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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 109662
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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This isn't exactly an immigration question, but I don't know

Customer Question

This isn't exactly an immigration question, but I don't know who else to turn to for help. My boyfriend of a year and 3 months is a US citizen, but took a job in Mexico back in February. He worked and the job was put on hold, so he was going to come home. The ministry over there was supposed to pay him for the work he completed and as of today still hasn't paid him. He tried to come home, but they informed him that he owes taxes on the money he made while working there. He owed $5,000 and now they have tacked on another 2 months @ $2500. He has contacted his bank, but they will not help him because he is in Mexico. He has very little money left and is having to stay in a hotel. I have helped him as much as I can and he has no one else to help. Is there someone he could talk to regarding his situation? He needs help......he has just enough money to pay for his hotel and meals while there. Any help that you could provide would be great. He just wants to get back home.
JA: Have you filed any paperwork with the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) yet?
Customer: Don't think is falls under the immigration category.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: He contacted a lawyer there in Mexico to try to help him get the money owed to him, but he was wanting to charge him an outrageous fee and my boyfriend doesn't have the money to pay him right now. He has money in his US bank account, but can't get to it while in Mexico.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No. I think I summarized it the best that I can.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.

He needs to go to the nearest US Embassy or Consulate and explain the situation (he may need to make an appointment, first). The US Embassy or Consulate can - at their discretion - lend money for a person to cross back over to the USA. So if he simply needs help getting home, a US Embassy or Consulate can help if they see that he is a US Citizen and is stuck there.

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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He went to the Embassy and told them what is going on and they said there wasn't anything that they could do unless someone was held hostage or dead. Geezzzzz.....how helpful. This whole ordeal has turned me against ever traveling to Mexico for vacation.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 months ago.

I am so sorry. If they cannot help, I am afraid he has no other immediate solution unless someone in the USA can send him money for the trip home. I will opt out - perhaps another expert has another idea.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your response.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 15 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help. Also, please do NOT click on the Opt Out button because if you do, it would prevent me from communicating with you and then it could take a long time before another expert responds to you.

I am a new expert that will try to help you. Have you met your fiancé in person before or only through the Internet, Skype, perhaps a dating service? Has he asked you to send money to help him with this situation?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Mr. Senmartin - Thank you for your response and the answer to all of your questions is "No". We met through mutual friends back in mid-April 2016 and have dated ever since then. He left the US because he bid on a contract as an electrical contractor on a large project in Mexico and the money was really good. He was able to go back to the Embassy yesterday and they gave him 40% ($1,000) of what he owes in taxes. He still needs ~$1500 - $2000 (depending on the exchange rate) and he is at the ministry today checking to see if they have added any more to the total since today is August 1st. The whole problem is....they are charging him these taxes for money he earned while working over there, but the government has yet to pay him for the job he completed. They have given him every excuse as to why they haven't paid him. If you ask me, they are holding him there to see what they can keep getting out of him before telling him that he doesn't owe them anything else. They Embassy told him to apply for another credit card and to take out a cash withdrawal against it, he got one and did that only for his bank to cancel it because he was using it at the local ATMs to get cash to survive on while down there. He is having to pay for a hotel and meals, not to mention he has contracted malaria twice which in turn caused him problems and he had to seek medical attention at the walk-in clinics....thus costing money for clinic visit and medications. He has no one else to send him money.....his mother is on a fixed income and elderly, his daughter is a college student and doesn't work and as for me, I sent him a small amount just to be able to eat, stay in a hotel, and keep his cell phone turned on, that is the only way I have to contact him. I would be glad to give you his email address or phone number if you would like to contact him. He just wants to get out of Mexico and come back home to the US. We just have NO money to work with until he can get back home and get into his business account at his bank. We would appreciate any information that you could provide us. Thank you!
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

The problem is that this sounds suspiciously just like a romance scam AND yes, I have heard it from people that have not met in person before AND people who have met in person before. Is he being held by the authorities or he is free to roam around in Mexico?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He is free to roam around Mexico. He was about to fly out of there when he was told about the taxes that he owes. At that point, he has to pay them before he can leave. I don't know how things are handled when traveling to Mexico to work, I read that you do have to pay taxes on what you earn while working there. Do I need to try and get some kind of information from him or maybe copies of something? What should I do to see if this is legit? I just can't believe after a year and 3 months of us dating that he would do something like this? He continues to call and text me daily.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

That's the thing, I don't believe he does. They cannot hold him hostage in a country because he may owe a few thousand dollars in taxes. I don't believe anyone will give him an trouble leaving Mexico either by land or by air. The U.S. Embassy could loan him the entire amount. I don't see why they would only give him or loan him $1000 as that does not seem to resolve his problem. It just sounds too suspicious to me.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Hello. I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help? Please let me know. Thank you!

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for your kindness and respect. Good luck to you.