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How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you over!

How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you over!

Old Oct 9th 2004, 7:04 pm
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Default How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you over!

<====THIS IS LONG====>

First I would like to start by saying I know there are cases out there who have had a lot of ups and downs due to different circumstances such as previous divorce, overstays, etc. I feel for you, I really do. But my situation could not be more simple. My husband came into this country on a K-1 visa. It took 10 months just to obtain that. Very difficult time for us to be apart like that when we wanted to start a marriage, but we pushed through. We made it! We got married June 20, 2003 and couldn't be happier. Shortly there after we filed for AOS at the Atlanta District Office. Our receipt is dated August 1, 2003. We applied for an EAD at the same time and it was granted on October 1, 2003.

So far so good....

Now, Atlanta is rather slow when it comes to adjucating AOS. In fact, their online status says they are still processing cases from 2002. So, we knew that we would probably be without the green card for quiet a long time. We didn't care. As long as we were together it wouldn't effect us that much. On July 7, 2004 my husband submitted his renewal application for his EAD. We did it online and went to Birmingham, Alabama to have his fingerprints done on July 24, 2004. We started to get a little concerned that he wouldn't receive it in time while checking online status for the National Benefits Center. We realized he would have to take a week off work because the card expired on October 1st and he couldn't get an interim until it had been 90 days which landed on Friday. His work was gracious enough to let him take the week off.

One weeks worth of pay gone = not so bad....

OK...this is where the juice of this story starts....

We woke up at 4 a.m. central on Friday morning and made a four hour journey to Atlanta for his interim EAD appointment. His appointment was at 12:15 eastern and we walked in at 12 p.m. with his infopass appointment in hand. We walked to the little desk, presented our letter and was directed to go to Room 111. We waited about 2 hours watching every single person in the room go to the counter except us. Finally, with only ourselves and another person in the room (who had already been called but was waiting on something) we were called to the counter. It went something like this:

Officer: Do you have your AOS receipt.

Me: Do you want the original or a copy (cause I had my hubby very prepared)

Officer: A copy is fine.

Marc (my husband) hands her a copy of the receipt.

Officer: Hmmmm

Me: What's wrong?

Officer: His file isn't here.

Me: What does that mean?

Officer: It was sent to the National Office (not sure exactly what she called it)

Me: OK, what does that mean?

Officer: The National Office is where cases go when they have been adjucated. It was sent there on July 18, 2003.

Me: Oh, that must be his K-1 file. Because we didn't file for AOS until August 1, 2003.

Officer: Well his file isn't here I will have to request it.

Me: Huh? (we are terribly confused and scared at this point...my husband was just sitting there in shocked silence)

Officer: We can't issue him an interim EAD.

Me: He is going to lose his job.

Officer: Well we can't issue him a card because we have to have the file.

Me: Can someone fax it over?

Officer: Not since 9/11 (god i hate that excuse)

Me: Uh...he is going to lose his job if he doesn't get this card, he has already been off for a week.

Officer: Well he isn't getting a card today.

Me: We drove four hours to be here. We had an appointment

Officer: Well you will have to drive 4 hours back when we get his file.

Me: We did everything by the book, this isn't our mistake but we are going to be hurting because of it.

Officer: Well you signed an affidavit of support saying you can support him.

Me: I can support him but we have plans. Imagine if you lost your job, how it would effect your family.

Officer: Well I can't help you. Do you want ME to lose MY job?

Me: ...

Officer: Want to talk to a supervisor?

Me: Yes please!


Sigh...so the supervisor says the same thing. Our case is so absolutely simple. No children, no previous marriages, no overstays. Just me and my husband. We left that place with no interim EAD, my husband will lose his job. Yes, I can afford to take care of him, but our plans to move, to have kids, to live away from the confines of the INS just got moved back to as long as they want to toy with us, which God only knows how long that will be.

Another thing I was told was that I should have already had my interview. Well that is total crap because I have heard of no one who has had their interview from Atlanta that soon. When I told the supervisor that my husband would lose his job she said "Do you have a letter of termination so we can expedite it?" What kind of question is that? Of course we don't! We had no way of knowing they were going to LOSE OUR FILE. She could have cared less.

