Two Reno Clients Take Easy First Step Toward Legalization

Our immigration law offices in Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada serve dozens of clients every week, and last week alone we helped two clients submit paperwork to begin the path toward legal status. Both clients are undocumented immigrants who have been living in the United States illegally for over ten years. One of these clients, who we will call “Edgar,” is married to a U.S. citizen and has young children with her. The other client, “Denise,” is the mother of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old.

With this one petition, they have both unlocked three paths to legal status. From today onward, if Edgar is pulled over for a broken taillight, or if Denise is a victim of a workplace ICE raid, both are protected. Because both of them have been in the country for at least ten years, and because they both now have a recognized relationship with a U.S. citizen, they can fight in court for their residency through a process called Cancellation of Removal. These cases are hard to win, but at least they have the option available, and they can use the process and various appeals to extend their time in the country.

But that is just the worst-case scenario — they also have other, more favorable options. Edgar has the choice to leave the country, return to his home country of Mexico, and request his visa. The visa will be available to him, but he will have to get an I-601 Waiver of Inadmissibility in order to enter the country with it. Going this route means at least a few weeks of separation from his family, and perhaps a year or more of time without returning to the United States, but if he succeeds in the end he will have his residency.

Third, both can wait for comprehensive immigration reform. With this petition already submitted to the government, both will be near to the front of the queue when/if CIR does come. In previous reforms, such as the 1986 amnesty and the LIFE Act signed in 2000, many illegal aliens waited until the reforms had already passed to begin the lengthy process of applying for residency, and in some cases they waited until the last possible moment to apply. The system was backed up by months, and then years, and some immigrants had to wait until the backlog cleared before they could advance and get a Green Card.

If you are an unauthorized immigrant and want to protect yourself from ICE raids and immigration detention, if you want to open new doors to your immigration future, or if you are excited for a major immigration reform and want to be among the first to benefit from it, contact us today in our Nevada or San Francisco immigration law offices for a free consultation.

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