APPROVED IN MEXICO, CON'T.
My Hardship letter that was Approved May 24, 2007
RE: Letter of Hardship of U.S. Citizen accompanying I-601 Waiver.
To whom it may concern:
I'm writing this letter to express the extreme hardship that I, X would suffer if my husband X was not permitted to come live with his wife and child in the United States of America.
The following are the extreme hardships that I would suffer if I were to relocate to Mexico to be with my husband.
Cesarean Section and Prenatal Care
When I was pregnant with our son X, I experienced serious complications. In the second and third trimesters of my pregnancy I was diagnosed with Gestational Hypertension. This is when after the 20th week of your pregnancy you develop very high blood pressure, which you don't have normally. Having Gestational Hypertension also puts you at an increased risk for other complications, such as: Preeclampsia, Intrauterine Growth Restriction, Preterm Birth, Placental Abruption, and Stillbirth. You have to be monitored very closely if you have Gestational Hypertension. Two things that your doctor will watch for are: that your baby is growing well and that you have a normal amount of amniotic fluid. At my 37 week checkup my uterus had not gotten any larger and I was put in the hospital for tests and constant medical surveillance. I was given an ultrasound which confirmed that I had Oligohydramnios, which is low amniotic fluid (Exhibit L- Printout of Definition). Because this is very dangerous for the baby, I was induced into labor, but was unable to make progress and had to have a Cesarean Section. I now have a surgically scarred and weakened uterus. (Exhibit A- Letter from OB/GYN) (Exhibit M- Printout on Gestational Hypertension)
I will need to have excellent prenatal care available to me in any future pregnancies. I will not be able to get routine checkups and doctors' visits in Mexico because we would not be able to afford it on a Mexican income. I know that I can get that care in the United States. If I were to relocate to Mexico, I would not be able to get that standard of care and that would put my life and the life of my baby at risk. I speak and understand very little Spanish and therefore would be unable to communicate with the doctors in Mexico. They wouldn't know about any of my previous medical history. When lives are at stake you cannot afford to leave room for misinterpretation. In Mexico the maternal mortality rate is 55 per every 100,000 women (Exhibit N- Printout). The infant mortality rate is 21.69 babies per every 1,000 live births in Mexico (Exhibit O- Printout). I do not want to have those odds against me and the lives of my future children. I'm a United States Citizen and I deserve to have the advantage of the quality healthcare that the United States of America has to offer (Exhibit J- Birth Certificate).
Healthcare for our son X
My husband and I want the best healthcare for our child. We believe that our son will get better health care in the United States than in Mexico. It is very important that children have regular checkups and get proper immunizations. X's pediatrician also believes that it would be best for him to stay in the United States and that he needs to have his father here with him (Exhibit B- Letter from Pediatrician).
Our son X has undergone a Bilateral Inguinal Hernia Repair on August 26, 2005, when he was only two months old (Exhibit G). An inguinal hernia is when a section of intestine protrudes through a weakness in the abdominal muscles. Inguinal hernias occur in 10% of all male children. One of the risk factors is having a parent or sibling who has had an inguinal hernia. Our son had one so that would increase the chances of it occurring in any future children. Some inguinal hernias can be very dangerous if left untreated. An incarcerated hernia is when a loop of intestine can become strangulated in the hernia, causing loss of blood supply to the intestine. These are very dangerous and can result in gangrene. This is a life-threatening condition requiring emergency surgery. It would be better for X and any future children to have access to the best healthcare available. To live in a place with poor, unreliable health care would be putting our children at risk. As a US Citizen I know that we have some of the best healthcare in the world. Our family needs to remain in the USA, so we can have the best doctors and facilities available to us. (Exhibit P and Q- Printouts on Inguinal Hernias)
We want the best of education for our son. There are so many opportunities in the USA for a good education. Education in the United States is superior to education in Mexico. We have more choices here. In Mexico the school life expectancy for males is 11.6 years (Exhibit R- Printout). The percentage of 15 year-olds in secondary education is only 52% in Mexico versus 91% in the United States (Exhibit S- Printout). Chances are my son would have to quit school as a teen to help his family work in the fields. This is common in rural Mexico and is also what his father and uncles had to do when they were growing up. This is not the life I want for my son. He is a United States Citizen and deserves all the opportunities I had growing up in the U.S. A. (Exhibit K- Birth Certificate). I want my son to be able to graduate from high school and go to college, where he can earn a degree and have a world of opportunities available to him.
I would like to send my son, X to a Private school. This would be impossible if we had to live in Mexico in my husband's home town. There aren't any Private schools there and if there were we could NEVER afford to send him on Mexican wages. He would never be able to attend college either.
If my son and I were to relocate to Mexico to be with my husband we would become very poor people. The only job for my husband to get where we'd live would be as a field hand. In that area they make roughly 40 U.S. dollars a week or less. In fact 37.7% of the Mexican Population lives on less than 2 dollars a day (Exhibit T- Printout). There's no way that we could afford the things that we need on that level of income. We couldn't afford visits to the doctor for our son X. If I were to become pregnant it would be all we could do to pay for the hospital bills, let alone prenatal visits. The money my husband would make would barely cover the cost of food. We'd hardly be able to buy clothes for our son. There's no way that we could possibly save money towards anything. There'd be no retirement, no ever getting to see my family, nothing but bare survival.
I need my husband to be able to live and work in the U.S. so that we can pay off our debts.
I currently have a car loan that has an amount of $X dollars left to pay (Exhibit H). There is no way that I could pay for the rest of this car by myself. I could not afford this living and working on my own in the U.S.A. There is no way that we could afford to buy a car in Mexico. If we were to relocate to Mexico our family would not be able to have a good dependable car for transportation.
I also still currently owe $X on a school loan (Exhibit I). This would also be another bill that I could not afford on my own without my husband working in the U.S.A. and making a reasonable living.
Distance from Relatives
I don't have any relatives who live very close to me. My parent's are missionaries in Nulato, which is a small native village in Alaska. The cost of flying to Alaska is high from within the United States. It is also very expensive to fly out to Nulato from one of the larger cities in Alaska. Depending on what city it's probably $X to $X dollars round trip. If I had to fly from Mexico all the way to Nulato it would be impossible to afford on a tiny Mexican income. The chances of me and my son ever seeing my parents would be slim to non existent.
This would be an extreme hardship for my parents to never be able to see there daughter and grandson. (Exhibit D and E- Letters from Parents of Petitioner)
My grandfather X is 76 years old and his health has been declining these past few years. He has severe Arthritis in his back and hip, Cardiovascular Disease, and Asthma. It is very difficult for him to get out of his house. He can only walk short distances with a walker. This makes it nearly impossible for him to travel any distance. (Exhibit C- Letter from Grandfather)
My other grandfather, X, has recently been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. He is 82 years old.
My only living grandmother, X, has severe Osteoporosis. She had 65% bone loss on her last bone scan. She has to be extremely careful about what she does, because she is prone to stress fractures. She also suffers a lot of pain in her spine and hips.
If I were to relocate to Mexico to be with my husband it would be impossible for me to ever afford to go see any of my extended family. If my grandparents health worsens, there's no way that I could go see them. I would never have a chance to see any of them again.
I don't speak Spanish
It would be very difficult for me emotionally and mentally to have to live in Mexico. I speak almost no Spanish and it would be impossible for me to communicate with other people there. I wouldn't be able to have any friends or anyone to talk to and would feel incredibly isolated. Just going to the store to buy food would be very difficult. I would end up being stuck in my house all day with no communication with the outside world.
Dislike of food affordable in Mexico
I have a high intolerance for spicy food. It is near impossible for me to eat peppers, tomatoes, and onions. Since these make up an important part of the diet in Mexico, especially if you are on the poorer side, it would make it very difficult for me to find things that I could eat, and my health would likely decline.
Cannot drink the local Water
I have gone to Mexico a couple times in the past and I've always had to drink bottled water. Any time that I've ever drank the water in Mexico I have become incredibly sick with what is called Travelers' Diarrhea (also known as TD) (Exhibit U- Printout). It is caused by bacteria, parasites, or viruses in the water. Mexico is considered a high risk area for TD (Exhibit V- Printout). If I were to relocate to Mexico, I would have to buy bottled water everyday for as long as I lived there. This would become very expensive and impossible to afford.
I'm a Christian
I am an Evangelical Christian. I am raising our son as a Christian. We attend El Mensajero de Vida Church on a regular basis (Exhibit F- Letter from Pastor). They have services in both Spanish and English. Having fellowship with other Christians is an important part of my faith. There are no Evangelical Churches in the area of my husbands' home in Mexico. It would be a great hardship on my son and me if we were unable to attend an English speaking church.
Mexico is a Catholic country. My husband's family is Catholic. They have already put pressure on us to have our son baptized in the Catholic Church. It would be extremely hard living with people that don't respect my faith or beliefs. In the United States we are free to choose our own religion and there are plenty of different Churches available to you.
Cannot stay in USA without X
These are the following reasons why I would be unable to support my son and me in the United States of America if my husband was unable to be here with us.
If my husband is unable to return to the United States, I would have no way to support myself and our son. I'm currently a stay at home mother because I believe that's what's best for our son and as long as we can afford it that's what I will continue to do. If my husband X could not live and work in the U.S.A. I would have to go back to work. I only have a high school education, so chances are that if I had to return to work, I would only make the minimum wage, which is $X an hour or maybe slightly higher. There is no way at that I could support my son and me on that kind of an income. Our current living expenses are: $X for rent, $X for a car loan, $X for car insurance, $X more or less for electricity every month. That does not include other things like: TV, food, gasoline and all the other necessities. The only way that I would be able to communicate with my husband would be over the phone, so my phone bill would be incredibly expensive. I would also have to pay for child care for my son, which would be another $X dollars a month. There's no way that I could afford this all by myself.
I do not have the option to go live with any relatives to help me with bills. My parents live in a remote village in Alaska with only 365 people. There are no jobs there, no restaurants, hotels, stores, or businesses of any kind where I could get a job. The village is off of the road system and you can only get there if you fly in a small bush airplane. This would make it impossible for my parents to help me with either a place to live or with childcare.
I would also never be able to save up enough money to go visit my husband. I would never be able to see my husband and our son would never be able to see his father. There's no way that we could live without ever being together as a family. I would be forced to go live in Mexico and suffer the extreme hardships that I have explained above.
Hardships from being separated from X
If I had to be separated from my husband X for long periods of time it would be very straining on my mental state. I can't even begin to imagine how I could live without him everyday. Just the thought of being separated scares me horribly.
A son needs to be with his father. It would be very hard on our son X, who is a United States Citizen, to have to grow up without his father here with him. X needs to have his father, to have a role model. For my son to grow up and develop into a healthy, productive citizen, he must have his father with him in the home.
It would be horrible for me to have to relocate to Mexico. It would be dangerous for my family medically to live in Mexico. I want my family to have the best of healthcare. I also want the best education for my son and there's no way that we could provide it for him in Mexico. These things are so important to me and for my family not to be able to have them would be very depressing for me. I could never be happy in Mexico. I would be so isolated and alone that I think I would go crazy. How could I ever live with no friends, no social life, never being able to see my family, and never being able to communicate with anyone? The loneliness would be excruciating.
It would also be impossible for me to stay in the United States without my husband. Financially I would never be able to support myself and my son. I can't even imagine how I could live without X, who is the love of my life. It scares me and is so depressing just thinking of it as a possibility. I feel like all the happiness in my life would leave with my husband. I could not bear to raise my son without a father. He needs to have his father with him.
My husband and I have so many dreams. Someday we want to buy a house, to make a good home for our family. Dreams like this cannot come true in Mexico. We would never be able to have the home we dream of. There would never be a nice house and good reliable vehicles. My husband only wants to work hard and provide for his family. I want for us to be able to plan on his retirement one day. There would never be any retirement in Mexico. We could not give our children all the opportunities that we want them to have; opportunities that are only available in the United States of America. I want for my family to live in my home country; the country where I was born and the country that I love. I'm pleading with you to please approve this waiver so that these dreams can come true. Please give my family the opportunity to be happy, grow, and prosper in the United States of America.
Table of Contents
A- Letter from OB/GYN (OB's name)
B- Letter from Pediatrician (pediatricians name)
C- Letter from Grandfather (grandfathers name)
D- Letter from Father (fathers name)
E- Letter from Mother (mothers name)
F- Letter from Pastor (El Mensajero de Vida Church)
G- Schedule and Discharge Instructions for Sons' Inguinal Hernia Surgery
H- Account balance statement from Wachovia Bank for Car Loan
I- Account balance Statement on Education Loan
J- Copy of Petitioners Birth Certificate
K- Copy of Petitioner and Beneficiary's Sons' Birth Certificate
L- Printout on Definition of Oligohydramnios http://www.medterms.com/script/main/...rticlekey=4627
M- Printout on Gestational Hypertension http://www.babycenter.com/refcap/pre...s/1427402.html
N- Printout of Maternal Mortality Rate by Country (Mexico highlighted) http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/he...rnal-mortality
O- Printout of Infant Mortality Rate by Country (Mexico highlighted) http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/he...mortality-rate
P- Printout information for Inguinal Hernias (University of Virginia) http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu...gy/inghern.cfm
Q- Printout information for Inguinal Hernias (Medline Plus) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/000960.htm
R- Printout of School Life Expectancy for Males by Country (Mexico and USA highlighted) http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_sch_lif_exp_mal-e...life-expectancy-male
S- Printout of Proportion 15 year-olds in secondary education by Country (Mexico highlighted) http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_pro_of_15_yea_old...-year-olds-secondary
T- Printout of Population under $2 a day by Country (Mexico highlighted) http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_pop_und_2_a_day-e...pulation-under-2-day
U- Printout on Travelers' Diarrhea (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention) http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/disea...diarrhea_g.htm
V- Map of Risk Areas for Travelers' Diarrhea (Mexico is a high risk area) http://www2.ncid.cdc.gov/travel/yb/utils/ybGet.asp?sect...htm&cssNav=browseoyb
APPROVED IN MEXICO, CON'T.
