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Law Offices of Hugo Pina
Experienced Immigration And Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving South Texas
McAllen 956-320-2241 Harlingen 956-421-5900

News And Thoughts On Immigration Law in South Texas

Preparing for a Stokes interview? Read this first

If you are an immigrant married to a U.S. citizen and the U.S. government calls the validity of your marriage into question, you may have your work cut out to convince immigration officials otherwise. Emigrating may not have been your plan originally, but love has no borders, so here you are. You went through your first green card interview, but now have received a summons for a second interview, called a Stokes interview.

Government officials will request a Stokes interview if they suspect you and your spouse are faking your marriage to secure a green card or permanent resident visa. This formal immigration proceeding will determine whether you will be allowed to stay in the United States or face removal. Here are several key factors that may help you convince your interviewers that your marriage is legitimate.

Asylum facts you may need to know

One of the first things you should know about asylum is that not every person seeking it is eligible. The purpose of asylum is to protect those who are fleeing imminent danger or persecution in their countries of origin. You can request asylum at a border or entry location when you come to the United States. From there, you will take the next steps to obtain a legitimate immigration status as a refugee.  

As with most U.S. immigration law situations, there's a lot of paperwork to fill out to obtain the legal status you seek. Another thing about U.S. immigration law is that it's complex. It often changes, so you must stay updated on current regulations regarding the particular issue that concerns you. You may need to enlist help to achieve your immigration goals, especially if you have a language barrier or other problem that may impede your ability to smoothly navigate the asylum process. 

Are you an undocumented immigrant who was a victim of crime?

Coming to the United States to build a new life in Texas may have been one of the most challenging events in your life. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrival, legal worries may have tempered your situation as well. If you are one of many whose paperwork was not in order when you crossed the border into this state, you may have encountered some risky situations as you put down roots and began to work toward your goals.

You likely understood that living as an undocumented immigrant in the U.S. would not be easy. However, you never imagined you would be the victim of a violent crime. When it happened, your first instinct may have been to call the police. If you hesitated for fear that authorities would discover your legal status and deport you, you are definitely not the first one to go through such a frightening experience. You'll be glad to know there are support systems available to help people in your situation.

Will one of these options help you avoid deportation?

Many immigrants come to Texas in search of better lives, only to wind up living in fear that the least little infraction (such as a traffic ticket) is going to get them deported. Whether you've been here for several decades or only just arrived, you probably know what it's like to lie awake at night and worry about your status. If you happen to be undocumented, such fears are usually greatly intensified.

Just because police stop you or immigration officials question you, it doesn't necessarily mean you will be subject to removal. Yes, officials may detain you, and you might have to go through a complicated and stressful process, but you may have options that can help keep deportation at bay.

Make sure you get the green light at your green card interview

When you arrived in Texas to prepare for your wedding, you were likely a bundle of nerves. Although you were probably excited that your dreams were coming true, you may also have had reservations regarding all the challenges that lied ahead, such as adapting to life in the United States, becoming fluent in the English language, and facing any questions you might get regarding the fact that you are an immigrant and your soon-to-be spouse is a U.S. citizen.

With a few deep breaths and a lot of love, support and help from your family and friends, you wedding day was even better than you imagined it would be. Now, your nervousness is arising again because you've been told to prepare for a special interview that will determine your visa status.