20 Years After Visa Overstay Couple File Asylum; During Process US Citizen Children Apply for and Win Parents Green Cards

[Please note: The Client’s name and case key details may have been altered to preserve the identity of the client. This Success Story is not intended to be an offer of service or case plan. Every case is unique. The Success Story is presented for information purposes only.]

Jorge and Rosamaria had been married and living in Northeast Ohio since 1999 and had four children. But while their children were U.S. citizens, Rosamaria and Jorge remained undocumented; Rosamaria’s last entry was via a B-2 visa in 1998 while Jorge came as an EWI (entry without inspection) in 1994.

In 2012, they purchased a food truck which kept them and their children quite busy providing breakfast and lunch to patrons of Public Square in Cleveland.

In Spring of 2017, Rosamaria approached the Margaret W. Wong team in Cleveland seeking our help in filing for asylum. To be sure, the one-year deadline for filing after arrival in the United States had passed but she was very frightened because, just recently, circumstances in the village from where she came had radically changed; her family was subject to continual harassment and her own brother was kidnapped and later murdered.

Very soon afterwards, we filed an I-589 (Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal) for Rosamaria with Jorge, her husband, grandfathered onto it.

We also discussed with them other pathways to legal permanent residency especially since their son, Leon, would be turning twenty-one in the next several years and, therefore, would be eligible to sponsor both his parents.

Thus, we secured EAD’s (employment authorization documents) for both Rosamaria and Jorge and prepared other documentation so it would be all ready for filing after Leon came of age in May of 2020.

Along these lines, although the young man was certainly ambitious, Leon didn’t earn enough to sponsor both his parents so a well-to-do parishioner from the church that the family attended stepped in and volunteered to co-sponsor along with Leon.

Rosamaria’s case was straightforward because she had come to the U.S. legally and had avoided all trouble but Jorge’s case was a bit dicey because he was an EWI and had had some mild run-ins with law enforcement mostly concerning a tumultuous failed marriage in the mid-1990’s during which an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) had been filed in his behalf but cancelled by his ex-wife.

However, since a prior employer had filed a labor certification for him, and Jorge was able to prove that he was residing in the United States at the appropriate time, he was thereby eligible for 245 (i) relief under the LIFE Act, so we were able to move forward processing his case.

Accordingly, right after Leon’s birthday in 2020 we filed a package that included an I-485 (Application for Legal Permanent Residency) for both his parents. After much discussion, we withdrew the asylum application.

About the only trouble that we encountered while we waited for the USCIS interview was that due to the Covid-19 pandemic,  the family food truck was deemed inoperable for a while, but Rosamaria and Jorge were hesitant about applying for SNAP for their younger kids (all United States citizens) due to the “public charge” rules of the Trump administration.

Subsequently, we referred them to a social worker who assured them that, under these conditions regarding the pandemic, no endangerment to their applications would come by filing for SNAP.

In March of 2021, a legal representative from the Margaret W. Wong team accompanied Jorge, Rosamaria, and Leon to the USCIS interview. As we expected, there were questions about Jorge’s 245 (i) but Jorge was ready with a certified copy of his labor certification so all went well; so well that on that very day, legal permanent residency for both Jorge and Rosamaria was approved.

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