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Immigration Issues/Crossed as a vistor from Canada


QUESTION: I have a few questions...

In May 2005, I came on a vacation from Canada to the US, at the boarder I crossed as a vistor.  I was interrogated for 4 hours and had my car searched and asked a numerous amount of questions on why I was going there.  Nothing was suspicious about why I was coming, they were obviously just bored and had nothing to do.. one of the officers even asked me if I was intimidated by him.  When they finally allowed me to cross (at this point I used my BC, DL and Health card to cross no passport was required) they did not give me any paperwork showing I had crossed the boarder, I don't even know if they were required to give it out then From Canada to US?  This was my first time travelling across the boarder on my own.

Anyways, I met someone while here, and we are engaged to be married.  I also have a daughter who is now a US citizen and I am pregnant again.  My daughter is 1 year old.  We are not married yet, I have decided to stay in the US.  How do I go about getting some legal documentation to stay in the country?   And because boarder patrol didn't give me any documents is that going to hurt me?

Thanks for your time.... I have been trying to figure this out for 2 years now, and I really want to go home to visit, but I am not prepared to leave the US unless I have some kind of documentation stating I can come back as both my partner and child are citizens of the country.
ANSWER: They may not have given you an I-94, but you were entered into the computer data base.

you are in jeopardy of being deported.  you are in the US illegally, even if you have a US child.  Is there a reason you have not married the father of the child?

If you get married, your husband can file an I-130 petition on your behalf.  However, until this is done, there are no guarantees that you will be not be encountered by ICE.  If you are, before you file the appropriate applications, being able to return to the US will be difficult at best.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Now my next question to you, as we are planning to get married in the next month or two is this:

Should he just file the I-130 petition, and wait until it is approved, and THEN file the I-485, or should it all be filed together?  I know the I-130 itself says if you are an immediate relative that you can file the I-485 because there is no wait time for a visa.. but if I have been in the US 180 days past the 90 days (I believe that is the vistor stay limit) do I take a risk also filing the I-485 seeing I have technically "over stayed" my vistor time?

When you violate terms of entry and status, as you have, there is always a risk.  That being said, a valid marriage to a US citizen can mitigate the circumstance.  Personally, I would advise you to return to Canada. Then file for a K-1 fiance visa, when approved you will be permitted to return, marry and stay here while your petition is being adjudicated.

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30 years Immigration law enforcement/management, criminal investigations, Homeland Security including Border Patrol operations

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