Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Immigration Corner | Sick of my son and daughter

Published:Tuesday | February 20, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

My 50-year-old son and daughter have been living with me for the past two and half years after getting their green cards. Life was OK for about four months, and since then it has been destructive. I have been threatened. There have been arguments and dishonesty. There are problems every day. I am 74 years old and I have to lock my bedroom door at night because I am afraid. How long am I responsible for my son/daughter? I need them to leave, but they refuse, even though they are able to financially. My son and daughter tell me that they know the law and I have to put up with them for five years. Is this true?

- Worried Parent

Dear Worried Parent,

It is unfortunate that you are living under these conditions. You should immediately contact a lawyer in your state and then call the police to have your son/daughter removed from your home.

When a person sponsors a family member or agrees to be a joint financial sponsor on the Affidavit of Support, you are agreeing to be the financial support for the intending immigrant - in the event the immigrant cannot take care of themselves. This agreement lasts for 10 years or until the immigrant becomes a US citizen - whichever is faster.

This does not mean that the person(s) are to live under the same roof with you or that you must provide for them daily.

What it does mean is that in the event the immigrant is unable to support themselves, they will not be eligible for public assistance from the US government; and that in the event that they do receive public assistance, the government will then come to you, the petitioner and/or the joint sponsor, to recover any benefits given to the immigrant.

If the immigrant is in a financial bind, you refuse to assist and they are unable to receive any government benefits, their recourse is to initiate legal action against you and/or the joint sponsor in a court of law, not to become a squatter in your home.

- Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States; and family, criminal, international and personal injury law in Florida. She is a mediator, arbitrator and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida.