Sometimes love just ain't enough
US IMMIGRATION NOTES - Atty. Marco F.G. Tomakin (The Freeman) - September 8, 2019 - 12:00am

Lisa came to the US on a tourist visa. After about three months in the US, she met Jack, a widower who was so smitten with her. In return, Lisa found that she also had feelings for Jack and soon thereafter, she accepted his proposal to marry him. As the wedding date was scheduled, invitations were sent out and the reception venue was already booked. Everything else seemed to be ready.

Or so Lisa thought.

About two weeks before the wedding date, they came to my office and talked about their plans and how that would impact Lisa's immigration status. As per the usual procedure that I go over with my clients, I asked both Lisa and Jack if they had any arrests, charges, or convictions in the past. I specifically told them that if they had any, they should disclose it to me as any prior criminal record could potentially affect any immigration benefit they wish to obtain. I even told them that I had clients in the past who did not divulge to me their previous entanglements with the law. Those were very costly willful omissions as their petitions were delayed and denied. Lisa and Jack answered that they have no prior criminal record. We then proceeded to plan the appropriate filings.

A week later, I received a call from Lisa's sister telling me that Lisa wanted her to let me know that their wedding was cancelled and that she went back in the Philippines. I asked why the sudden and abrupt decision. And the reason was so telling. That night after our meeting, Jack confessed to Lisa that he had a criminal record. He had been previously convicted for homicide and that he served almost 40 years in prison. In fact, he is still on parole. He was just too embarrassed to tell Lisa about this. Lisa was so furious about Jack's brazen lie and that he broke her trust that she broke up with him right there and then. Two days later, she flew out of the US.

There is a line in a popular song by Patty Smyth that goes, “There's a reason why people don't stay where they are, baby sometimes love just ain't enough.” The above story could never have been more true.

mtomakin@gmail.com

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