Maybe you all shouldn’t be getting married. Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our offices in St. Louis, Missouri and San Diego, California. I’ve had a few strange instances this week and I wanted to share them with you. In the first one, we were meeting with a person and their fiance, a US citizen and their overseas fiance. We were meeting with them on Skype and we had a lot of questions about the case. And after the meeting, the US citizen emailed my paralegal and I, and asked if we thought that their fiance was telling the truth. This was a very strange question, we haven’t had questions like that before, and it made me pause and think.
The next day I had someone who hired us, a US citizen hired us to prepare a marriage-based green card application for her spouse who was from overseas. And she told one of our staff members that while they were filling out the I-944, which is the petition for self-sufficiency, you have to list all of your bank accounts. And this person had hired us a while back, we’d gotten all the paperwork together, everything was fine, but she said that she had a secret loan that her spouse didn’t know about. And all of a sudden, when we pointed this out to her, she decided that she no longer wanted to work with us. And to me, that was because she didn’t like the fact that we were pushing back on the fact that she was trying to hide the secret bank account from her spouse, and more importantly from the government. We couldn’t submit a form that didn’t list this secret loan, and she was so afraid to tell her husband that she’d rather fire us as her attorney than tell her spouse the truth.
So, in both of these scenarios, I wanted to bring it up because obviously we’re just the immigration lawyers. But one of the interesting things about being an immigration lawyer is that you get to see people go through a process that’s very similar and see how they handle it very differently. So I think with both of these scenarios, the question must be asked for the people going through the process, is this really the right thing? Obviously the immigration lawyers shouldn’t be the ones to keep secrets between the couple, and the immigration lawyers shouldn’t be the ones trying to figure out if the foreign national or if one of the spouse members is telling the truth.
Like I said, we handle lots and lots of marriage based cases, so we see lots and lots of different people, and we sort of see the best of people, and we sometimes see the worst of people. And I’m not tying the two cases together, except for the fact that it’s interesting that these marriages were a little bit shaky and that in both scenarios, there didn’t seem to be a level of trust with the two parts of the couple. And so I think that if you’re at that stage, and then we meet with people all the time who are having trouble with their marriage, but if you’re at that stage where you’re having trouble believing or trusting your spouse, you might want to put a pause on the whole thing. I know that wanting to be together is an overwhelming emotion, but at least be sure that this is someone that you want to live with, that you trust. Because the marriage part is the important part, the green card is less important.
So this is just sort of some free advice. It’s not, obviously, immigration related. I just wanted to tell you about those two situations. I don’t know exactly what to make of it. I mean, with the second scenario, I was pretty upset that this client decided to fire us. We had done nothing wrong, we’d done everything right, and the only reason she let us go was because she wanted to save face with her spouse and didn’t want to tell him about her secret loan that she had. In the other situation, I just felt bad for our fellow. That case had some problems, and I understand why he was a little bit suspicious, but I hope everything works out in both scenarios.
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