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Don't Be Badmouthing Spouse Too Much

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Don't be bad mouth on your spouse too much at USCIS. Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, San Diego, and Washington, DC. Today, we're going to talk about two scenarios where people have the opportunity to say bad things about their spouses. And I want to talk about that in the context of applying for a green card and applying for removal of conditions or for citizenship. Well, what in the hell are you talking about Jim? Well, sometimes a individual going through the immigration process is under a lot of stress and they feel that they might want to go ahead and dump on their spouse.

In the I-130 context, this comes up if the US citizen sponsor and the foreign national are fighting or having some kind of a conflict, and we've seen time and time again people contact us and say, "Jim, I lost my temper. I got mad at my foreign-born spouse, while their green card case was pending. I got mad and I called USCIS and I said a lot of bad things about them," or "I wrote a letter and said a lot of bad things about them," or "I went down to the field office and tried to tell them about all the bad things that my foreign national spouse are doing." So of course, we've had other videos on this topic, and you need to be really careful about that because it's sort of like a bell. Once you ring the bell, you can't unring the bell. You can't make that ringing stop. And of course, for the most part, it's probably going to be recorded in some form. Either the officer that you talked to is going to take down notes, or they're going to have your email or a letter that you sent. And so you really need to think through, if you want to say bad things about your spouse.

And then we have the flip side situation. So this is a scenario where somebody got their green card based on marriage to US citizen and now we're far out into the future. So they got their green card. Maybe they were filing for an I-751 solo. They're trying to get removal of conditions because the marriage went south and they got divorced and they keep wanting to badmouth their spouse. Or they're applying for citizenship and they're trying to defend themselves and explain why they had divorce so quickly. And we see this a lot. People want to just dump all over their US citizen, the person that used to sponsor them, and they'll want to say bad things about them, like they'll say, "Oh, she was catting around on me. She was cheating. She got pregnant with some other guy," or, "Oh, she was a drug addict. She was using drugs all the time," or "She was drunk all the time," or "She was a menace," or "She was a criminal," or "She was a shoplifter."

They love to come in here and tell us all these bad things about them in sort of a rush to get away from them. They want to act like, "Oh, that bad person, I'm really glad I'm done with them." And of course, that can be legitimate and that can be true, but you need to be careful about this, and why? Well, you're the person that married them. You're the person that got a green card through that marriage. And it sort of can boomerang and come back and hit you. What do I mean by that? Well, if you're going to USCIS years in the future and say, "Yeah, that spouse was no good. They were a bomb. They were terrible. They were drunk. They were irresponsible," well, that sounds like somebody who might take some money to file a fake green card case, and that might be someone that USCIS might want to go talk to. They might want to go talk to someone who's a drug addict or a criminal, because if they can get them to dump on you, then they can deny you for the next immigration benefit for which you were seeking.

So we see this a lot. You got to be a little bit careful. I used to be a riverboat lawyer and I would defend the boat company when deckhands would get injured on the boat. And one of the favorite tactics of the insurance company or the shipping companies was to sort of dump on the seaman, the able-bodied seaman who was working on the boat or on the barges who got injured, and they would try to bring up all their bad criminal history or their drug history or whatever it was. And some of these guys are some shady characters. And so that always cuts both ways too, because you're the one that hired him, right? You're the one that put them out on the boat. So it sort of is the same thing here. If you're the one who married them, every time you dump on them or say bad things about them, that sort of cuts back on you too. That goes to your judgment, and that goes to maybe how desperate you were to get that original green card. So tread lightly. We'll just say it like that.

If you have questions about this, give us a call 314-961-8200. Email us at [email protected]. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. If you like this video, we ask you to please share it out on social, that you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and that you join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually at noon, Central, where we try to answer as many of your immigration law-related questions as possible. Thanks a lot and have a great day.

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