Mauricio has always wanted to be a doctor. He had gotten DACA status but was still unable to attend medical school because the school he wished to attend did not accept Dreamers.

Mauricio contacted my firm a few months before he got married, asking whether he would be able to become a permanent resident through his wife. I had to tell him that, given his circumstances, it would be very difficult. That is because people who enter the United States without a visa are normally not able to get permanent residence through a spouse, unless they can demonstrate that the spouse would experience extreme hardship without them. This is almost impossible when a couple is healthy and both are working.

So Mauricio needed to enter the United States legally. Before the current administration, Dreamers who were able to show that they had an exigent reason to travel internationally were able to get “advance parole,” meaning that they would be able to return to the United States legally after their brief international travel. I discussed this option with Mauricio and learned that his grandfather, whom he hadn’t seen since he had left Mexico at the age of seven, was seriously ill. Mauricio remembered his grandfather with love, and wished to be able to see him, for what might be his last chance.

I worked quickly with Mauricio to obtain the advance parole; the current president had just been elected, and no one knew what this would mean for Dreamers when the administration changed.

Mauricio’s application was approved within a few weeks, and he was able to travel to Mexico and back, entering the United States with the permission he had been given before he left.

He was married a few months later, and is now a permanent resident, attending the medical school of his choice!

Nancy M. Vizer

Author Nancy M. Vizer

Ms. Vizer has experience in most aspects of immigration law and has participated on panels at several continuing legal education seminars concerning immigration topics. She has also made presentations to both faculty and human resources staff at a number of universities in connection with immigration employment issues.

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