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Expert James
Expert James, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 11906
Experience:  Write FOR JAMES to get my help!
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Name is ***** ***** Wetherill, US citizen by birth, want to

Customer Question

Customer: Name is ***** ***** Wetherill, US citizen by birth, want to help a central american friend. any suggestions?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Terrified local guys who are restaurant workers, found out about current crackdown (see WSJ article) and want to know if there is a way they can stay safe. They think people will come after them with weapons.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $18) to post your type of question to Immigration Law Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: sure
JA: OK. Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Customer: ok
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.

Hello! Thank you for using Just Answer. My name is***** will be assisting you. Please view this as a casual conversation. We will chat back and forth until I have all of the necessary information I need to give you a thorough answer.

Once you have received your answer, you will be asked to rate my customer service. This is very important. I do not get a salary here. Your rating is the only way I get credit for doing my job. So please do not forget to do that by giving me a positive rating with 3 or more stars or any of the smiling faces.

Also, if you want me to be your personal immigration Expert, just write “FOR JAMES" at the beginning of any future, new questions, and I will be happy to help you as your personal Expert.

I see the background to your question, but I do not see an actual immigration question posted. Can you please clarify what, specifically, is your question?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, my specific question: is there any way that a citizen can sponsor or otherwise assist an illegal immigrant? What can one person do to help one other person, anything?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I need this answer because I need to know what to say to people who ask for help. Right now many of my friends are in this situation, both illegal immigrants and US citizens wanting to help them.
Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.

I understand everything you are saying. One more question: when you say illegal immigrants, are you referring to people who came to the US illegally? Or people who can t the US legally, and then became illegal. Because there are very different outcomes for each.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
hmm, of course I'm not sure but I suspect the former
these folks are from Mexico
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do have one friend whose parents brought him here after WWII who was born in England and has never been legallized
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry, I cannot sit here any longer.
Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.


These issues take a very long time to respond to. It is not a simply yes or no answer. Please be patient as I prepare your response.

Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.

OK, your answer is below. My apologies for the delay, but as you will notice, this can be complicated. I thank you very much for your patience and understanding.

During this process, please remember that I do not work for the government. My job is to be honest with you about your situation, and sometimes that means I have to deliver bad news. When you are giving a rating, please do not rate the state of the law or the outcome of your situation. I cannot control those things. I am just a messenger.

I know a negative outcome might create negative feelings for you, but those feelings should be directed to the US laws, not me. Thank you for your understanding.

Kindly remember to give me a positive rating before leaving this site today. I do not get a salary here, so your positive rating is the only way I am rewarded for doing my job. If that does not happen, it is as if I never worked, which I am sure you agree would not be an ideal outcome. So please do not forget to give me 3 or more stars, or any smiling faces, in order to help me get credit for doing my job. Thank you!

ANSWER: The problem here is that these folks entered the US illegally. As such, there is no direct method by which they can gain legal status without leaving the US, with one exception - through an immediate relative (US citizen spouse, child over 21 or parent if the person is a child under 21 years of age).

If they are immediate relatives of a US citizen, that US citizen can petition for the alien. Then the alien would have to file for a Provisional Waiver of Inadmissibility (form I-601A). If the waiver is approved, the person can leave the US and apply for an immigrant visa abroad. note, however that these require a showing that the US citizen will suffer extreme hardship if the alien cannot come back. Extreme being the key term here. If the alien leaves the US without an approved I-601A, they will be subject to a ban of 3 to 10 years, for their accrued unlawful presence for 180 days or more.

As far as what you can do as a friend or employer, there is nothing that can be done without the alien leaving the US. And if they do that, they are going to be subject to a ban. The only way back would be to seek a non-immigrant visa waiver (Hranka Waiver), but those too are not so easy, under the circumstances you've described here. Why? Because the waiver considers the violation and the extent to which the violation occurred. The longer they have stayed, the harder it is to get a waiver because the violation continued for some time.

As far as your friend from the UK who has been here for years, it may very well be that he was already legalized somehow, but he does not know it. It would be very difficult to come to the US through a port of entry from overseas, without having been admitted legally. If he came legally, and then fell out of status, but later married a US citizen, then he is eligible for a green card. He would have to apply for the same.

If he was never married or his spouse has passed away, then he might be eligible for a green card through the Registry. Here is information on that, including the eligibility requirements (copy and paste the link in a new web page):

I know this can be confusing. If you want a 30 minute phone call to discuss this or anything else, let me know. I can send you an offer for that.

I hope I have answered your questions. Kindly rate my customer service with a positive rating so I get credit for doing my job. This is very important. You can do that by giving me 3 or more stars, or any of the smiling faces. And you can keep asking questions even after you have given a rating.

REMINDER: You are not rating the state of the law or the outcome of your situation, which I cannot control. You are rating my customer service. Believe me that I always want to give you good news. But if the outcome is not what you wanted, blame the government and the law, not me. I am only a messenger.

Negative ratings are reserved for Professionals who are rude or unprofessional. Giving me a negative rating does not help you get a different answer or outcome. So do not give a negative rating if you need more help, or if I misunderstood your question. Instead click REPLY so I can continue to assist you.

A BONUS is appreciated, if you feel I've earned it.

If you have questions in the future, write “FOR JAMES" in the question and I will be your personal Expert in this category.

Thank you!

Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I’m just checking in to see how things are going and to confirm that you received my answers.

I have not yet received a rating for my customer service. Do you need more help or need me to explain anything else? Please respond so that I know what to do next.

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