At Klinke Immigration, we often talk about keeping families together. This past week, we had the honor of working with two families from opposite sides of the globe. Our mission was to bring their families together here in Atlanta. I’m happy to report that we were successful!
The first case took place out of East Asia. What complicated this one was that the minor had been living here in the United States since he was 10 years old. He entered without inspection and had been living here without any status ever since. The family came to talk to me early this year because he was going to turn 18 in April and they wanted to see if anything needed to be done before then.
They were wise to do so. Under immigration law, the penalties for being in the United States without lawful status don’t start to count against someone until they turn 18. Thankfully, my client had a family-based petition he could use, but since he had the unlawful entry, he had to consular process for his immigrant visa back in his home country.
The family had to put their trust in me and send him back home before his 18th birthday. Can you imagine sending your child half-way around the world? What if I was wrong? What if the immigrant visa was denied? I don’t take any case lightly, but when sending anyone outside of the United States, I make doubly sure that the research is correct.
On Thursday night, I received the good news that the interview had gone well and that he’ll be returning to the United States soon – as a lawful permanent resident.
The second case this week was in Central America. We had worked on the mother’s case last year and she went from undocumented to lawful permanent resident. However, her son remained in her home country.
Since the boy’s mother is a lawful permanent resident, we had the U.S. citizen step-father petition for him to make the process go faster. The boy is 15, has never been to the United States, and on Wednesday, his immigrant visa was approved. The family was so anxious to have him in the United States, they bought a ticket and came to the U.S. that following weekend!
I can’t imagine how his life will change now. He has the summer to adjust to the United States – the food, the language, the sheer size of it all. In a few short months, there will be a whole new phase of adjustment with school.
Weeks like this past one are fun. We get to see months of hard work pay off and our clients get to be reunited with their loved ones. In these cases, it’s with teenagers who have their lives ahead of them, to make with them what they will. Knowing that we were part of their journey and that they don’t have to worry about immigration is pretty fantastic.