Here is ours.....I hope I got our name out everywhere!! LOL
Via Hand Delivery
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service
U.S. Consulate General
Avenida LÃ³pez Mateos 924 Norte
Ciudad JuÃ¡rez, MÃ©xico
RE: JON DOE (Applicant)
Form I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability
Dear Sir or Madam:
Determination of extreme hardship is a discretionary act. In fact, the language of INA §244(a)(1) commits the determination to "the opinion of the Attorney General." Because extreme hardship is not expressly defined in immigration law, various factors are considered in ascertaining whether a waiver of inadmissibility should be granted. The factors identified as relevant by the Board of Immigration Appeals include, but are not limited to: (1) the presence of lawful permanent resident of United States citizen family ties to the United States; (2) the qualifying relative's family ties outside of the United States; (3) the conditions in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate and the extent of the qualifying relative's ties to such country; (4) the financial impact of departure from the United States; (5) disruption of educational opportunities; and (6) significant conditions of health, particularly when tied to an unavailability of suitable medical care in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate. While the list seems lengthy, not all of the foregoing needs to be present in every case.
By submitting this packet, we respectfully request that the Consulate General consider the aforementioned factors in determining that JON DOE is deserving of a favorable exercise of discretion and an approval of a waiver of inadmissibility.
PRESENCE OF LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT OR UNITED STATES CITIZEN TIES TO THE UNITED STATES
On February 15, 2003, JON DOE married JANE DOE, a United States citizen. JANE DOE has immediate and extended family ties in the United States, including her parents, a sister, two nieces, and a brother. Mrs. DOE does not know "what [they] would do... without [her]."
JANE DOE's family is very close-knit. JANE DOE has lived her entire life in central STATE, as has most of her family. JANE DOE's great aunt is eager for JON DOE to resolve his immigration status so that he and JANE DOE, as well as JANE DOE's family, can "be emotionally at peace." JANE DOE's grandmother writes that she "want[s] [JON DOE and JANE DOE] to be together always," and would be devastated to learn that her granddaughter must leave the United States to live in Mexico.
While JANE DOE is clearly devoted to each member of her family, her relationship with her sister stands out as being particularly strong. JANE DOE first told her sister about her feelings for JON DOE, and later traveled to Mexico with her. Unfortunately, JANE DOE's sister's "marriage is tumultuous." JANE DOE serves as her sister's confidant, the individual to whom she turns for emotional support in times of need. JANE DOE is also extremely committed to her sister's two daughters. She is certain "it would be very hard for them if [ ] JON DOE had to stay in Mexico," and "it would be twice as hard if [she] were forced to join him" there. In fact, JANE DOE's sister admits that her daughters "love their Uncle JON DOE," and that it "would be very hard on [her]."
JON DOE and JANE DOE are also the proud new parents of SON DOE, born in CITY on DATE at TIME . SON DOE weighed 6 pounds, 3 ounces and measured 19 inches in length.
FAMILY TIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES
JANE DOE traveled to Mexico in March of 2004. She went alone to meet able to teach her at home. Luckily, JANE DOE had a "great trip" and "fell in love with [ ] JON DOE's family," but acknowledges that while she had the courage to travel to Mexico on vacation, she could never live there permanently.
JANE DOE's ties are to the United States; it is all she has known her entire life. Although she is willing to journey there temporarily to visit her husband's family, she has no desire to relocate in Mexico.
COUNTRY CONDITIONS MEXICO
A glimpse at the country information on Mexico reveals that it is not always an easy place for Americans to travel, let alone relocate and assimilate. The Department of State warns Americans planning to go to Mexico, "Standards of security, safety and supervision may not reach those expected in the United States." It goes on to state, "Crime in Mexico is at high levels and is often violent... [because of] low apprehension and conviction rates of criminals." Amnesty International confirms that "Crime [in Mexico] increase[s] public safety concerns for many sectors of society."
One of the most prevalent forms of crime in Mexico is kidnapping, which goes beyond traditional notions of abducting children to include adults as well. Unfortunately, "kidnapping, including the kidnapping of non-Mexicans, continues at alarming rates. So-called express' kidnappings, an attempt to get quick cash in exchange for the release of an individual, have occurred in almost all the large cities in Mexico and appear to target not only the wealthy, but also middle class persons." Clearly, JANE DOE, a middle class American citizen who speaks limited Spanish, would be a likely target for Mexican criminals.
Crime is not the only problem JANE DOE may face if made to relocate to Mexico to be with her husband; unemployment poses another obstacle. While the CIA World Factbook reports unemployment in Mexico at only 3.2% , it is important to realize that the Mexican government's statistics-gathering agency considers "any person who has worked at least one hour for monetary compensation during the previous one-week period" to be employed. Therefore, the astonishingly low unemployment rate is probably incorrect. Actually, "Mexico is not currently included in [OECD's] unemployment comparisons due to standardization conflicts." If Francisco Herrera, a Mexican plumber in his late 40s who has been in the business for over 28 years, struggles to support his wife and two children when, "some weeks, [he'll] just get one little job, no more than a couple of hours, and make 150 or 200 pesos (US$14.00 or $18.00), " it will be impossible for JANE DOE to obtain gainful employment. Essentially, JANE DOE would need to leave her position as Administrative Assistant atPLACE OF EMPLOYMENT, which she has held since her graduation NAME OF COLLEGE in August of 2004, and go to a country where work, let alone stable work, is scarce. JANE DOE's father is correct; he writes, "JANE DOE has a decent career path started, which could not be duplicated if she were to live in Mexico."
FINANCIAL IMPACT OF DEPARTURE FROM THE UNITED STATES
The DOES could be negatively impacted by departure from the United States in one of two ways: on one hand, if JANE DOE is forced to go to Mexico, she will have to break a residential lease, leave bills unpaid, and will not find lucrative employment in a Spanish-speaking country; on the other hand, if JON DOE is compelled to remain in Mexico, JANE DOE and their new baby will simply not survive on her income alone.
If JON DOE is forced to remain in Mexico and JANE DOE then needs to relocate there to live with her husband, they will have to unwillingly abandon financial obligations in the United States. On August 28, 2004, the DOES entered into a residential lease and committed themselves to paying US$700.00 per month. In addition to rent, the DOES are obligated to pay renters' insurance. Other financial commitments include an automobile loan, automobile insurance, fuel, telephone service, and groceries. Also, JANE DOE has outstanding student loans totaling nearly $4,000.00. JANE DOE is 23 years old. She has spent the most recent years of her life studying and working to be able to eventually purchase a home and build a family. Her dream is finally materializing, but will be tragically shattered if she is made to move to Mexico to be with the man she loves.
Part of the reason JANE DOE has been able to assume so many financial obligations is because her husband was working to contribute to their expenses. In 2005, JANE DOE earned $12.00 per hour as an Administrative Assistant at The EMPLOYER Company in CITY, STATE. JON DOE worked as a waiter at Cancun Mexican Restaurant from the time he arrived in the United States in 2001 until he departed for Mexico; the location of his employment was near Castleton Square Mall, one of the city's most successful shopping centers, and therefore, JON DOE was fortunate to earn consistently high tips. JANE DOE's grandmother emphasizes the importance of JON DOE's financial contributions when she writes, "I just knew he would take good care of my granddaughter, JANE DOE, and he has.... They never ask for help." JANE DOE would not survive financially without her husband's assistance.
DISRUPTION OF EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
JANE DOE applied herself intellectually and successfully obtained her degree from COLLEGE in 2004. JANE DOE is eligible to pursue a graduate degree and higher earning potential; if she is forced to relocate to Mexico, her educational dreams will come to a halting end and she will be denied the opportunity to grow intellectually and achieve her educational goals.
JON DOE does not want to return to the United States and continue to be a waiter; he is planning to enroll in automotive college to become a mechanic. There are many well-respected automotive programs in STATE that can help JON DOE jump start a rewarding career in the automotive industry. If JON DOE is required to live in Dolores Hidalgo, a small colonial city, he will likely struggle to find an equivalent educational program, and later, a similar career.
SIGNIFICANT CONDITIONS OF HEALTH, PARTICULARLY WHEN TIED TO AN UNAVAILABILITY OF SUITABLE MEDICAL CARE IN MEXICO
Unfortunately, JANE DOE suffers from a serious medical condition called vesicoureteral reflux. Vesicoureteral reflux is the abnormal flow of urine from the bladder back into the uterus. Severe infection is a common symptom of JANE DOE's condition, and she is no stranger to infirmity. She has been under the constant supervision of Steven Steinkeler, M.D. at HOSPITAL and Health Services in City, STATE since November 2001. DOCTOR reported that JANE DOE has "scarring on her upper [urinary] tract." His goal is to prevent further damage to JANE DOE's kidneys; JANE DOE's infections must be treated with medication immediately upon her discovery of them to prevent her condition from worsening.
Receiving adequate and timely treatment from doctors who are familiar with JANE DOE's condition would be impossible if she were living in Mexico. Additionally, JANE DOE takes prescription Macrodantin, a drug specifically designed to treat urinary tract infections when due to susceptible strains of Escherichia coli, enterococci, and Staphylococcus aureus. It is unlikely that pharmacies in Mexico carry this and other similar medications she may need.
Vesicoureteral reflux is not the only medical condition JANE DOE has experienced. In March of 2005, she underwent a great loss when she miscarried the couple's first child. Her OB/GYN notes that "her progesterone was always low" and that "her HCG never got over 12 through the blood work." Progesterone is recognized as a vital female hormone central to successful conception and healthy pregnancy. Clearly, JANE DOE had difficulty sustaining her first pregnancy. She is most certainly likely to encounter similar problems again in the future. JON DOE and JANE DOE want to ensure that they have access to the best reproductive health providers and specialists so that they may continue to have children.
It is imperative that JANE DOE remain in the United States if she and JON DOE hope for her health to stabilize.
Additionally, SON DOE was born healthy, but has since suffered from jaundice, a severe eye infection and high fevers. Jaundice occurs when there is a build-up of a naturally present substance in the blood called bilirubin. As bilirubin builds up, it deposits on the fatty tissue under the skin, causing the infected baby's skin and eyes to appear yellow. JON DOE's physicians treated his jaundice with a biliblanket, a system that utilizes fiber optics and provides a high level of therapeutic light to treat the infant. Unfortunately, after being on the biliblanket, JON DOE's temperature rose to 100.2Âº, and he was taken to the emergency room for treatment.
JON DOE and JANE DOE, along with their newborn son, are a lovely family. They very much hope to build a future together in the United States and will certainly contribute much to society in general and the CITY community more specifically.
In light of the above, we thank you for your favorable consideration of this matter. If you require any additional information or documentation, please contact our office.
APPROVED, MEXICO, CON'T.
I had attached 29 Exhibit. and It is very important to included edvidence.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
American Consulate General
Ciudad Juarez, Chin., Mexico
P.O. Box 9896
El Paso, Texas 79905-9896
Applicant: XX Castillo
Application for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability (I-601)
Claim of Extreme Hardship to U.S. Citizen Spouse
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am a U.S. citizen urging the immediate Waiver of Grounds of Excludability (I-601) so that my husband XX may join me, and our daughter XX in XX as soon as possible. Our health, employment and educational opportunities, economic solvency, and familial ties prevent us from living in Mexico with my husband. However, at the same time, I would be compelled by the strength of our marital bond and the parental bond of our daughter to do so. While I have much to say, I understand and respect that your time is valuable; therefore I have outlined the points I feel I most need to make and have attached my research at the end. I am more than willing to speak with you in person should you have any question or need me to elaborate.
Our Family Background
My husband and I met from work in the year of 2001. During the time we dated, I immediately fell in love with his personality, loyalty. Being a broken heart person at the time it meant the world to me to know that husband not only cared about me but for my family as well. As our relationship grew I realized that my husband was "the one" that I had been praying to God to send my way. We married at the XX Court House and exchanged our vows to be witnessed by our close family and friends. We soon gave birth to our daughter, XX. We were both eager to become good parents and provide a loving home and caring environment in which of our child could feel safe. It breaks my heart knowing what extreme and unkind hardships that will be created if our family is separated.
Since learning that my husband will be leaving the U.S. with a 10 years bar and would have to apply for an unguaranteed re-entry, I began an emotional and physical downward spiral. I immediately went to see my physician, XX, M.D., to discuss my stress and anxiety. I having high anxiety levels that I am doing my best to maintain with therapy sessions. (See Exhibit 1) I also have high level of stress. If I cannot eliminate the stress (ie: have my husband back), I will suffer from headaches, back pains, insomnia, these attacks will continue and worsen, leading to depression which at extreme levels could lead to suicide. (See Exhibit 2) Because my high level of anxiety, I also suffer from insomnia. Even with medication, (See Exhibit 3) I find that I cannot function as a normal person should. (See Exhibit 4) I sleepless almost everyday, which impedes me from carrying out my daily functions as a mother, wife and employee. I continue to suffer severe stress and anxiety, honestly, have wished to die in order not to deal with the possibility of losing my family. During my battle with stress and anxiety, XX has been a rock, my savior, never making light of the matter and always providing the support and love I need. He makes sure I always take my medication. He is such a good man. Without the knowledge that my family will be intact I fear my life will go completely dark. (See Exhibit 5)
Future Pregnancies and Gestational Diabetes
I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. (See Exhibit 16) This condition increases the risks to my health, as well as that of any future children. The risks of gestational diabetes to the child include: damage to the baby's shoulders well as my future child with future pregnancies. The risks of gestational diabetes including damage to baby's shoulders during births, very low blood glucose levels at birth and higher risk for breathing problems. Babies with excess insulin become children who are at risk for obesity and adults who are at risk for type II diabetes. Also, because the gestational diabetes condition will makes big baby, I may have risk of a cesarean section birth that very large babies may require. I may develop Type II diabetes, if I am not treating this condition. (See Exhibit 17) If I do not receive the proper medical care for this condition in my future pregnancies, I may loss my child. If I were to relocate to Mexico I would be greatly concerned on finding a qualified physician to treat my condition. Not only would there be a language barrier, but a lack of trust in the patient and physician relationship.
XX and I are anxiously awaiting the day that we will be blessed with children again. This would be extremely difficult for me if living in Mexico, not to mention an extreme hardship. I have been seeing my current OB/GYN for over 3 years and I feel extremely comfortable with him. Due to my gestational diabetes problems I would feel much more confident being in his care while pregnant. If I was to deliver our children in Mexico I would face many problems causing me much more worrisome nights than necessary. One, I do not speak Spanish so I would be unable to communicate my concerns accurately with nurses and doctors. Two, I would be extremely uncomfortable with someone I had no prior relationship with. My health insurance also covers a very large part of maternity costs. I would be unable to afford the same kind of care if I living in Mexico.
XX and I desire to have more children. I most likely will have to undergo another treatment with Dr. Philip, a price I am willing to "pay" for more children. It is important for skilled care and to have confidence in the medical care one received from Dr. Philip. He is well aware of my medical history. It is also important for my husband and me for our children to be naturally-born US citizens, the land of opportunity.
Also, Stress will cause higher blood sugar. This will cause further risk for my future pregnancies. (See Exhibit 18).
Risk of Heart Disease
My grandmother suffers from heat disease, and my father and grandfather died due to cancer. I may be at genetic risk of developing all of these. My grandmother is currently being treated for heart problems (See Exhibit 6). According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), heart disease is increased by long-lasting stress and a family history of heart disease (See Exhibit 7). Due to my recent diagnosis and the long-lasting stress of this immigration proceeding, I am at risk for developing heart disease. In addition, I am having high blood cholesterol and high blood Glucose. (See Exhibit These will greatly increase my risk for heart disease. (See Exhibit 9)
If this situation continues the consequence will result in significant deterioration of health problems for me which would be life threatening. Blood cholesterol and Blood Glucose are known to vary with emotional and psychological states. High blood cholesterol and high blood glucose can cause stroke which would lead to paralysis, speech problems and even death. (See Exhibit 10)
Vulnerability to Medical Illness
In 1967 Thomas H. Holmes, M.D. and Richard H. Rahe, M.D. published in the prestigious Journal of Psychosomatic Research, "The Social Readjustment Rating Scale" (SRRS). This scale is now famous. Its efficacy is well established. For instance, in December 2000 in Educational and Psychological Measurement Judith A. Scully, Henry Tosi and Kevin Banning re-evaluated the use of this instrument. The abstract of their article states:
"The authors conclude that, in sum, life change events remain useful predictors of stress related-symptom scores and that the SRRS is a robust instrument for identifying the potential for the occurrence of stress-related outcomes and is, therefore, a useful tool..."
The scale uses the weighting of Life Changes Units (LCU's) as a means of being able to predict vulnerability to medical illness. Significant life changes, positive and negative, which occur with frequency and intensity, are significant variables in the development of medical illness. It is not possible to predict exactly which illness might occur. However, degree of vulnerability can be predicted.
The following are the predictive ranges of the Holmes-Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale:
LCU <150: No significant risk of illness
LCU 150-199: 35% Chance of illness or injury in two year period
LCU 200-299: 51% Chance of illness or injury in two year period
LCU>300: 80% Chance of illness or injury in two year period
This scale was applied to me (on the assumed basis that I was forced to move to Country). My score on this instrument was "365 ". On the other hand, if XX were admitted to the USA my score would drop dramatically to 128. (See Exhibits 11) If I am forced to move to Country, I am clearly within the highest-risk range of developing medical illness or injury in the two years following his move.
The Holmes-Rahe SRRS also demonstrates a very important fact widely recognized in the health sciences. Stress and other risk factors not only exist as independent influences, they interact dynamically. In other words, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I am being subjected to, or may be subjected to, factors whose interactions contribute exponentially to his experience of hardship. The factors herein delineated are more than additive. Each interacts with the other in a dynamic manner that potentates and heightens their mutual impact upon me. Therefore, the totality of hardship factors exceeds measurement.
Thus, it is this totality of factors that must be considered when reading this document. Additionally, it must also be remembered that I am currently experiencing high levels of psychological stress (as evidenced by the development of major depression). Thus, each of these areas of actual or potential hardship must be added to the already significant psychological hardship that I am dealing with every day.
If I am forced to move to Mexico, I am clearly within the highest-risk range of developing medical illness or injury in the two years following her move.
Daughter's Health Concern Increase my Stress and Anxiety
After knowing that I need to move to Mexico, if my husband don't get approve, My stress and amenity level are increase dramatically for concerning the health of my daughter. The healthcare system in Mexico is not comparable to the standards of healthcare in the United States. (See Exhibit 12) My child currently receives pediatric care by Dr. XX. She had to visit Dr. XX constantly due to frequent health problems. Repetitive ear infection is one of the health problems my baby suffered. (See Exhibit 13). Ear Infection also called otitis media. Seventy-five percent of children experience at least one episode of otitis media by their third birthday. Almost half of these children will have three or more ear infections during their first 3 years. It is estimated that medical costs and lost wages because of otitis media amount to $5 billion* a year in the United States. Otitis media not only causes severe pain but may result in serious complications if it is not treated. An untreated infection can travel from the middle ear to the nearby parts of the head, including the brain. Although the hearing loss caused by otitis media is usually temporary, untreated otitis media may lead to permanent hearing impairment. Persistent fluid in the middle ear and chronic otitis media can reduce a child's hearing at a time that is critical for speech and language development. Children who have early hearing impairment from frequent ear infections are likely to have speech and language disabilities. (See Exhibit 14). We have established a trusting relationship with Dr. XX over the years and would be very difficult to replace such a knowledgeable and caring physician. (See Exhibit 15) During the emergencies we have had with my child, his assessment skills and treatments have been out of this world. Dr. XX is very thorough during his wellness exams and answers any question and concerns. He has also communicated to me via phone during non-operational hours regarding the concerns I have had with my child and has provided exceptional advice. If we were to relocate to Mexico there would be no physician that could replace the qualifications that Dr. XX demonstrates in the United States. The language barrier would also complicate my children to establish a trusting relationship with a physician in Mexico that can not communicate in English. Thus being said, it would be impossible to continue excellent health care for my child if we were to relocate to Mexico.
Health care Concern
If I live in Mexico, where my husband is from, the closest hospital would be located in Chilapa, which is at least 2 hours away. If I am forced to live in Mexico, my life and all of our children's lives will be placed at risk. Please don't force us to be in this situation.
I have researched the possibilities of getting Medical care in Mexico and even though it may be fair to good or even excellent in some limited areas, the truth is there is a great lack of proper women's healthcare in Mexico. According to world health statistics Mexico ranks #1 in percentage (15.3%) of females living in ill-health. "In the largest cities, excellent specialty-trained physicians and high technology tertiary-care medical centers compete with similar U.S. centers to provide care for Mexico's wealthy. At the other end of the spectrum, large numbers of unregulated and unsupervised private physicians, often without residency training, work out of individual "clinics" to deliver health care mostly to the uninsured, who can afford to not use the underequipped and understaffed Ministry of Health facilities." (See Exhibit 19) The existence of affordable healthcare, properly trained or specialized physicians such as an Interventional Radiologist or a Gynecology Oncologist, and up to date radiology equipment such as Mammography, MRI, Ultrasound, etc. would not be readily available for me without an incredibly substantial amount of income. fibroids."
As stated above, I have a critical need for constant follow-up of my medical conditions with advanced procedures such as MRI's, Ultrasounds, Saline Infusion Sonohysterography, Mammography and regular examinations by highly trained specialists as is an Interventional Radiologist and Gynecology Oncologist. I have already established a relationship with my physicians and feel extremely comfortable and confident in their care. Although I consider myself biligual, the truth is medical terminology in Spanish is foreign to me and it would be extremely difficult for me to express myself or explain to new doctors what has already been done for me here in the U.S. As you can see, it would be extreme and it would cause me an extreme hardship to relocate to Mexico.
My health problems need to be accustomed to diagnosing, treating, even preventing such conditions as well as many others. A move to Mexico would translate into us having to find new doctors, familiarizing them with our histories (something that will not easily done due to language barriers). While I am familiar with and have confidence in the health facilities and procedures in the United States, I am unsure about, unaware of the availability of, and have my reservations about the health care in Mexico. Currently, my employer provides my family's health insurance. This insurance typically covers the majority of our health care costs. It also provides prescription drug coverage. (See Exhibit 20) According to travel.state.gov, (See Exhibit 21) health insurance from the United States is not applicable in Mexico. While health insurance may be available, due to my financial status if I move to Mexico, I will be unable to maintain health insurance coverage; therefore I may have to forgo health insurance while I live there.
Here in the U.S., I am not only confident that I will have the expert care I will need and access to advanced medical facilities, but I also have excellent insurance through my employer which will cover my medical expenses. However, without my husband's financial support (which is impossible to provide from Mexico, I would not be able to afford having a baby, especially if I am ordered to bed-rest throughout the pregnancy (therefore unable to work) to prevent pre-term delivery. Additionally, I can not raise a child alone, when my husband, who is my greatest source of emotional support and would be my only source of financial support, is far away from me. This would be an extreme hardship for me, as well as for my child who would have to grow up deprived of his/her father.
Loss of Employment Opportunity
I have a Mater's degree in Accounting and Information System. I worked hard attending six years of University studies. (See Exhibit 22) I trained to work in the area of accounting services. If I forced to re-locate to Mexico, it would be impossible to work as a revenue examiner related to the language barrier, for I do not speak Spanish, much less a job in the area of studies that I dedicated my life to. The matching salary would not be comparable to the salary I make in the United States. (See Exhibit 23) I have established great friendships with many co-workers. If I were to relocate, I would loose all of my retirement, healthcare benefits and excellent potential for moving up from the state revenue department which are not replaceable. (See Exhibit 24) I would like to continue to provide the best service to the taxpayers and to the department personnel. If I quit my career to move to Mexico and be with my husband, it is unlikely that I will be able to find a job (due to lack of training, language barriers, and the overall economic situation in Mexico.) Also, as the laws and regulation the state revenue department are in constant change, any time away from my field will be detrimental to my employability upon my return to the U.S. in obtaining similar employment. An extreme hardship will arise if I were to abandon my profession as I will not be employable after a 10 year return and will lose my retirement and social security contributions.
This would make my predicament even graver and would impact aspects of my life: psychological, family and physical. Not only would this provoke serious depression due to loss of ability to provide income, but financial difficulties would block my daughter possibility of a decent life. This would be an extreme hardship to me because I desperately want to be able to provide for my children. Mexico can not provide me with employment opportunities as a revenue examiner necessary for me to fulfill my dreams and maintain my family's standard of living.
Adjusting my husband's immigration status has been financially stressful. I worked long extra hard hours to replace the amount of money spent on immigration fees, lawyer fees, travel fees, and preparing for the separation time while the I-601 is being processed. Relocating to Mexico would be financially distressing because of the debt I owe in the United States. My bills consist of a mortgage payment, a car payment, student loan, credit card, utility bills, insurance bills, and medical bills. (See Exhibit 25) I would not be able to afford to make the minimum monthly payment towards these bills if I were to relocate to Mexico. Because the financial difficulties, I would be unable to purchase plane tickets to go home to visit (tickets cost between US$500-US$1000 round trip), or even pay for the international calls that would be necessary to stay in touch with my husband. My husband's employer has agreed to keep his position open until he returns so that makes me feel a lot better because at least we know that he will have a job when he returns back to the US. (See attachment-note from employer)
Loss My House
Without my job, and the additional income that my husband can provide, I may lose my house. (See Exhibit 26) I bought this house for us, as a place to start a new life together, and where we could nurture the loving environment in which to raise a family. XX and I were married in this house, and we have discussed, at length, the many plans for our future here, together. There is still a lot of work to do on it, things that I cannot do without him, such as purchasing a new roof and a perimeter fence, and building a deck (something he promised me the day I signed the mortgage papers). I also depend on XX to fulfill the "male" tasks- i.e. Lawn maintenance, tending to house repairs and upkeep, maintenance of our vehicles, lifting the heavy objects, etc.
