Posts Tagged ‘inadmissible’

Entering America Legally–Not As Easy As You Think!

Friday, December 18th, 2009

In an interview on David Letterman, actor Robert Downey, Jr., talked about a problem he had last year in Japan, when upon entering Japan he was detained and questioned about his past criminal record. Downey said:

I probably should have seen there was a sign that said ‘No Felons Allowed’ in English and Japanese and I haven’t had that expunged yet,” he said. “You can actually get things expunged but I’ve been pretty busy. So I was detained, I was interrogated. It was a blast.

Haven’t you settled up? Haven’t you paid your debts? Letterman asked.

Clearly I haven’t paid my debts to Japan, said Downey.

While I certainly feel somewhat bad for Mr. Downey, this short exchange gave the impression that nothing similar would ever happen in America! Hah!

U.S. Immigration Law contains restrictions that bar entry to people forever, for virtually any youthful indiscretion they have ever had, e.g. simple possession of a marijuana 20 years ago, without regard to whether or not you were actually convicted of the crime! You do not even need to have been convicted; the fact that you admit you did it will also get you barred from entry. Heck you will even be bounced from the United States after overstaying your visa for one day, leaving one day late, and then trying to come back in on that visa. Or, you will be detained and returned because the officer thinks you MIGHT be working.



So, if you were watching David Letterman and thanking your lucky stars that America is far nicer to arriving tourists than Japan–think again!

Article on Undocumented Aliens and In-State College Tuition

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

I came across this article by Greg Abbott, Attorney General of Texas, where he addressed questions regarding Texas’ law allowing undocumented aliens to receive in-state tuition over U.S. citizens who are not residents of the state of Texas.  Each state will have its own laws regarding a foreign national’s ability to receive in-state tuition from a public college or university.  In Texas, one is eligible for in-state tuition if they graduated from a high school in Texas and maintained a residemce continuously for three years preceding graduation.  The Texas law is more lenient than the law in Georgia in that one who can provide an affidavit stating that they will apply to become a permanent residence as soon as they are eligible.  In contrast, Georgia law requires that a foreign national is a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen before they can be eligible for in-state tuition.   This is a tricky situation becuase foreign nationals can easily be confused due to the varying laws from state to state.  This topic is interesting to me because in the last two weeks more than a few clients have asked me this very question because they are in the process of seeking admission and paying tuition fees to the univerisites they are attending this fall.  One client said that the school is considering allowing him to receive in-state tuition even though he only has a pending adjustment application, although Georgia law does not allow this.  My advice to him was that he must be very careful to read the application thoroughly before he takes in-state tuition.  Even if the school allows him to do so, if immigration looks back and realizes that he received in-state tuition because he accidently misrepresented himself to be a lawful permanent resident, they may find him to be inadmissible as a lawful resident and could potentially be deported.  It is always best to consult your immigration attorney regarding these issues because the schools may not necessarily know how one small checked box may severely impact your future in the United States.