Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,
I have been reading your articles in The Gleaner. I entered the United States (US) in 1988 through a connection at the port in Miami. My sister sent me to try to obtain a driver's licence with a social security card which was not valid. I was held and deported to Jamaica. I am now 48 years old with a 13-year-old daughter. My mother is an American citizen living here in Jamaica and she filed a petition on our behalf. Can you say if after so many years this record would still be there, and what steps I would need to take? I have received a notice to pay for my visa application.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
I am assuming from your email that you were smuggled into the US and that you were not inspected by a US immigration officer, or that if you were inspected, you did not possess the proper immigration documents in your name.
When a person enters the US without being inspected and is present in the US, he is present illegally and can be placed in removal/deportation proceedings. If you enter the US with false documents, you commit immigration fraud and can be removed/deported for this violation, or at a future date found to be inadmissible to the US because of the fraud. If the false documents that you used were US documents, e.g. a US birth certificate, you would be charged with false claim to US citizenship and be permanently ineligible for any US immigration benefits, unless you can prove that you honestly believed that you were a US citizen.
In your situation, the 1988 deportation for fraud or false claim to US citizenship will always be on your record; it will never go away. If in fact you were only charged with immigration fraud and it is your mother who is filing the petition for you, you will be eligible to apply for a hardship waiver. In this process, your mother will have to demonstrate that she is experiencing extreme hardship that can only be overcome if you are allowed to migrate to the US to live with her and that she cannot return to Jamaica.
If your mother is currently living in Jamaica, she is going to have some serious obstacles to overcome to show that she is domiciled in the US for the affidavit of support purposes, and that she is experiencing hardships there. In your situation, you need to work with an immigration attorney to address the obstacles in your case so they can be properly addressed.
Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States; and family, criminal and personal injury law in Florida. She is a mediator, arbitrator, and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.