Care for Mother and Grandmother
My mother, ZhenHua Fang, U.S. Citizen, is currently dependent upon me for her healthcare and economic stability. My mother is currently living with me. She suffers from chronic pain due to arthritis. She had been to a physician to help with her pain, but it is not helping. Then she went to see Dr. XX, who prescribed her Mobic to reduce her pain due to arthritis. (See Exhibit 27) She is unable to earn enough income to pay for her basic needs and pay for her own insurance. I would not be able to pay for her basic needs and insurance premiums without my husband's presence in the U.S. She would suffer severe possibly fatal consequences without the help my husband and I are able to provide her. I would, therefore, suffer extreme hardship by not being able to pay for her basic needs and seeing her suffer the effects of her health condition. (See Exhibit 28)
Also I am currently caring for my elderly grandmother, who had been suffering from heart problem and lives in our home and relies on me. (See Exhibit 29) My grandmother had surgery for several times, and it is necessary for her to have surgery when ever her heart problem gets worse again. If I need to be able to take care of her, provide for her and be with her. I need my husband here to make that possible. My grandmother had been live with me since I am a teenage. My mother and I had makes a promise to take care my grandmother, therefore it is very important for me to keep this promise. (See Exhibit 30)
Both my mother and grand mother don't know how to drive; therefore they depend on me for their transportation. I am responsible for taking them to doctor visits, getting prescriptions filled, shop groceries and other basic needs. My mother speaks limited English and my grandmother does not speak English at all. They depend on me for translation in day to day basic. These include doctor visits, getting their prescriptions, and purchase their basic needs.
I feel strongly about taking care of my mother and grandmother. And it is something that my husband shares with me. If my husband is not permitted in the United States, I will be forced to re-locate to Mexico, which in turn will leave my mother and grandmother with no one to care for them. This situation would be a tragedy for not only me but for my entire family as well. It is an extreme hardship for me to unable to take care both of my mother and my grandmother.
Family unification is so important for children to grow up with because it emotionally and mentally affects a child's welfare. We as a family share a deep bond and dedication to one another. If this bond is taken away by not allowing my husband to immigrate to the United States, this will cause extreme hardship. We both completely rely on one another for guidance in raising our child and mutually respect one another with our parenting skills. It would be very hard to raise our child if our family were to be separated for a great length of time.
We both want the best for our child in regards to education, safety, and excellent healthcare.
Our home environment is a safe environment. The neighbors are friendly and our community has much to offer to our family. My fear for our child's safety in Mexico would greatly increase and not allow me to be a mother that they deserve to have for a parent. Knowing that Mexico has a high crime rate and high rate of kidnappings creates much anxiety for me. (See Exhibit 31) The constant worrying of their well being and fear that they could be kidnapped terrifies me! It scares me to know that I could be exposing my child to such an unsafe environment if we were to relocate to Mexico. I could never live with myself or bare the consequences of such an awful occurrence. I will not allow my child's well being to be violated and therefore could not possibly think to relocate to Mexico on a permanent basis.
When we do have more children, I know my family will play a major role in their upbringing. My mom can not wait for more grandchildren. The thought of raising my child in Mexico with less educational opportunities than the United States and keeping my child away from the grandparents make my stomach turn. I do not want our children to grow up without the wisdom and love that my mom and grandmother will give. It would be impossible for me to travel back and forth between the U.S and Mexico to see my parents. Our finances if living in Mexico would not allow it.
I do not know anyone in Mexico, other than my husband and his family (whom I am unable to communicate with effectively, without my husband present as a translator). I have always had a strong bond with my mother. My mother means the world to me. She has been very supportive to me as I have grown up and faced many challenges. She is also very supportive to both my husband and I with this immigration process. We are living together. I have a special bond with my mother and respect my mother with all my heart. They created the person I grew up to be and to be separated from her not only emotionally tears my heart apart but will severely burden me with depression. I express great concern with my mother's health status for my mother has arthritis. My mother's health issues are presently stable, but as we all know as you age your health may decline. I am supporting her for both financial and physical. As for our child, she too has a special bond with her grandmother. My mother provided care to my daughter while I worked and basically became the "other parent figure". She played a vital role in my daughter's child development during the years that I would like for our future children to experience as well. My mother loves to teach our child about how to become a good moral person. She enjoys singing and dancing with our child. My child is very close to my mother that it would be traumatic to separate them for such a long time.
I have had to continue working full-time due to the need of my income to prepare for the appointment, and to pay for filing fees and attorney fees, it has made it impossible for me to return to school. My husband and I have plans that soon after he returns home I would like to further my education and pursue CPA certificate - an opportunity only available to me in the United States, however, a great deal of time will need to be applied in order to reach my professional goal as will X's moral and financial support. (See Exhibit 32). Furthering my education is critical for me to obtain the more secure, better paying jobs I desire as well as for self-fulfillment.
It is important for me that my daughter is able to further her education and that I am able to financially help her to do so. Without my husband, I barely have enough income to get by, let alone save for my aspiration. My daughter will also be losing education opportunities. Providing our daughter with the best of both worlds has always been a priority to me. Not being able to provide her with education opportunity would make me a failure.
If I move to Mexico, my children would not have access to an education equivalent to the one that they would receive in the United States. Unfortunately, since XX's family lives in a small town they only offer up to secondary school. If a resident wanted to attend high school they would have to travel to the next city which is 30 minutes away. Then for University, they would have to travel at least 1 hour away. Aside from all the trouble that we would have in the travel time and cost to have our children go to school, they would not receive the education equivalent to the one that they would receive in the United States. I want our children to have better opportunities than both XX and I had. I want to have a job to pay for my children's school and make sure they have the necessary tools to become successful in their future.
As I have previously indicated, the language barrier would be a great hardship I would have to overcome. I still have trouble understanding and speaking to language. Not being able to communicate well with others will hinder my employment opportunities, ability to further education, not to mention isolate me from personal relationships with family and to ability to make friends. It would be frustrating and challenging, downright depressing. As (daughter) is young and able to learn the language quickly, the language barrier could also isolate me from my own child.
Before we started this immigration process, I spent quality time with my family. As we have come near the interview date, I have felt distant and torn from my family. The constant worrying of the end result if it were to be negative threatens my mental and physical well-being. It would be so devastating to relocate to Mexico for 10 years and cause such severe hardships. To cause undue separation, not be able to financially support my family, loose all assets, and loose benefits of my career is dreadful. I wish nothing more than to have my husband be granted the right to immigrate to the United States. This would allow our family to be reunited and live the "American Dream" that we so much want for our family. Please consider our case and forgive XX for his illegal presence in the United States. Without my husband, I lose not only a huge financial part of our household, but a part of my soul. He is the best person that I have ever met, and I am a better person because of him. If he is allowed to come back to the United States, our country will have gained a responsible, hard working, tax paying and law abiding individual. We will contribute to the economy and need not receive any assistance from welfare programs or the like. He will appreciate the freedom and opportunity that has been allowed him and we will spend the rest of our lives respecting the incredible gifts we have been so blessed to receive.
APPROVED, MEXICO, CON'T.
HSL Courtesy of Ciscohiker
Waiver filed April 19, 2006, transferred to DHS April 24, 2006. Approved March 14, 2007,
SUBJECT: LETTER OF EXTREME HARDSHIP
Case Number: CDJ2005***XX
Petitioner Name: Ciscohiker
I, Ciscohiker, declare under penalty of perjury, under the laws of the United States of America, that the following is true and correct.
Wife of Ciscohiker has been denied a visa under Section 219(a)(9)(B)(II) of Immigration and Nationality Act. I, CiscoHiker am Wife of Ciscohiker's husband. I am seeking relief under the discretionary waiver I-601. If my wife were not admitted to the United States, I would suffer extreme hardships as detailed in the following letter.
I was born and raised in the United States and have lived in California all of my 33 years. I met my wife in the San Jose, California, USA through her sister who worked as a janitor in the building I worked in. We began dating in 1999. In July of 2003 our first son CiscoHiker Jr (a US Citizen) was born in San Jose (copy of Jr's birth certificate: exhibit A) My then girlfriend returned to Mexico to be with her father who was undergoing prostate surgery in November of 2003. I have gone to visit my wife and son in Mexico every couple of months since she left. In November of 2004 we were married in Boca Del Rio, Mexico. On March 28th 2006 our second son, Ciscohiker II was born in Veracruz, Mexico (and soon will become a US Citizen)( copy of CiscoHiker II's birth certificate: exhibit B). What follows are the hardships I would face if my wife were not allowed to return to the US. I have broken these hardships down by the following categories (Health, Financial Considerations, Personal / Family Considerations, and Special Factors).
I suffer from a medical condition called bilateral iris coloboma. (doctor's diagnosis exhibit C). The surface area of my pupil is much larger than normal and not circular. (see photos. exhibit D). This condition allows more light into my eyes. As more light gets into my eye this limits my activities during the day including the ability to drive and also limits my night driving as lights seem extremely bright at night. I have been limited by this condition since birth and there is no cure and the treatments options do not eliminate the symptoms. I have been living apart from my wife for 2 years and according to the New York Medical Centers depression screening (reference: http://www.med.nyu.edu/psych/screens/depres.html) I "reflect the presence of significant depressive symptoms" which I attribute to the separation. I suffer from a number of the symptoms of depression as defined by the National Institute of Mental Health such as persistent sadness, anxiety , feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, feelings of guilt, decreased energy, difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions, insomnia, restlessness, irritability, persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain (reference: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/healthinform...ssionmenu.cfm). I travel to Mexico as often as I can which is about every 2 months. Living apart from my children brings incredible sadness to me and my wife and has started to do the same for our son. Our son Jr cries when I leave. Continued separation will cause me to continue to miss key life events such as our son Ciscohiker II's first steps. My wife and I talk daily by phone and we often spend hours just crying and consoling each other. This adds an incredible amount of stress to the both of us. Recently my 98 year old grandfather passed away (obituary attached, exhibit E) and my wife was not able to meet him or attend his funeral. My mom's sister, my aunt, Miram Rogin (see letter, exhibit F) is in the late stages of melanoma which has spread to her brain. My aunt wants to be able to meet my wife and kids but due to her condition she is unable to travel. My 92 year old grandmother is also unable to travel to meet my wife. And since our kids are too young to travel without their mother they too are unable to meet my grandmother. My mom has been diagnosed with Clostridium Difficile which causes almost constant diarrhea and makes it very difficult to see her only grandchildren (see letter / test results, exhibit G). My father also is undergoing cancer treatment and is unable to travel (see letter, exhibit H)
I lost my sister to a car accident in 1988, she was 18 and not being able to bring my family to see my mom and dad feels like they are losing another child. My son has had a number of skin problems since arriving in Mexico (attached is the latest diagnosis, exhibit I). The doctors have said these are due in part to the climate, though it's been a challenge for my wife get doctors in Mexico to give her a written diagnosis. The separation of our family creates periods of great sadness and depression for me.
During my visits to see my wife in Veracruz, Mexico I have had two health related issues. One is the almost constant mosquito bites which I get (see photo, exhibit J). Keeping the mosquitoes away seems to be a losing battle as I get them faster than they heal. I use mosquito repellant. Though very difficult due to the heat I sleep with socks and covers to keep the mosquitoes away. I also have a constant sore throat which I attribute to the pollution on the area. The sore throat starts on the 2nd day after arriving and continues until I return to the US. Much of this pollution comes from Mexico City and is currently being studied. One article on the study can be read at the following URL (http://www.ucar.edu/communications/s...06/mirage.html ). Another form of pollution is that most residents burn their fields and their garbage which also creates polluted air to which I attribute to my sore throat.
I am the sole provider of our family's income, which from a financial perspective meets all of our needs and supports our 2 young children. I work for Cisco Systems, a large internet hardware company. I have been at Cisco since 1999 and worked my way up from Customer Service Rep, grade level 5 to a Business Analyst / Project Manager Grade, 8. My current salary is $***XX a year plus bonuses, stock, and stock options (my salary and bonus info, exhibit K). It would be extremely difficult to find a job in my field / grade level / salary in Mexico as I do not speak or read the Spanish language well. As a comparison my wife's sisters work for about 14 dollars a day (or $3900 a year). If my wife were the sole income provider our standard of living would be drastically reduced and it would be a challenge to meet the basic needs of our family such as food, diapers, clothes, rent, car payments, gas, phone bills, electricity. If I were to live in Mexico and work at greatly reduced wages I would not be able to afford to travel to see my family in the US, whom I'm very close to. Not only would it be hard to find a job in Mexico but if I were to live in Mexico for years it would be very difficult for me to find an equivalent job upon my return as the high tech industry changes quickly.
Living in Mexico I would also be forced to cease putting money away for retirement both in the form of Social Security and in the form of a 401k which my current job offers and contributes to in support of our retirement. This would drastically affect our retirement income. If I contribute at a 6% rate and my employer continues their match and the account grows at just 5% after 10 years the amount of money we will have saved for retirement is $XX,***,*** according to the bloomberg 401k calculator at the following URL http://www.bloomberg.com/analysis/calculators/401k.html. Losing this income for retirement will affect our family for years to come.
My company provides medical, dental and vision coverage for our family. If I were to move to Mexico we would need to pay for private health insurance which one quote was given to be $1100 a year per person, which we could not afford if my wife had to work for $4000 a year. Uninsured American citizens who require medical care abroad can face extreme difficulties. And if an emergency arose a medical evacuation could easily cost $10,000 and up, depending on location and medical condition. This could subject me to extreme financial difficulties.
