As An Immigrant . . .You May Feel No One Is On Your Side
Living in the United States without immigration documents is is difficult.
Your feelings are quite natural.
Especially in today’s anti-immigration climate.
If you follow immigration news, it seems every day there is another story about the obstacles immigrants face.
Maybe you saw the television report about how there are more backlogged cases than ever at immigration court right now. This means there are more immigrants than ever facing deportation.
Perhaps you read about immigrants being taken into custody, even when they have not committed crimes.
Or maybe you heard about how many children of immigrants, when their parents who are picked by government agents, are placed in foster care. Some never see their parents again.
And, of course, you’re aware that Arizona has sparked an outcry for tougher law enforcement policies toward undocumented immigrants across the United States.
But it’s not true.
There are immigration advocates who are fighting for immigrants every day. At the Fontana Law Offices of Carlos A. Batara, we take pride in bringing and keeping immigrant families together.
We’re here to defend you and your loved ones.
Fontana Immigration Defense Services
San Bernardino Immigration Lawyer Carlos Batara provides a full range of services for immigrants living in Fontana and surrounding areas.
Defense Against Deportation And Removal – Our deportation defense services in Fontana include representing you and your family at immigration court hearings immigration trials, immigration bond hearings, as well as preparing requests for prosecutorial discretion and motions to reopen old immigration cases.
Immigration Appeals – Even if you have lost your immigration case, you may be able to fight back. As part of our Fontana immigration appeals services, we handle:
- Board of Immigration Appeals
- AAO/AAU/USCIS Appeals
- Ninth Circuit Appeals>/li>
- Federal Court Appeals
Fontana Family Immigration Services
Keeping your family together, wherever you’re from and wherever you live, is the highest priority of immigration attorney Carlos Batara.
Family Visas And Immigration Petitions – Our Fontana immigrant family services include family-based visas, spousal petitions, I-130 family petitions, I-601 hardship waivers, DREAM Act cases, international adoptions, fiancé/fiancée visas, and Walsh Act cases.
Even at this stage, cases can become complicated. For instance, what happens if your spouse dies before you get your green card?
Immigrant Widows And Widowers
What are the rights of an immigrant widow or widower?
What happens if your husband or wife suddenly dies and you do not have a green card?
Generally, death of the petitioner means death of the petition.
The petition is revoked. Your case is over.
But . . . maybe not . . . if your spouse was a United States citizen and you were married at the time of his or her death.
Deceased Spouse Filed A Family-Based Petition Before Death
First, if the widow or widower and the U.S. citizen spouse had already filed an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, no actions need to be taken.
The I-130 petition automatically converts to an I-360 Petition.
Deceased Spouse Did Not File A Family-Based Petition
Second, if the deceased spouse had not filed an immigration petition, the widow or widower can still file a self-petition, as an “immediate relative,” to seek permanent resident status.
In this situation, the living husband or wife, on their own, must file an I-360 Petition for a Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant.
To qualify for immigration benefits under a self-petition, you must not have been divorced or legally separated from your U.S. citizen at the time of death. In addition, you must file the I-360 petition no more than 2 years after death of your spouse.
What About The Children?
Unmarried children of the widow or widower, under the age of 21, may also be included on the immigration petitioner filed by the widow or widower. They can be included, whether or not the deceased spouse had already filed a petition.
Derivative children of the immediate relatives enjoy the benefit of the Child Status Protection Act.
Commonly called the CSPA, this law freezes the child’s age as of the date when the I-130 or I-360 petitions were filed.
Under the CSPA, children are protected if they turn 21 (“aging out”) before immigration officials adjudicate their adjustment of status or visa applications.
For a fuller discussion on whether you can still qualify for green card benefits even after your sponsoring spouse has passed away, see this post: Can I Still Become A Lawful Resident After My Sponsoring Spouse Dies?
There are many programs which can help your family fight deportation and earn the right to live and work in the United States.
These special humanitarian and abuse protection immigration programs include:
- Temporary Protected Status
- Violence Against Women Act
- U And T Visas For Victims Of Trafficking And Other Crimes
- Cuban Adjustment Act
- Asylum And Convention Against Torture
- Diversity Lottery
QUESTION AND ANSWER:
Because I was beat up by my husband, can I apply for a green card on my own?
“I was sent to a woman’s shelter because my husband beat me up. I do not have legal immigration documents. A counselor told me I might still get a green card, even if my husband never filed papers for me. She said there is a special program for wives who are abused by their husbands. Is this really true?”
(Submitted by Cecilia J., Fontana, CA)
Click this link for complete answer.
Fontana Green Card And Naturalization Services
For over 20 years, Fontana Immigration Lawyer Carlos Batara has helped immigrants live and work legally in the United States.
Our family-based permanent residence services cover all aspects of the visa, green card, and naturalization process. This includes helping you with intent to deny notices, requests for additional evidence, conditional green card problems, adjustment of status applications, consular processing, and hardship waivers due to inadmissibility issues.
Naturalization Services – Fontana citizenship attorney Carlos Batara helps clients with all types of citizenship cases, including derivative citizenship, citizenship by acquisition, dual citizenship, military service, and denaturalization defense matters.
Employment-Based Permanent Residence – On behalf of our clients and their employers, our Fontana immigration services include H-1B visas, H-2A visas, H-2B visas, H-3 visas, L-1 visas, and TN visas.