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Blandon Law Immigration

Friday, March 5, 2010

How Much Are You Willing to Risk?

    In life, you can't get what you want without taking a risk.
     A young Colombian husband and wife came for a consultation  yesterday.  They have two U.S. citizen children and have been in this country for over 10 years without authorization.
     I gave them various options to "become legal."  The least risky was for the wife's employer to file labor certification and wait for employment-based residency.  I made it clear that according to the law as it currently exists it would be years before she became a legal permanent resident.  In fact, she and her husband might never become residents because of the unauthorized presence.  The most risky option was applying for asylum.  Although grounds for asylum exist, they missed the one year deadline.  Unless Immigration agrees that an exception applies, the Department of Homeland Security might wish to deport them rather than grant a benefit. 
     Given some strong factors -- including the health condition of one of her daughters -- they are great candidates for cancellation of removal.  The clients did not like the idea of ever going in front of an immigration judge although winning such a case meant definitely becoming legal permanent residents.
   In the end, they asked me what I thought they should do.  I told them to risk as much as they could stand to lose.  Not surprisingly, they decided to risk nothing and remain in the same illegal situation they have been for years.

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