Even Carrying a Green Card Approval Notice May Not Stop Immigration Bust

Q: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services approved a green card petition for my sister in the category for brother and sisters of a U.S. citizen. Should she carry a copy of the approval notice with her in case a border patrol officer questions her like what happened to that lady on a Greyhound bus in Florida? My sister is here unlawfully. Will having the approval notice prevent her arrest?

Name withheld, Queens

A: Have your sister carry a copy of the USCIS approval notice with her, though it may not prevent her arrest by an immigration officer.

However, it may increase the chances that she’ll be released pending a deportation hearing.

In the past, having an approved family petition might have led an immigration inspector to pass on arresting an undocumented immigrant without a criminal record. That’s no longer that case.

Regarding the incident in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where Customs and Border Protection officers asked bus riders to show their papers, that’s rare in Florida.

It is more common near our northern and southern borders. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents claim the right to question individuals, without suspicion of wrongdoing, within 100 miles of a sea or land border.

Q: Will a U.S. consul issue a visitor’s visa to the wife of a U.S. citizen whom her spouse has petitioned for? U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has already approved the spouse petition for her.

Name withheld, Charlotte, N.C.

A: Maybe, but the consul will consider the approved petition a negative factor.

When applying for a visitor’s visa, applicants must prove that they have a residence abroad they are not abandoning and that they have an intention to leave the United States after their visit.

With a spouse petition approved, the consul will assume your wife intends to stay in the United States to apply for a green card there. If the applicant has traveled to the U.S. before and/or has good reason to leave the United States after her visit, the consul may issue the visa despite knowing about the approved immigrant petition.

By Allan Wernick for DAILY NEWS NEW YORK
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