Tag Archives: marriage

Till Immigration Laws Do We Part: Immigration and Marriage in the US


A poor judgment choice from when she was a teenager as a citizen of Mexico now prevents a young woman from living with her new groom and family in his hometown of El Paso, Texas.  The couple in this story from the Texas Tribune got married in the middle of the Paso del Norte bridge, an international man-made structure that literally bridges the gap between the United States and Mexico.  The bride may never be able to step off that bridge and onto US soil to be with her new husband.  The scene of the wedding was by all accounts meant to draw attention to their situation, which was brought on by the 1996 immigration bill signed by former president Bill Clinton which said that a person who lies about being a US citizen shall be barred from re-entry into the United States.  Now an adult, the couple feel the effects of that bride’s prior misrepresentation of citizenship.

The issue of marriage and immigration can be extremely complicated.  From the logistics of bringing a foreign spouse into the United States to family sponsorship, green card expiration dates and which forms to complete and file with the federal government, few areas of law are more complex than immigration.  The law on immigration related issues is constantly changing and evolving.  Organizations like American Families United have backed an act that would allow judges some discretion when it comes to deportation or re-admission reviews in cases where a subject has an immediate family member who his a United States citizen.  Another interesting issue comes with the recent striking of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, via landmark case United States v. Windsor which ruled that same-sex marriages would be recognized by the federal government.  The result of that case, in small part, is that immigration laws have new effects on same-sex bi-national couples who marry and seek visas or green cards.

If you or a loved one has ever had to fill out an application for citizenship or green cards, you know that the paperwork and forms can be complex and voluminous.  Filing fees for various types of status tend to be expensive. For assistance and to be sure your paperwork is filled out correctly so that you are not faced with mistakes that mean paying a filing fee twice, you should always consider talking to a local immigration attorney.