The travel expenses that are needed for us just to see each other are a burden as airplane tickets from California to Veracruz, Mexico cost between $700 - $900. If I were forced to live in Mexico and live on wages in Mexico I could not afford to visit my family in the US.
Due to the constantly changing nature of high tech and the field of business analysis and project management it is necessary and expected for me to continue taking courses on a regular basis (class history on site at Cisco (does not include classes taken outside of Cisco), exhibit L). When taking classes I receive 100% tuition assistance and I hope to complete my MBA. If I were to live in Mexico I could not afford this education and MBA classes are not offered in English in Veracruz. Traveling to Mexico for visits I have already missed some classes, which I need to complete. Many of these classes are offered once a year and not attending these classes holds me back from moving up to the next grade level. These specific classes in business analysis are not yet offered in Mexico.
Adding to my stress I want my children to be educated in English. The only way for our children to be able to have an education up to the U.S standard is by sending them to an international school, which is very costly and unaffordable living on wages in Mexico. The education system is not as good as it is in the US and living in Mexico we would not be financially able to provide all the tools our children would need to succeed. I would not be able to help our children with their homework in Spanish and we would not be able to afford computers which I feel are such a valuable part of a child's education.
PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS (Family Ties, Health Care, Citizenship)
Separation from my two young children is extremely difficult. It tears at my heart to not be a part of their day-to-day lives.
I have no family ties in Mexico but have many in the US including: 1) my US Citizen grandmother has lived in the US for 92 years, 2) my US Citizen father has lived in the US for 64 years, 3) my US Citizen mother has lived in the US for 62 years, and 4) my US Citizen aunt has lived in the US for 58 years. Living in Mexico and not being able to travel to see them would be extremely difficult especially during times of medical emergencies. I'm very close to my family. I have lived my whole life within an hour's drive of my mother and am especially close to her and see her every week. Not being able to see her would be extremely difficult.
My children have never seen my grandparents and have not seen their grandfather since we were married in 2004. Isolation from the children's relatives in the United States would cause the children not to know that they have relatives who long to see them and love them very much. I vehemently desire that my children to get to know the American side of my family. As stated above if I moved to Mexico visiting my family in the US will be impossible and I feel our children would suffer from that lack of contact. Depriving our children at such a young age will cause them to be ignorant of their living relatives and also of their country, the United States of America
If I were to live in Mexico our newborn would have limited access to health care based on what we could afford. Periodic pediatric care and immunizations for a newborn are a must and essential in order for him to be healthy. Our two young children, ages 2 ½ and 1 month, are also at the stage where they both need the best health care (i.e. immunizations and pediatric checkups) that they can get.
Our innocent newborn and toddler would be subject to the detrimental effects of improper and inadequate health care. This would jeopardize their health and cause them unnecessary early childhood illnesses or possibly death. Preventions are better than cures and working at Cisco I can provide them the best health care available.
I am a very proud American, who fully supports his country, the United States of America. I have been able to volunteer in a number of areas including tutoring low income children, teaching children about animal by bringing animals into their classrooms, and I have volunteered for a Congressman (see attachment, exhibit M). I take pride in my country and I strongly desire to remain here if this waiver is granted.
SPECIAL FACTORS (Children, Hobbies)
We have 2 young children, Ciscohiker Jr, age 2 ½ years old and Ciscohiker II, just one month old. Our children have a bond with me and our older son suffers from being separated from me. Our children need a strong male role model in their lives.
As stated by Migration Information Source, "The right to a shared family life draws additional support from the prohibition against arbitrary interference with the family. Finally, states have recognized that children have a right to live with their parents. Both the father and the mother have common responsibilities as parents and share the right and responsibility to participate equally in the upbringing and development of their children". (reference: www.migrationinformation.org/Feature/print.cfm?ID=118)
Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (reference: http://www.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm):
The States Parties to the present Convention,
Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding,
1. States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents,....have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child.
With the above recognition, it is imperative that I and my family be together in the United States. If this waiver is not granted, I will be forced to move to Mexico to be with my family.
Having to live in Mexico we could be the victims of crime as Mexico is listed as 6th in the list of most murders per capita out of 62 countries according to the following URL http://www.nationmaster.com as compared to the US which is 24th.
I am an avid collector and have been as far back as I can remember. I have a very large collection of baseball cards and memorabilia (see photos, exhibit N). If I were to move to Mexico I would have to sell or store this collection. Selling something that I have put so many years into would be extremely difficult and storing cards is not easy as they need a cool dry environment which is often not found at most storage facilities. I am also an avid coin collector (see photos, exhibit O). I have accumulated numerous coins over the last 25 years with the help of my grandfather. Storing this coin collection would need to be done in a secure location and it would not be cheap to store. I would not be able to continue either of these hobbies in Mexico. My other hobbies are hiking, backpacking, and geocaching (www.geocaching.com) all of which are limited in Mexico from an availability as well as from an equipment perspective.
I feel that the hardships we face either in terms of years of separation or years of living in Mexico are extreme and that my wife and our family should be able to be re-united. The separations are emotionally and financially devastating. And having to leave the US would affect our family emotionally, financially, and medically for years to come.
It is well documented that "family unity" is an important value underpinning the raison d'etre of the United States of America and that actions to "assure family unity" are part of the intent of U.S. Immigration Law [for example see Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II, Part II, section I, pp.64 and 65]. Keeping families together is a prime goal of the United States, since strong, united families make for a stronger country. With that guideline from the US Government, a married couple with children being forced to live apart would alone be enough to constitute extreme hardship.
I have been living an honest life as I attempt to obtain the American Dream of a wife and kids living together in a loving home. My wife made a mistake by entering the US and we have been living apart for more than 2 years which has been incredibly emotional for me, my wife and our son. I'm now humbly asking the government to recognize my contributions as a U.S citizen and permit my wife to enter the United States of America by granting this waiver so that my family (family photo: exhibit P) can be made whole. By granting this approval, I would be able to continue my career for Cisco and not be forced to move to Mexico. My wife is a wonderful hands-on mother and I know, if allowed entry to the US, my wife would not only continue to take care of our family, but be a positive contributor to the United States of America as well.
Please consider our case and grant us this extremely needed approval.
APPROVED, MEXICO, CON'T.
HSL Courtesy of Immigrate2us member chilanga (also chilanga on this forum)
Here is the first HSL. I included doctors' letters, check stubs for my husband, information provided to me by the US Embassy in Mexico City regarding schools, and safety warnings for Mexico City issued by the Department of State.
2 February 2006
Case #: ******XX
Hardship to U.S. Citizen
To Whom It May Concern:
I, along with my two children, ***X and ***X, would suffer extreme and severe hardship, if my husband, ***X is not admitted to the United States. Our health, employment and educational opportunities, economic solvency, and familial ties prevent us from living in Mexico with my husband. However, at the same time, I would be compelled by the strength of our marital bond and the parental bond of our children to do so.
There are several hardships to consider:
Both myself and my children have health issues that would be negatively impacted, to the point of being life threatening, if we did not have immediate access to expert medical care.
I was diagnosed with having asthma when I was an adolescent. I am required to be on Flovent for preventative care and also Albuterol as a rescue inhaler. Although my condition is currently under control, if I were forced to live in Mexico City, where my husband resides, it would surely be aggravated due to the heavy pollution problem there. According to a Human Development Study, Mexico City is one of the most polluted cities in the world. Its ozone levels exceed the standards established by the World Health Organization more than 300 days a year. These conditions would most certainly cause my condition to worsen and could bring about potentially fatal complications. In addition, ambulatory services in Mexico are much slower than in the U.S. If I suffer an asthma attack and am not able to be transported quickly to receive medical care, the consequences would be fatal.
Both of our children were born prematurely. When they were born, there was concern regarding the maturity of their lungs. ***X was hospitalized for RSV when he was a year old. ***X experienced several instances of apnea shortly after she was born. As such, I am required to take any respiratory illness that they experience very seriously as we still do not know the long term effects that they will experience as a result of being born prior to complete lung maturity. Again, the prospect of exposing them on a permanent basis to the pollutants that are present in Mexico City is of great concern to both me and the children's pediatrician.
In addition, in the United States I currently have access to a wonderful group health insurance program through the insurer, Healthpartners. This coverage affords us access to our primary care physicians. We would not have access to this in Mexico and therefore we would not be guaranteed access to appropriate medical care.
In the United States, I have the opportunity to return to school to expand my education. My desire is to go to law school and to study employment law so that I may have the opportunity to enhance my career. I would not have this opportunity in Mexico. Although I am comfortable using Spanish on a social basis, my knowledge is not broad enough for me to be able to study something as complex as law with any degree of understanding.
In order for my children to have access to an education equivalent to the one that they would receive in the United States, I would be forced to send them to private school. I contacted the US Embassy regarding schools where my children could be sent. The information that they provided indicated that there was one such school in the Mexico City area. This school is located in the southern part of the metro area, whereas we would be residing in the northern part. Also, the schools tuition is currently listed at $6,577-$9,550/year for each child, depending on what grade they are in, with yearly registration fees running between $1,315 and $1,910 annually. As I currently would not be able to afford this on my salary that I make in the United States, there is no possible way that we would be able to afford this on our diminished earning capacity in Mexico.
I have a great job with excellent potential for moving up. I work as a Human Resource Representative for an internet and catalog retailer of sporting goods. I have an extensive knowledge of worker's compensation, unemployment, as well as federal and state labor law. I have absolutely no knowledge of the labor laws relating to Mexico, and therefore I would be unable to obtain employment in my same field in Mexico. Currently, I earn over $40,000/year in the United States. I would not be able to earn this amount living in Mexico. Also, in order to be able to work in Mexico, I would have to apply for residency in Mexico. This is a process that would take time to complete and I would be unable to work at all until it is finished.
My husband is currently attending school. Due to my initial inability to work in Mexico, my husband would be forced to leave school to find employment to support us. Without his education completed, any employment that he would be able to obtain would not pay any more than $800 MXN per week for a regular work week. This is not enough for us to be able to live on our own, and we would be forced to live with my husband's family in a house where there are already 10 people currently residing. My children and I would experience a severe decline in the standard of living that we are used to.
Although we do not live in the same community, my family is very close emotionally.
My son, ***X, is 4 years old and my daughter, ***X, is 2 years old. They are extremely attached to their grandparents (my parents). They are too young to understand the complexities of the situation and would therefore feel as though their grandparents had abandoned them. Due to the economic concerns that I listed above, we would be unable to afford airline tickets for the three of us to be able to visit my family.
I suffer from depression and although I receive psychological care for this condition, my extremely close relationship with my mother is a source of strength for me to be able to get through difficult times. As it stands right now, I talk to my mother almost every day. Living in Mexico, with our decreased earning capacity, would not allow me to continue this. Long distance from Mexico to the United States costs $10 MXN/minute. At this price, I may only be able to communicate with my mother on a monthly basis, if that.
Vulnerability to Illness
In 1967, Thomas H. Holmes, M.D. and Richard H. Rahe, M.D. published "The Social Readjustment Rating Scale" (SRRS) in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research. The scale uses the weighing of Life Changes Units (LCU's) as a way to be able to predict the vulnerability of a person to medical illness. Significant life changes, both positive and negative, are significant variables in the development of medical illness. It is not possible to predict which illness may occur, but a degree of vulnerability can be predicted.
The following are the predictive ranges of the Holmes-Rahe Social Readjustment Scale:
- LCU <150> 300: 80% chance of illness or injury in a 2 year period
This scale was applied to me on the basis that I would be forced to move to Mexico with my children. My score was 432. However, if my husband were to be admitted to the United States, my score dropped significantly to 99. If I was forced to move to Mexico, I would fall into the highest risk category of developing medical illness or injury in the 2 years following our relocation.
As I am also currently experiencing a high level of psychological stress due to the 2 year separation from my husband, I can only assume that any vulnerability to potential illness would be further aggravated by the significant psychological hardship that I am already experiencing.
Violence in Mexico
According to travel warnings issued by the U.S. Department of State, Mexico City is not entirely safe for U.S. Citizens. U.S. Citizens are often the victims of robberies, kidnappings, and many other criminal activities. Mexico City is ranked number one in the world for the amount of kidnappings that take place. This would be a dangerous place for me and my children to live.
As it stands right now, ***X has been outside of the country for almost two years. We cannot continue this separation. I struggle everyday to make sure my children remember their father. They remember him through photos and phone calls, but this is not enough. They need to have their father with them in their lives to help them to grow and flourish. My son idolizes ***X. Everyday, I have to convince him that his Papi loves him very much and that as soon as he is able to, he will be back with us. My daughter thinks her Papi lives in the telephone. If my husband is not permitted to return to the United States we will have no other option than to move to Mexico to reunite our family. However, doing so will create extreme and severe hardship to me and my children.
Thank you for your consideration.
Here is the 2nd letter I sent in late October. I included a very strong letter from my psychologist along with a letter from my mother regarding the severity of my depression.
24 October 2006
Case #: ***X
Additional Hardship Evidence
To Whom It May Concern:
I am sending this letter as an addendum to my previous hardship statement dated February 2nd, 2006 and received by your office on February 13th, 2006.
