. She also submitted a provisional waiver. The wife got an appointment for a consular interview in Juarez and the notaria told her to go, even though her provisional waiver had not yet been approved. When the wife went to her consular interview, she was barred for 10-years because she had already triggered the hard, 10-year bar to entry. She was also barred for alien smuggling. Now this woman is faced with having to re-enter the United States illegally to return to her sick child and family. The notaria made the following mistakes:
First, she did not properly screen her clients for bars to entry. If she had she would have learned about the bars to entry and known the women was NOT eligible for a provisional waiver. Second, she did not reschedule the interview in Ciudad Juarez, which she could have done. She could have rescheduled the interview until the provisional waiver was decided. The immigration service may have denied the waiver because they found out about the bars to entry. This would have spared the women from being trapped in Mexico.
It is tempting to use notarias because they charge less than attorneys, but it is not worth the risk.
I have often said the most important thing an immigration attorney can do for you is to screen your case for bars to entry. These bars to entry will blow up your immigration case at the worst possible time-at the end of the case-after you have paid your filing fees and paid your attorney.
To help you know and understand the most common bars to entry, we have posted a short video on our website. I want each of you to watch the video. There is one in Spanish and one in English. To find the video, go to www.tedhess.com , then click the tab for video center and play the Spanish or English video as your prefer.