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Deported woman whose spouse died allowed back in U.S.

For most immigrants who come to Charleston illegally, their intention is not to come to the United States and cause trouble but to work for a better life. In some instances, they are hoping to join their spouse and reunite with family. While the best intentions don't excuse breaking the law, people who are trying to come to the U.S. for noble reasons might have options to stay even if they run into trouble with the Immigration and Naturalization Service by entering the country illegally.

A woman from Peru who had lived in the United States for over 20 years and had a U.S. born son was returned to her native country three years ago after it was discovered she was in the country illegally. Her husband and son were legal residents of the U.S. Nevertheless, she was detained and eventually deported. She had believed that she was a legal resident because she and her husband had paid for assistance in gaining residency, but the services offered to them turned out to be fraudulent.

The woman wanted to meet up with her husband for her 25th wedding anniversary. Not long before that day, her husband became sick and was hospitalized. It was found that he had pancreatic cancer, and he died soon after seeking treatment. The woman was allowed to attend her husband's funeral, and she is now seeking asylum so she can stay in the United States.

People who might have entered the U.S. illegally in the hopes of reuniting with their loved ones need to understand that they may have options despite their irregular entry into this country. There are various types of visas that can be acquired depending on each individual's situation. In addition, permanent residency is also an option worth pursuing. Depending on the circumstances, a person who is in the U.S. illegally might be able to achieve legal status and stay without needing to be concerned about being pursued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and deported.

In this case, the woman and her husband built a life in the United States and were well known as respectable residents of their community. Unfortunately, they had been cheated when they tried to legalize their status, and the woman was deported. She's now in the United States grieving her husband and hopes to stay. Those with similar issues should discuss their case with a qualified immigration attorney to learn whether or not they could get legal permission to say in the United States.

Source:, "Peruvian woman allowed to cross border for husband's funeral," Roxana Kopetman, May 5, 2014

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