In my previous statement, I cited my concerns with my depression and the extreme hardship that separation from my mother cause for me. In 2004, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. Since that time, my depression has worsened substantially. I am currently undergoing psychological care for this condition and am awaiting the start of psychiatric care. I have begun taking the anti-depressant, Celexa, to help alleviate the depression symptoms, however it is too early for me to have realized any effects of the medication.
***X's absence has affected me deeply. Although I am not a medical professional, I also believe he suffers from depression as well. As his health insurance through my employer is not effective in Mexico, he has not been able to seek treatment for his condition. I struggle to find a way to support him in the way he needs me to when he is over two thousand miles away. Due to my intense worries about his condition, I have not been able to totally confide in him as to the extent to my condition. As much as I feel that I have lost the ability to cope with this impossible situation, I am scared to death of what the added weight of my condition would do to my husband.
While moving to Mexico would allow me to be with my husband, it would separate me from my mother. My mother and I have an atypical mother-daughter relationship. That is to say she, quite honestly, is my best friend. I confide in her things that most daughters would never, ever, tell their mothers. We speak several times a week, if not several times a day. As much as separation from my husband is intolerable, separation from my mother would be equally unbearable.
As I mentioned previously, I am currently undergoing treatment for my depression. Without health insurance, I would not be able to continue my treatment in Mexico. Without access to psychological and psychiatric care, I fear the consequences of not being able to adequately cope could be dire.
I thank you for your time and consideration.
HSL Courtesy of Immigrate2us member Jaramillo
Note from Jaramillo:
... waiver was approved in 6 months flat out of CDJ.....
With this letter I attached:
Copies of the bills that I mentioned (car loan, student loans, rent, etc.)
A letter from the Dean of my program who illustrated my need to remain in the states to finish my program at NKU, the fact that I would not be able to find a similar program in Mexico or that credits would not transfer, my need to sit for the PHR exam after graduation, etc.
A letter from my Doctor who treats me for my asthma outlining in detail the risks and consequences of not getting treated properly
A letter from our pediatrician in regards to my son's history and relationship with the doctor.
A letter from my boss to illustrate the importance of my position and the company's need for me to remain in the U.S. and that anything requiring me to move to Mexico would cause me to lose my job, etc.
Personally appeared before me, a notary public ******, who, after being duly sworn did dispose and state as follows:
1. My name is ******X, and I have personal knowledge of the facts related herein.
2. That this Affidavit is being made in support of the waiver application filed by my husband, ***X.
3. ***X is not only my husband, but my best friend. My life has changed since the day I met him, and by knowing him I have become a better person. Before I met ***X, I was irresponsible, lacking direction and goals in my life, unhealthy, superficial and a stranger to any ideas of "commitment, love or unity."
4. ***X and I first met in June of 2003 and we were married December 18th, 2004. I could not ask for a better husband, a better friend or a better Father to our newborn son ***X.
5. Since ***X has been in the United States, he has worked hard, paid his taxes, obeyed and respected the laws of our country and done everything he can to take advantage of any opportunity he has had to better himself and provide for his family.
6. To deny ***X a chance to have a life here in the United States with us, his family, would cause an extreme hardship to me for several reasons. I need ***X in so many ways: emotionally, financially, spiritually and physically.
7. I have suffered from Asthma my entire life. I have been hospitalized on several occasions and have been on medications and steroid treatments for my asthma for several years. In order to properly treat this illness I need full and constant access to both the medications and to the doctors who have treated me for the past several years. I have health insurance here in the United States, and am lucky that I only have to pay co-pays and deductibles for my medical care. Without ***X support however, even those reduced amounts would be hard to afford. If I were forced to move to Mexico with ***X in order for us to be together, I would not be able to get the medicines or the treatment that I need. In Mexico, I would have no insurance, and would not be able to pay the high costs of health care. Also, having to be treated in a foreign country by unknown (and possibly inadequate) doctors for such a serious illness means that I would runs the risk of not getting the right treatment. With an illness like asthma, not getting the proper medical care could actually kill me.
8. I have had several severe asthma attacks and what saved me is that ***X was there and he knew exactly what to do and how to get me the help I needed. I cannot live alone without him and run the risk of having an asthma attack. As my attached letter from my doctor explains, any scenario other than my current living arrangement would be detrimental to my health.
9. I also suffer from Clinical Depression. I have been on several experimental medications and respond very well to my current medicine. However, I must take my medicine on a regular basis and cannot miss a dose or I will have a depressive episode. ***X is very supportive of this. While many people have so many "ideas" and "opinions" about Depression, he has never once made me feel like I wasn't normal. In fact, he views it just like my treatments for my asthma. He helps me to remember to take my medicine, doctor's appointments, etc. so that I can continue to juggle the many responsibilities that I have as a wife and a mother.
10. As we have built our life here together, ***X and I have several financial commitments here in the United States. It would be impossible for me to pay all of our bills (i.e. car, insurance, rent, daycare, medication, credit card, diapers, formula, groceries, utilities, student loans, medical bills.....etc.) on my salary alone. I could not afford to stay in this apartment and I certainly would not be able to buy the house that ***X and I are saving for. If I were forced to move into a lower income neighborhood, I am putting my child in a situation where he can't play outside or have neighborhood friends or even be safe in his own home.
11. Without ***X help, I would not be able to provide the basic necessities of life for my son. If I can't afford to provide for my son, I run the risk of losing him. I need ***X as a provider of financial support as well as a provider of emotional support. When we were told from our attorney that ***X would have to wait in Mexico for the I-601 to be processes and approved, I had a hard decision to make. I knew that I could not afford to pay the multiple daycare costs by myself on one income. I also knew that it would be impossible for me to carry all the financial responsibility and care for our son on one income. So, we have come to the painful decision that our baby will have to go with ***X to Mexico.
12. I don't know of any other way to explain in this letter the extreme financial hardship that I would be under if ***X could not be here with me. I can't think of anything worse then a new Mother having to be apart from her baby, and yet that is the situation I find myself. I will have to be separated from our son ***X for the time that it takes to process this case. I must sacrifice being with my baby, watching him take his first steps, hearing him say his first words because I can't have him here suffering and not getting the basic things he needs. I work all day and go to school at night, and it would cost an extra $875 a month for daycare costs not to mention the life he would have sitting in daycare from 7:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night. I do not want him to have to go to Mexico, but ***X and I have run the numbers 100 different ways and I just can't afford to do it all on my own. I can be sure that he will be well taken care of by ***X family in Mexico during those months we are apart, while I know that he would not be able to have that here with me alone. So, I have to let my son go temporarily. There are no words to describe the pain this is causing me, and as I sign this affidavit it hasn't even begun yet.
13. Another aspect of the hardship is my current work and school situation. As the letters that I have provided state, I am in my last year in the graduate program at a University here in Kentucky. I am scheduled to graduate in December 2006 with an MBA in Human Resources Management. I will be sitting for my PHR (Professional in Human Resources) certification in the spring of 2007 as well. My employer will be promoting me and giving me a very generous salary increase upon completion of my degree. This is an opportunity in which ***X and I will benefit from greatly. However, I must reside in the U.S. to be afforded such an opportunity.
14. My program of study is not available in Mexico and if I had to stop taking classes I would lose everything that I have worked so hard for. My successful completion of my studies guarantees a better life for our son than both ***X and I had growing up. It is only with ***X support that I will be a Master's graduate. He takes care of Tomas in the evenings and makes it possible for me to have such a busy schedule. I have chosen a career in human resources and have spent years studying the technical field of labor laws and requirements, regulations regarding fairness and anti-discrimination practices, etc. This knowledge would be useless if I had to move to Mexico. The same laws do not apply there and the employment practices are completely different. Even ignoring the language barrier, I would be looked at by any employer in this field as inexperienced and be unemployable.
15. Lastly, I have an obligation to take care of my Mother. Long ago, ***X and I agreed that when my mother retires she will come to live with us. That day is approaching very soon. We have already begun to make the plans so that she will move here in the spring of 2007. She has begun putting her house on the market to sell, and ***X and I have been saving up a down payment for our first home purchase. We will be having a house built and will have the responsibility of taking care of my Mother. It will be impossible for me to fulfill this obligation if I do not have ***X here with me. My mother is elderly and ill, and she cannot live by herself. She needs my help financially in order to cover her high health costs and I need to be able to take care of her. My older brother takes care of our Grandmother since my Father died and there is no one who can take care of my Mom. ***X loves my Mother, and she loves him. Nothing would make all of us happier than to live together as a family. I have made a commitment to her, and I am morally obligated to follow through. I need to be able to take care of her, provide for her and be with her. I need ***X here to make that possible.
16. I understand that decisions such as this one cannot be made on emotional appeals alone. I have provided documented evidence of several of the reasons that it would cause me extreme hardship to live here without ***X or to be forced to live in Mexico with him. I would like to make one last appeal, emotional as it may seem, but nevertheless maybe the most important written words in this letter.
17. Juan and I have a son. His name is ***X ***XX. He was named after both of his Grandfathers. He is now 10 months old and is the best thing that has ever happened to both ***X and me. ***X is such a loving and affectionate father. One of the reasons why I wanted to marry ***X was because I knew he would be a good Father. I wanted to have a son to grow up to be just like ***X. My heart aches at the thought of TomÃ¡s being separated from his Father. There is so much in life that I can't give TomÃ¡s he can only get it from his Dad. I know this as a fact, because I grew up without my Father. I want TomÃ¡s to have a better life than I did. I know that he will.............if we have ***X here with us. I need ***X to raise our son. I need ***X to be the Father and to teach our son how to be a man. There is so much risk of boy growing up and getting involved in gangs, drugs, drinking, smoking, or getting a poor education. Even ***X himself believes that TomÃ¡s will have more opportunity, a better education and will be safer if he stays in the United States. But the simple fact is that if ***X is not forgiven, and allowed to come back to us, he will not have any of those opportunities. As I explained in this letter it would be impossible for our son to have the life he has now, or the one we want him to have in the future, if we do not have ***X here with us. Our lives simply do not work without him.
18. Please consider our case and forgive ***X for his illegal presence in the United States. Without my husband, I lose not only a huge financial part of our household, but a part of my soul. He is the best person that I have ever met, and I am a better person because of him. If he is allowed to come back to the United States, our country will have gained a responsible, hard working, tax paying and law abiding individual. We will contribute to the economy and need not receive any assistance from welfare programs or the like. He will appreciate the freedom and opportunity that has been allowed him and we will spend the rest of our lives respecting the incredible gifts we have been so blessed to receive.
Further the Affidavit sayeth naught.
STATE OF ******X
COUNTY OF ***XX
Subscribed and sworn to before me by __________________ on this _________ day of _______________, 2006
NOTARY PUBLIC STATE AT LARGE
My Commission expires: ___________________.
Frequently Asked Questions
Jan M. Pederson
Updated: February 1, 2006
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PROCESS A HARDSHIP WAIVER?
It is currently taking the State Department 4 - 6 months to process hardship waivers, often less. For current processing times, go to http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/info/info_1295.html . We have seen a 100% improvement.
WHAT ARE THE HARDSHIP WAIVER PROCESSING PROCEDURES?
Send a check in the amount of $215.00 ,payable to the Department of State, along with the current version of the Data Sheet (DS 3035) to the U.S. Department of State, Waiver Review Division (WRD), P.O. Box 952137, St. Louis, MO 63195-2137. Once your fee is processed, you will receive a letter in the nature of a receipt with your name and waiver review case number, along with a standard form letter explaining the process. NOTE: This fee should be filed at the earliest possible time to avoid delays in filing a waiver application. By paying the fee, you are not obligated to file a J-1 waiver nor will such affect your J-1 status.
The WRD will not look at your case without the case number. It generally takes about three to four weeks to obtain the number. Make certain your Department of State waiver review case number is written or stamped on every single page submitted to USCIS. Your application may be rejected for failure to do so.
The application is filed on Form I-612 and must be filed in duplicate, with the required filing fee of $265.00 with the USCIS Regional Service Center having jurisdiction over the applicant's place of residence. On a discretionary basis, District Offices can accept jurisdiction. The form is deceivingly simple. It should never be filed without consulting with one or two expert attorneys in the field of hardship waivers.
Prepare the most complete waiver application you can detailing "extreme", "exceptional" and "unusual" hardships. You must prove the extreme hardship both if the exchange visitor returns to the home country for two years without his qualifying relatives and if the qualifying relatives return home with the exchange visitor. A "qualifying relative" is an American citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or child.
The standard reason for rejection is that the exchange visitor has failed to prove that the hardship attendant upon a family separation is no greater than that which would normally be experienced by involuntary separation, such as loneliness and anxiety.
The USCIS determines whether exceptional hardship to the qualifying relative(s) has been shown. If the requisite hardship has been shown, the case will be forwarded to the WRD of the Department of State for them to review the hardship. The WRD balances the program and policy considerations of the exchange program in requiring the exchange visitor to return home for two years against the demonstrated exceptional hardship. In the past, most experts in the field agree that the U. S. Information Agency (USIA) reviewed the hardship claim de novo and often substituted its judgment for the USCIS determination. However, it has become evident in reviewing recent hardship waiver decisions, that WRD is demonstrating a tendency to confine its review to program and policy considerations.
If USCIS does not make a finding of "exceptional hardship", the application is denied and not forwarded to the State Department. There is a right to appeal the denial by USCIS to the Administrative Appeals Office of USCIS, if the USCIS Service Center denies the initial application. Of course, an appeal can add many months on to the processing time, even if successful.
