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Immigration loophole leaves woman and husband separated

As individuals who live in Miami and beyond are likely aware, immigration matters can be complicated. Few cases are straightforward and even a seemingly small misstep can result in undesired consequences, such as deportation. A woman who is originally from Columbia is all too aware of this.

The woman initially moved to the United States with her family when she was 10-years-old. The reason for the move was violence that made it dangerous to stay in that country. As the years passed, she and her family made a life for themselves in South Florida. She attended school and even went to college. While attending college she met, fell in love with, and married her now husband who is a citizen of the U.S.

Around the time the couple married, her family learned that an asylum application it had submitted was denied. This resulted in an order for their deportation. The woman and her family followed the judge’s order and left the U.S. They initially moved to Dubai, and later returned to Columbia. The woman left her new husband behind. As a result of leaving the U.S, the woman is now prohibited from returning for a decade.

Regular readers of this blog may wonder why the woman is not eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, unveiled last year by President Obama. While the woman meets many of the requirements, because she left the country with her parents as a judge ordered, she is no longer eligible. Had despite the order she decided to stay in the country, she would likely be living in the U.S. legally.

The woman and her husband are pursuing other options. They first sought an immigration visa via an alien relative I-130 form. When the prohibition from returning to the U.S. for 10 years came to light they filed another application, the Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal. At this point they have not received a response.

As this couple's story illustrates, navigating the ever-changing immigration system can be tricky. Because of this most find that it is important to work with an immigration lawyer who understands those complexities.

Source: Miami Herald, "Miami-Dade couple separated by deportation cling to hopes of reuniting," Alfonso Chardy, April 26, 2013

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