Love Gone Awry

A Chinese student who spoke little English met the love of her life. The man, a U.S. citizen, had a great interest in visiting China with a Chinese native, and agreed to marry her for that purpose.

He explained to her that that was the reason he was marrying her, but she didn’t comprehend, thinking that she had found the man with whom she would spend the rest of her life. They filed an application for permanent residence based upon the marriage. Upon vigorous examination by an immigration examiner, the U.S. citizen husband admitted that the marriage was not based on an intention to live together. When the Chinese student discovered this, she was so distraught and depressed that she took an overdose and landed in the hospital.

Our client’s application for permanent residence was denied and she was put in to deportation proceedings. We successfully defended the Chinese student in immigration court in Chicago based on the fact that, although there was marriage fraud, she was not a party to the fraud and only her husband had committed the fraud. The government then amended the complaint and alleged that she was deportable based on having violated her student status for missing classes during the period for which she was hospitalized. Again, in immigration court in Chicago, we successfully defended against this charge.

The government then amended the charge one last time to allege that she was deportable based upon having lied on the INS form regarding her address, using the address of her husband. Finally, the Immigration Judge found her deportable on this last charge.

We filed an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals. After several years, the BIA reversed the order of the Immigration Judge and found her not deportable, since any misstatement regarding her address was an immaterial misrepresentation, not sufficient to create a ground of deportability for a student in otherwise valid student status.