Client: Immediate Family Member of US Military
Client’s Country of Origin: Mexico
Case Type: Parole-in-Place; I-131 Application for Travel Document
Our client approached Attorney Richard Herman of Herman Legal Group while seeking to obtain lawful status. Based on her background, this goal would be limited and difficult to achieve. Our client, a native of Mexico, originally came to the US as an undocumented minor. By law, if you enter the States illegally, you cannot adjust your status for lawful permanent residence. Due to these circumstances, our client’s options were to either stay in the US undocumented and at high risk of deportation or leave the country for an extended period of time while applying for a waiver.
Our client’s husband, however, is a US citizen who served in the Navy for five years. During his time of active duty, he received many awards and commendations from Navy officers of higher rankings. Once he was honorably discharged, he returned to his home in Ohio to live with his stay-at-home wife and their US-born son. Based on his former US military status, Attorney Herman assisted in the preparation of the husband’s sponsorship for his wife, as she is deemed eligible to apply for the Parole in Place program (“PIP”). PIP is a discretionary option in which an immediate family member of an individual who is or was a member of the US armed forces may be granted lawful residence in 1-year increments. In this case, our client would benefit from PIP as the unlawful entry into the US is not a factor in the USCIS adjudication of applications. If granted PIP status, it would essentially allow our client to live a normal life outside the shadows—it would remove our client’s inadmissibility factor and deem her eligible to adjust her status giving her work and travel authorization.
Our client stressed that she lives in fear every day. Fearing that ICE would one day find her and take her away, she limited attending family outings and even leaving the house in order to avoid any issues. She couldn’t drive her son to school or medical appointments without a license and felt that her hidden status burdens her family.
In order to receive her best chances of obtaining status, Attorney Herman strategized in preparing an application that stressed the most important facts. First, our client proves that she is a person of good moral character. While she unlawfully entered the country, she was brought to the US as a young child. She is unfamiliar with Mexico and only remembers the hardships that her family went through in order to survive and find opportunity in America. In addition, she has no criminal arrests or convictions. Although a stay-at-home mother, our client’s husband provides that she served as “his rock” through hard times on the naval ship and supported him during three deployments. In addition, counsel provided evidence of extreme hardship if our client were to be deported. Our client’s husband stressed that although he brings in the income, our client overall takes care of the family. She handles the finances, takes care of school and medical scheduling, and all paperwork that comes with it. If deported, our client’s family would have to go with her, leaving them subject to not receiving proper education and medication necessary to their specific disabilities and health issues.
Under these circumstances, our client’s PIP application was quickly granted. She was happy and relieved with the outcome in the sense that she may now live with her family without risk. The overall process took under two years, and our client is now able to adjust her status.