Kolken & Kolken. Results-oriented immigration lawyers - specializing in Green Card, Deportation Cases and Temporary Visas.

Spouse of United States Citizen Released from Custody

Published: Apr 6, 2007 11:00 am By: Matthew L. Kolken Source: My Source

We just obtained the release of our client from the custody of USCIS.  Our client is a citizen of Pakistan and is the wife of a United States citizen that is employed as a network engineer in Chicago. Prior to her marriage our client had applied for political asylum in the U.S.  Her application was denied by the Immigration Court and subsequently appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals.  The Board of Immigration Appeals denied our client’s appeal, and remanded the case back to the Immigration Court. 

Our client then went to Canada and applied for the Canadian version of asylum (Canadian Convention Refugee Status).  Canada allowed her into the country while her application was being adjudicated, but did not legally admit her. While in Canada she was scheduled for another Immigration Court Hearing in the U.S. pursuant to the instructions of the Board of Immigration Appeals. 

Unfortunately, our client was unable to attend it because if she left Canada her Canadian asylum application would have been withdrawn.  Because she failed to attend her Immigration Court Hearing in the United States she was Ordered Deported by the Immigration Judge.While in Canada she married her husband who filed a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to sponsor her for her Green Card.  The Petition was approved by USCIS. 

Thereafter, our client applied for her Green Card visa at the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal.  With her application she filed a request that she be allowed to return to the United States as a Green Card holder despite the fact that she had already been ordered deported, and requested a waiver of the underlying ground of inadmissibility stemming from the fact that she had been in the United States longer than authorized. After full disclosure of her immigration history, USCIS gave her permission to return and granted her waiver on January 23, 2007.  

In March, 2007, the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal issued our Client’s Green Card visa to the Respondent, and on April 3, 2007, she presented herself at the Buffalo POE of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and provided them with the Green Card packet.  USCBP then took the position they would not admit her as a Green Card holder because our client never legally left the United States because she was never admitted to Canada, notwithstanding that fact that she lived there for a period of approximately four years.

 Because the Department took this position they refused to admit our client as a Green Card holder, and took her into custody so that they could deport her pursuant to the provisions of the Safe Third Country Agreement that the United States has with Canada which requires the U.S. to take people back that go to Canada from the United States and who have not been legally “admitted” into Canada.

We were retained after our client was taken into custody and we immediately entered into negotiations with the Buffalo, New York Deputy Chief Counsel who arranged for the release of our client, and who is joining in our motion to reopen our client’s Immigration Court case so that she can apply for her Green Card in the United States, and not be forced to leave the country while she is applying for it. Robert D. Kolken handled the case for our firm.

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