Once the WRD receives the application, it will take about 3 - 4 months to process.
Note that if medical or mental hardship is claimed as the basis for hardship, the WRD will send the application to the State Department Medical Office for their opinion as to whether the medical or mental condition can be treated in the home country.
Thus, it is important for the applicant to thoroughly document the unavailability of treatment in the home country in such cases.
The Medical Office review can add several months on to the processing time.
If the WRD concurs with the USCIS waiver recommendation it will return a simple one page form, known as an "I-613" to USCIS with one of two boxes checked (granted or denied).
The lives of countless Americans are impacted by which box is checked.
Attorneys are routinely faxed a copy of the I-613 by the WRD.
If the WRD does not recommend a grant of the waiver to USCIS, the application must be denied by the USCIS. There are no formal motions to reopen or reconsider.
There are limited rights to have the case heard by the Waiver Review Board in the Department of State. There is no right to counsel at these hearings. Past practice has been that attorneys may file a short summary of the case and perhaps file new evidence.
If the case is ultimately denied by the WRD, the recourse is to file a new waiver application with USCIS. It is not a good idea to refile the application with the same evidence. New, material evidence should be submitted.
MAY A J-1 PHYSICIAN OBTAIN A WORK PERMIT WHILE AWAITING THE OUTCOME OF A HARDSHIP WAIVER?
No, work permits are not available to applicants for hardship waivers, even if married to an American citizen.
However, other non-immigrant statuses such as O-1 should be explored.
DOES MARRIAGE TO AN AMERICAN CITIZEN ELIMINATE THE TWO-YEAR HOME RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT?
No. A J-1 physician who marries an American citizen is still subject to the two-year home residence requirement, and must either obtain a waiver or fulfill the requirement before he or she is eligible to obtain permanent resident status. If an interested government agency waiver is obtained, the physician must still work in "H-1B" status for three years before applying for permanent residence.
MAY I FILE AN APPLICATION FOR A HARDSHIP WAIVER BASED ON THE FACT THAT I AM PREGNANT WITH A CHILD WHO WILL BE AN AMERICAN CITIZEN BEFORE THE CHILD IS BORN?
If the only eligibility for a hardship waiver rests on the anticipated birth of an American child, you must wait until the child is born to become eligible to file the waiver. However, you may prepare all documentation and file the waiver as soon as the child is born and you have a certificate of birth.
THE LAW GOVERNING WAIVERS CONFERS ELIGIBILITY TO FILE A HARDSHIP WAIVER IF THE J-1 HAS A LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT(LPR) OR AMERICAN CITIZEN SPOUSE AND/OR CHILD. DO THE USCIS AND THE WRD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE GIVE THE SAME WEIGHT TO HAVING A PERMANENT RESIDENT RELATIVE AS IT DOES TO HAVING AN AMERICAN CITIZEN RELATIVE?
While the statute governing hardship waivers, §212(e)(iii) of the INA, accords the respective statuses equal weight; in practice, it appears that LPR relatives are given less weight than United States citizen relatives. However, this is not a rigid rule and certainly the facts underlying the case can result in the hardship to an LPR relative being given the same weight as hardship to an American citizen relative.
IF I AM MARRIED TO AN AMERICAN OR LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT, WHEN SHOULD THE IMMEDIATE RELATIVE IMMIGRANT VISA PETITION (I-130) BE FILED?
Generally, it should be filed and approved before the hardship waiver is filed. However, there are many other considerations which factor into this decision and before doing so, you should consult with an expert attorney. For example, if the J-1 is going to need to obtain a J-1 visa from a consular post after the relative immigrant visa petition is filed, a consular officer could legitimately deny the J-1 a new visa on the ground that the filing of the visa petition is evidence of an intent to immigrate, and thus the applicant is ineligible for a J-1 visa under §214(b) of the INA as an intending immigrant.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF PURSUING A HARDSHIP WAIVER INSTEAD OF AN INTERESTED GOVERNMENT AGENCY (IGA) WAIVER?
The advantages of pursuing a hardship waiver are that, if approved, the physician may immediately apply for permanent residence (if there is a qualifying family relationship or an employer willing to sponsor the physician) rather than spending three years in H-1B status. In addition, the physician is not limited to working in medically underserved areas, but may accept employment anywhere.
The main disadvantage is that the outcome and processing time of a hardship waiver are more difficult to predict.
HOW DO I CONTACT THE WRD?
The WRD is under the jurisdiction of the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs. The website is: WRD. The mailing address is:
Department of State
Waiver Review Division
SA-1, Room L603
2401 E Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20522-0106
WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF SUCCESS?
The prosecution of a hardship waiver application is complex, and both the USCIS and the WRD apply strict and rather high standards in determining whether the departure of an exchange alien (J-1) would cause extreme hardship to a United States citizen or permanent resident spouse or child.
NOTE: that exceptional hardship must be proven in the alternative; that is, it must be demonstrated that the American citizen or permanent resident spouse or child(ren) will suffer exceptional hardship if the spouse and/or child(ren) remain in the United States while the J-1 physician returns home for two years and will also suffer exceptional hardship if the spouse and/or child(ren) go home with the exchange visitor for two years. You must cover both situations in detail. Proving exceptional hardship under one alternative is only half the case.
Factors which the USCIS and the WRD consider in their determinations include:
Medical hardships including severe and life-threatening illnesses and conditions, or illnesses and conditions requiring regular care and/or medications not available in the physician's home country, such as asthma, cancer, Down Syndrome, or diabetes. NOTE: that the WRD will send waiver applications claiming medical hardship to the Department of State Medical Office for review as to whether the conditions in the home country constitute medical hardship.
Psychological hardships including the exacerbation of an existing mental illness or disorder or the precipitation of the onset of a disorder, such as post traumatic stress disorder, or severe depression, if the foreign residence requirement is enforced. Note that the WRD may request updated evidence of psychiatric treatment if the hardship claim is based on a mental disorder or illness and the qualifying relative is in therapy when the application is filed. Treating mental health professionals are often reluctant to provide comprehensive mental health forensic status reports as they believe that, if the patient reviews the report, it will compromise therapy. Thus, it is a good idea to obtain a report from an independent forensic psychologist or psychiatrist, in addition to or in lieu of a comprehensive report from a treating therapist.
Country conditions. For example, J-1 physicians from Iran, Iraq, Libya and war-ravaged countries would have a stronger case in demonstrating extreme hardship to U.S. citizen children.
September 11th Cases. If the home country is on the State 7 list of countries sponsoring terrorism compiled by President Bush or if the home country has become dangerous for American citizens because of local reaction to America's war on terror, a strong case for hardship to qualifying American relatives can be made. It would be difficult to justify sending Americans or the J-1 relative to a country targeted by the United States in the war on terrorism.
At the present time, anti-American sentiment in Pakistan runs high. The WRD at the Department of State appears to be sympathetic to claims of hardship to American citizen children who would be forced to go to Pakistan with Pakistani parents.
Social, Cultural and Educational hardships which would result from the physician's spouse and/or child relocating to a foreign country whose language they do not speak and whose culture is alien to them (e.g., an American Christian feminist, who does not speak Arabic, relocating to Saudi Arabia).
Economic hardship to the physician's spouse and/or child if the foreign residence requirement is enforced.
Career Interruption or Destruction to the physician's spouse (e.g., an American citizen solo law-practitioner relocating with J-1 spouse).
Political and religious hardship, including fear of violence and oppression based on political views, race, ethnicity, or gender or sexual preference.
The strongest cases tend to involve medical and emotional hardship. Taking the above factors into account, you should consult with more than one competent immigration attorney experienced in representation in hardship waiver cases, to determine your chances of obtaining a hardship waiver. The totality of the circumstances test should be used.
CAN YOU PROVIDE EXAMPLES OF THE TYPES OF CASES WHICH WILL HAVE A LOW PROBABILITY OF SUCCESS?
It is very important to note that every case is different, just as the people filing the cases are different. The best example I can give you of how important it is to obtain multiple expert opinions, in this type of waiver, is a case I had a number of years ago. A French physician was married to an American citizen and had an infant American citizen child and felt there was compelling exceptional hardship. They told me they had seen five immigration attorneys who told them their cases did not pass the "laugh test".
They appeared to be rational people and I interviewed them for ten minutes. Within that period of time, I learned that each of them was a descendant of Holocaust survivors and their parents had been in concentration camps during World War II. Common sense told me that descendants of Holocaust survivors are particularly susceptible and vulnerable to suffer from a number of mental disorders when faced with a governmentally enforced separation. They advised me they had not been able to articulate this and no prior lawyer had even asked. The attorneys seemed to stop their analysis upon learning the home country was France. The waiver was approved.
Tips on Fact Patterns which do not appear to carry much weight with WRD
Biological clocks ticking. The argument that it is necessary for the family to stay together in the United States so that a woman can have a child does not carry much weight.
Single parent scenario. Arguing that the spouse will be left alone in America for two years and will have to both work and care for a child does not usually make the cut.
Having an American citizen child who is not sick. That alone, is generally insufficient unless the country conditions in the home country would endanger a child's health. Applicants from countries engaged in civil wars and countries such as Iran, Iraq and Libya have a possibility of success if both parents are required to leave for two years. If one parent is an American citizen, the argument will be more difficult.
IN WHICH COUNTRIES MAY THE TWO-YEAR FOREIGN RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT BE SATISFIED?
The two-year foreign residence requirement may only be satisfied in the country of nationality or last permanent residence as indicated on Form IAP-66. If the J-1 is a citizen of one country and a permanent resident of a second country, the home residence requirement must be satisfied in the country of last permanent residence, which must also be the country which issued the assurances. These countries must be listed on the IAP-66. If there is an error, WRD takes the position that the exchange program sponsor (e.g., ECFMG) must correct the error.
THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE DATA SHEET ASKS THE WAIVER APPLICANT TO STATE THE REASONS FOR NOT WISHING TO FULFILL THE TWO-YEAR FOREIGN RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT. HOW SHOULD THIS QUESTION BE ANSWERED?
The question should be answered truthfully. Normally, the response would be, in the case of a hardship waiver, that the applicant wishes to remain in the United States because of the extreme and unusual hardship his or her U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse and/or children would suffer if he/she were to leave, whether the spouse and/or children were to accompany the applicant or remain in the United States.
IF A J-1 VISA HOLDER SUBJECT TO THE TWO-YEAR FOREIGN RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT RETURNS TO THE HOME COUNTRY FOR TWO YEARS TO COMPLY WITH THE TWO-YEAR HOME RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT, UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES CAN HE/SHE RETURN TO LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES?
Once the home residence requirement is satisfied, the former J-1 visa holder may return to the United States in any status and immigrate through any status (e.g. relatives, employment, investment, the Diversity lottery [green card] etc.).
It is advisable to obtain employment commitments and sponsorship commitments for H-1B visas and permanent residence before departing from the United States, if possible, so that you are relatively assured you can return to employment in the United States once the two-year commitment is satisfied.
WILL TIME SPENT VISITING THE UNITED STATES OR OTHER COUNTRIES DURING THE TWO-YEAR HOME RESIDENCE PERIOD COUNT TOWARDS FULFILLING THE HOME COUNTRY RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT?
No. The former J-1 exchange visitor must be physically present in the designated home country for a total of 730 days in order to fulfill the home residence requirement.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO OBTAIN THE APPROVAL OF AN O-1 PETITION WHILE AWAITING A DECISION ON A HARDSHIP WAIVER? IF THE O-1 PETITION IS DENIED, IS IT POSSIBLE TO EXTEND THE IAP-66 FOR A FELLOWSHIP?
It is possible to obtain the approval of an O-1 petition while awaiting the approval of a hardship waiver. While you may not change status in the United States from J-1 to O-1, you may obtain an O-1 visa at an American consular post without a waiver and be admitted to the United States in O-1 status. However, the two-year foreign residence requirement does not "disappear" by obtaining O-1 status; it continues to exist.
Eligibility for J-1 status is not affected by the filing or approval of an O-1 petition. If otherwise eligible, the sponsorship may continue without interruption.
IS IT PERMISSIBLE TO CHANGE STATUS FROM J-1 TO H-1B IN THE UNITED STATES AFTER A HARDSHIP WAIVER IS GRANTED?
No. You must depart the United States and apply for an H-1B visa at an American consular post. Applying at a post in Canada or Mexico for the visa should be the first option, if available. For more information please contact Tony Yatco at firstname.lastname@example.org
MAY A J-1 VISA HOLDER OBTAIN FURTHER EXTENSIONS OF J-1 STATUS IN THE UNITED STATES IF A RELATIVE, SUCH AS A SPOUSE OR PARENT, FILES AN IMMIGRANT VISA PETITION FOR A J-1 ALIEN PARTICIPATING IN A J-1 PROGRAM?
Yes. The filing and approval of any immigrant visa petition is not a bar to extending J-1 status. However, the J-1 alien cannot file an application for permanent residence until the two-year foreign residence requirement, if applicable, is satisfied.
Note however, that it may be difficult to obtain future J-1 visas from American consular posts once a petition is filed as consular officers may deem the filing of such petition as evidence of an intention to immigrate and refuse future J1/J2 visas under Section 214(b) of the INA (failure to overcome presumption of intending immigrant.)
WHAT GUIDELINES DO THE USCIS AND THE WRD USE IN ADJUDICATING HARDSHIP WAIVERS?
