What if you were told that all of your life you have thought that you had illegally entered this country but come to find out you have been misinformed all this time? We’re New Frontier Immigration law and we are here to explain three ways that your entry was actually lawful but maybe all this time you thought it was an illegal entry.
A lot of people come to the firm, week after week, and when we ask them “how did you enter the country with a Visa or without permission?” People usually say they entered “illegally” and about half the time we find that people didn’t enter illegally, they think they did but what the law says is completely different. Here’s why this is so important: if you entered illegally multiple times then you’re usually subject to what’s called the permanent bar and the bar means you have to be outside the US for 10 consecutive years before your U.S. citizen child can petition for you, basically before you can get a green card. So illegal entries are a really big deal, where if you had a legal entry and perhaps you had come and left and re-enter legally maybe you don’t have a permanent bar. We can help you get to the bottom of it because perhaps all this time someone misunderstood what an illegal entry was or an unlawful entry was and you could have had a green card this whole time.
Having Used Someone Else’s Documents
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People always say “I entered illegally because I used someone else’s documents” or “I borrowed a friend’s lawful permanent resident card. We looked alike. I showed it to the officer. They didn’t really ask any questions and then they let me come in because they believed I was that person”. Now don’t get me wrong this is legal entry but there’s probably a component of fraud that we’re going to have to address. So if you came in on someone else’s papers that’s not an illegal entry you came through the Port of Entry, You gave someone else’s documents and you were allowed to enter. That is considered a lawful entry. There’s going to be other steps for us to correct that potential fraud that you committed but that’s something that’s waivable. The permanent is not waivable because it bars illegal entries.
Waved Through by Car
You went through the checkpoint sitting in the car and the border patrol officer asked for whatever ID from the driver, maybe the driver said ‘yes everyone’s a citizen’ Or ‘yes everyone’s with me, yes they have papers’ and you didn’t say anything. You’re waived through in a car. This is considered a lawful entry. Half the time people say that they entered illegally but they didn’t . They were waved through or when they entered with someone else’s documents.
Waved Through by Other Means
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What if you were on a bus? “The bus that I came on, was checked, they asked for everyone’s ID but no one asked me any questions. No one asked me for any documents and then the bus was allowed to go through Mexico or from Canada to the United States”. The same is true if you’re in the line and you walk up and you show them your papers or if they don’t ask you any questions in general they just wave you through and they allow you to enter. This happened a lot of times in the early 90s and the people didn’t leave. Those two are considered a legal not illegal entry.
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So if someone has told you, if you’ve talked to an attorney in the past and you’ve talked to a notary in the past, if you talked to your great-aunt who tells you all the things because she’s the smartest person in your family and they told you that “You entered illegally, so there’s no way that you’re a 21 year old US citizen child can petition for you”. And because you don’t have anyone who can help you with a waiver process, you can’t go to Juarez to process. You can’t go to the consulate. We’re here to tell you that this isn’t necessarily the case.
What ARE Considered Illegal Entries
Now let me tell you about some instances where everyday of the week we can all agree that it’s an illegal entry. If you climb through the mountains through a secret road to get into the United States and no one saw you know, no border patrol agents were able to inspect you or to waive you through. We can both agree that this was an entry without inspection and so therefore it’s going to be an unlawful entry right.
If some people have crossed through the river and they cross the Rio Grande, Lots of clients came here to seek Asylum and they waded across the Rio Grande, when you don’t go through the Port of Entry or you climb under the Border fence, that’s an unlawful entry. That’s entering without inspection and that’s considered an unlawful entry, but we’re not talking about that today, first we need to make sure that the law is what we’re applying not just with what friends, family or common knowledge collectively has come to be.
We hope that this has been helpful and hopefully, now you know that maybe you didn’t enter without permission . Because there are lots of ways! There are lots of other exceptions and frankly there are even exceptions we can still use the law to benefit you. Even if you did cross through the mountains, even if it was through the Rio Grande. So don’t close any book or close any hope when you think “I enter without permission so this is the end of the road for me”. That cannot be further from the truth.
Instead, call us. We’ll spend lots of time visiting with you so that we can help decide whether there is an option available for you under our current laws. Message us, we can’t wait to talk to you.
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