The USCIS applies a well-established body of case law in making the initial determination as to whether a claim to exceptional hardship to a qualifying relative has been demonstrated. If USCIS finds "exceptional hardship" they forward the case to The Department of State Waiver Review Division ("WRD") for concurrence. The WRD has no published guidelines setting forth criteria for adjudication. This lack of known criteria leads to uncertainty regarding whether an application will be approved as there is no precedent on which applicants or their attorneys may safely rely.
WHAT FACTORS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN SELECTING AN ATTORNEY FOR REPRESENTATION IN THE HARDSHIP WAIVER PROCESS?
Here are some suggestions:
It is particularly important to choose an attorney in whom you have confidence and with whom you feel comfortable discussing intimate details of the lives of you and your family. As you will be working closely with the attorney for a long period of time, it is more important in this context to feel extremely confident and comfortable with your lawyer.
The opinions of others who have used the attorney is a most valuable barometer in your choice.
Experience with hardship waivers should be a primary factor in your choice, particularly in this area of law where there are no written rules.
HOW SOON AFTER OBTAINING A HARDSHIP WAIVER MAY I APPLY FOR MY GREEN CARD?
You may apply for a green card immediately upon receiving the hardship waiver if you are other wise eligible. Of course, you may begin the process of obtaining the approval of a family-based or employment-based immigrant visa petition at any time, even prior to filing the hardship waiver application. Often, in order to avoid employment gaps between the time the J-1 program terminates and USCIS issues a work permit in connection with the filing of a permanent residence application, it will be necessary to change to H-1B status in the interim as a bridging status until USCIS issues the employment authorization document. However, you may not apply for a green card by filing an I-485 or consular processing until the waiver is approved by the Department of State. You need not wait for the USCIS approval of the waiver to file the I-485.
§212(e)(iii). Pursuant to the request of a State Department of Public Health, or its equivalent, or of the Commisioner of Immigration and Naturalization after he has determined that departure from the United States would impose exceptional hardship upon the alien's spouse or child (if such spouse or child is a citizen of the United States or a lawfully resident alien).
§214(b). Presumption of status; written waiver. Every alien (other than a nonimmigrant described in subparagraph ( L) or (V) of section 101(a)(15), and other than a nonimmigrant described in any provision of section 101(a)(15)(H)(i) except subclause (b1) of such section) shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of applocation for a visa, and the immigration officers, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15).
INA §101(a)(15)(O). An alien (i) who has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim or, with regard to motion picture and television productions a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement, and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation, and seeks to enter the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinay ability.
If anyone else has examples of approved hardship letters, please PM me.
Immigration: Inadmissibility - Criminal Grounds
What criminal activity has immigration consequences and what are those consequences? §Which misrepresentations have immigration consequences and what are those consequences? Are there any remedies or waivers available to lessen those consequences?
The need to prevent criminals from entering the US has been one of the longest standing parts of US immigration law. In some form or another, criminal convictions have been used to deny entry to the US since the creation of the country.
What is considered a criminal ground for inadmissibility?
There are six basic criminal grounds for inadmissibility:
Crimes involving moral turpitude,
· Violations of controlled substance laws,
· Conviction of more than one offense,
· Drug trafficking,
· Prostitution and commercialized vice, and
· Commission of a serious crime in the US for which the immigrant asserted immunity from prosecution.
What is moral turpitude?
Moral turpitude is one of the most amorphous concepts in immigration law. There is no definition of moral turpitude, although many courts have attempted to construe one, using phrases such as an act of baseness, depravity or vileness. While there is no set definition, it is clear that the moral turpitude involved must be part of the essence of the offense. A crime involving moral turpitude need not have resulted in a conviction for it to render a person inadmissible, and admitting to an act that has the elements of a crime involving moral turpitude is sufficient to bar entry. Where an actual conviction occurred, the only issue is whether the offense was a crime involving moral turpitude. Where there is only an admission, a number of other steps are required. First, it must be clear that the act admitted to could have been criminally prosecuted in the place where it occurred. Second, the immigrant must fully understand the elements of the crime to which they have admitted. Third, while the immigrant needs to say that he/she is guilty of an offense, he/she does need to admit to all of the essential elements of the offense. Fourth, the admission must be totally voluntary.
What type of controlled substances violations will make me inadmissible?
Beginning in 1952, convictions for violating laws relating to controlled substances became a ground of inadmissibility. Convictions of conspiracy and attempt will also render a person inadmissible.
What type of multiple criminal convictions will make me inadmissibile?
Multiple criminal convictions will make a person inadmissible, regardless of the seriousness of the offense, whether the multiple convictions were the result of the same general enterprise. However, the person must have been sentenced to at least five years in prison. Offenses that are considered "purely political" are not included.
Do I have to be convicted of drug trafficking to be considered inadmissible?
Drug traffickers are inadmissible, even if there is no conviction, so long as the consular or immigration officer "knows or has reason to believe" that the immigrant has been involved in trafficking.
Do I have to be convicted of prostitution to be considered inadmissible?
A person coming to the US to engage in prostitution, or who has engaged in prostitution within ten years of their application for entry, is inadmissible, as are those who have made financial profit from prostitution. No criminal conviction is required, and the bar applies even to nationals of countries where prostitution is legal. Those who have been forced into prostitution are not inadmissible.
What is considered to be a serious criminal offense? T
Those who committed a serious criminal offense in the US, claimed immunity from prosecution and then left the US are inadmissible. A serious criminal offense is any crime of violence, and driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or reckless driving if the crime resulted in the injury of another person.
What criminal activity has immigration consequences?
§ Admission of, or conviction for, crime of moral turpitude (CMT); §Conviction of 2 or more crimes; aggregate sentence 5 yrs or more; §Conviction for domestically related crimes; §Conviction for aggravated felony; §Admission of, or conviction for, drug-related offense; §Drug-related activities not resulting in conviction (drug trafficking and drug/alcohol abuse); §Security-related offenses, whether or not resulting in conviction (espionage, sabotage, terrorist activity); §Prostitution activities, whether or not convicted; §Certain other activities not covered here. §
What is a "conviction" for immigration purposes?
§A "conviction" means a formal judgment of guilt entered by a court where either a judge or jury found the individual guilty; OR the alien entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere and the judge or jury required some form of punishment.1 §Often doesn't matter if alien placed in diversion program, or conviction later expunged or erased; usually there is still a conviction for immigration purposes. §Conviction still exists even if just fine or probation, no jail.
ARRESTS GENERALLY HARMLESS§
Generally, an arrest without more will have no permanent immigration consequences unless it is for a drug trafficking, drug abuse, terrorism, espionage or sabotage offense.2 §However, an arrest or fingerprinting for any reason will generate an NCIC "hit", and probably delay visa issuance, cause problems at entry, or delay approval of applications/petitions with DHS in the US. SO, JUST AN ARREST MAY CAUSE A MISSED SEMESTER. §An arrest may have occurred: if individual is ordered to accompany a law enforcement officer against his will, whether or not restrained. §An arrest must always be admitted in all immigration contexts whether or not criminal atty. advised to admit, whether or not expunged. §
Anyone who is convicted of, admits committing, or attempts committing a so-called crime of moral turpitude is inadmissible and deportable with certain exceptions.4 §Main exceptions are juvenile offenses, and some, NOT all, misdemeanor convictions.
EXAMPLES OF CMT's (CRIMES OF MORAL TURPITUDE)
Aggravated assault /Manslaughter /Rape /Arson /Extortion /Forgery Child molestation /Embezzlement / Robbery /Burglary /Theft offenses /Bribery /Counterfeiting /Fraud offenses /
EXAMPLES OF CRIMES THAT ARE NOT CMT's (CRIMES OF MORAL TURPITUDE)
Simple assault or battery /Misdemeanor DWI or DUI /Urination in public /Disorderly conduct /Public drunkenness /Most traffic violations /Consumption of alcohol by a minor /Trespassing(DRUG OFFENSES)
Any person who has been convicted of or who admits committing a violation of any law or regulation of a state, the U.S., or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance is inadmissible and deportable.9 §Regarding admissions of simple use, as stated before, consul can require three years "clean" before admission.
Any person that the U.S. government knows or has reason to believe is a trafficker in any controlled substance is ineligible to enter the U.S.10 §Dependants, if they derive their support from the trafficking, are also ineligible to enter.
Most domestic offenses, including spousal abuse, child abuse or neglect, stalking, violation of protective orders, result in deportability. Domestic partners, fiances, former spouses included in spousal abuse. This includes convictions for misdemeanors!
How is criminal activity detected?
NCIC (National Crime Information Center): used by all consular posts to obtain U.S. criminal records. CLASS (Consular Lookout and Support System): computerized name search system. §Alien's own admission on application for visa, entry, or for benefits.
What does "inadmissible" mean?
"Inadmissible" aliens are ineligible for visas, admission into the U.S., and permanent residence because of "undesirable" qualities or behaviors. These persons may be: §Refused a visa by a consular official; §Refused entry or reentry at a U.S. port of entry; or §Denied adjustment of status to permanent residence if already in the U.S. §Denied other immigration benefits if in US, such as EOS/COS, if criminal activity/misrepresentation detected by DHS.
Which misrepresentations have immigration consequences?
Willful misrepresentations of a material fact in connection with obtaining an immigration benefit result in negative immigration consequences, rendering nonimmigrants permanently inadmissible, absent a waiver. Certain misrepresentations, such as false claims to citizenship and those related to false documents, may also result in deportability.
What is a "willful" misrepresentation?
A "willful" misrepresentation is one which is deliberate and voluntary. The applicant must have knowledge of the falsity of his representation.
What does "material " mean?
To be material, the misrepresentation must be as to a fact which, had it been known, would have resulted in the denial of an immigration benefit, or which cut off a line of questioning which would have resulted in the denial of the immigration benefit. 14 §Whether or not a fact is material may depend on why and in what context a question is being asked. Bend your mind with the following examples.
Examples of Material and Immaterial Misrepresentations"Are They or Not?nColor of eyes on Form DS-156 nNumber of children, marital status on DS-156 nPrior employment on I-539 nPrior period of unlawful presence at inspection nSpelling of name on I-94 nField of study on Form I-20 nPrior arrests on DS-156
How are Misrepresentations Detected?
Prior applications. nVarious databases: TIERS, NIIS, CLASS, SSA nPerson's own admission or contradictions on new application: "I forgot to lie again!" nPerson's own admission at interview
Do omissions constitute misrepresentation?
An applicant's silence or failure to volunteer information does not in itself constitute a misrepresentation. 15 § So, in theory, leaving questions blank on a form or application, without question by DHS or DOS, does not constitute misrepresentation
What about a Confession?
A timely retraction should serve to purge a misrepresentation and remove it from further consideration. Don't count on this in the real world, however. Consuls and immigration officials usually don't put much stock in retractions, especially after confrontation with the true facts, e.g., "Weren't you in fact arrested on August 10?"
Does every misrepresentation matter?
The misrepresentation must be made in connection with an immigration benefit. §Immigration benefits include visa applications, applications for entry, and any application for immigration benefits once in the US. § Can also include application for admission to school if I-20/DS-2019 issued based on misrepresentations, and alien attempts to use the document to obtain entry to the US. The document is thus obtained by fraud and used in an attempt to obtain an immigration benefit, ie, entry to the US.
Potential consequences of material misrepresentation in immigration context:
What are the remedies for averting negative immigration consequences of criminal activity and misrepresentations?
1.Prevention; 2.Post-Conviction Relief; 3.Nonimmigrant Waiver (Pardon
Denial of visa or entry into the U.S.; §Denial of immigration benefits in the U.S.; §Arrest and detention by DHS; §Removal or deportation from the U.S.
After a Conviction, Can Anything Be Done?
Generally, convictions cannot be "expunged" or vacated for immigration purposes. §Due to recent changes in the law, expungement of a conviction does not eliminate that conviction for immigration purposes. §In other words, even an expunged conviction, except under extremely narrow circumstances, may be the basis for inadmissibility or deportation.17 However, a highly skilled criminal lawyer, working together with an experienced immigration attorney, may be able to get the conviction vacated in a way which removes it as an immigration problem.
Nonimmigrant Waiver under
INA §212(d)(3)n Immigration law provides a general waiver (think pardon) for nonimmigrants for any fraudulent and most criminal conduct.
Three criteria are balanced in deciding whether to grant this waiver: § The risk of harm to society if applicant is admitted, i.e., did the prior activities involve violence or loss of property? Was the activity recent? Has the applicant reformed? §The seriousness and number of the applicant's criminal offenses or fraud; and §The nature of the applicant's reason for seeking entry, e.g., is this a brief visit, several years of study, is there a humanitarian reason involved?
Nonimmigrant waiver continued
The general nonimmigrant waiver has two components: § §When the alien is applying for a visa, the waiver must be approved by the DHS upon recommendation by the consular official (DOS); and §When the alien is already in possession of appropriate entry documents, e.g., visa, the waiver needs only the approval of DHS. 21 §Visa exempt persons, e.g., Canadians, would not need waiver recommendation from DOS unless entering the U.S. on an E visa (the only common instance in which they need a visa). These persons apply directly at the POE with DHS. 22 §A nonimmigrant waiver must be obtained each time an alien obtains a new visa. Visa exempt persons must reapply each time their status is to expire in the US, or each time a new entry is made.
Disclaimer: This info is provided as a public service and not intended to establish an attorney client relationship.
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