So here I am...I have no idea what to do next. We are just totally in shock. We were told they would call us when the file comes in but I am not holding my breath. We don't know if we are going to have to resubmit. What about the hundreds of dollars I have poured into the INS. I just don't get it. Is there legal action to take? Will a senator help? Am I just screwed? This is not right, I am so completely angered that they can just take your life and twist it whatever way they see fit and then they JUST DON'T CARE!!! This is my life, my husband's life. They could care less....I give up! They win! Please, someone tell me there is SOMETHING that can be done?
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Old Oct 9th 2004, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you over!

Very sorry to hear of your predicament. Are you going to submit a letter of termination, as the supervisor suggested, so that you can have it expedited?

By all means, contact your senator or representative. The more people that complain about the system, the more likely it is that something will be done to rectify it.

Did your husband's human resources department notify you that the EAD was expiring and that he would have to cease employment or did you take the initiative?

You might also consider visiting your local office in Birmingham (I'm assuming that is your closest local office) and see if they will issue the EAD. You've got nothing to lose but your time.
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Old Oct 9th 2004, 7:36 pm
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Default Re: How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you over!

Originally Posted by sphyrapicus
Very sorry to hear of your predicament. Are you going to submit a letter of termination, as the supervisor suggested, so that you can have it expedited?

By all means, contact your senator or representative. The more people that complain about the system, the more likely it is that something will be done to rectify it.

Did your husband's human resources department notify you that the EAD was expiring and that he would have to cease employment or did you take the initiative?

You might also consider visiting your local office in Birmingham (I'm assuming that is your closest local office) and see if they will issue the EAD. You've got nothing to lose but your time.
If he loses his job we will try to get a letter but once he gets it, obviously he has lost his job and it is so hard to find a job in our town. It is mostly military and most jobs require security clearances.

We took the initiative to renew the EAD.

The Birmingham office doesn't issue EADs. They are very small and just recently started doing fingerprints I think.
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Old Oct 9th 2004, 8:09 pm
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Default Re: How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you over!

Originally Posted by Jana
If he loses his job we will try to get a letter but once he gets it, obviously he has lost his job and it is so hard to find a job in our town. It is mostly military and most jobs require security clearances.

We took the initiative to renew the EAD.

The Birmingham office doesn't issue EADs. They are very small and just recently started doing fingerprints I think.
I'm sure a notice with intent to terminate would be just as effective.

Birmingham has been doing fingerprints since at least 2000 (based on posts I've read). Too bad they don't do EADs.

Give 'em hell.
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Old Oct 9th 2004, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you over!

A complaint to the Immigration Ombudsman will also help, May not help you directly but it could help change things.
http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/interap...orial_0497.xml
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Old Oct 10th 2004, 3:32 am
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Default Re: How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you ov

Hi Jana,
I just wanted to say how I feel for you and Mark. I think that it would definitely benefit you to get a hold of the congressman's liason and see if they can help you. They will first have you sign a form that states that they have permission to have access to your information. Once you have turned that in, then they can get started. Take a look at your representative's website---our person had the form online. Let us know how things go, and hang in there.

~SecretGarden
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Old Oct 10th 2004, 3:41 pm
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Default Re: How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you ov

Originally Posted by SecretGarden
Hi Jana,
I just wanted to say how I feel for you and Mark. I think that it would definitely benefit you to get a hold of the congressman's liason and see if they can help you. They will first have you sign a form that states that they have permission to have access to your information. Once you have turned that in, then they can get started. Take a look at your representative's website---our person had the form online. Let us know how things go, and hang in there.

~SecretGarden
Mine is a different sitution.. But I didn't hear back from Richard Shelby... Mike Rogers office was nice but all they did was send my letter to the Consulate in Montreal with a note saying to process with in the law my case is moving but I thinks its just due to time..

Contact Mike Rogers office if you are in his district.. The lady I spoke to is nice and seems to know the ins and outs. I left a message and she returned my call I don't know if she is in DC or in his main headquarters in Alabama. It's a shot though. They didn't help me much but they might be able to help you... I think he was prejudiced against our case just like I thought Jeff Sessions would/might be...

Thats if your in Alabama which I am assuming you are.

Good Luck!

Last edited by Gin; Oct 10th 2004 at 3:43 pm.
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Old Oct 11th 2004, 12:46 am
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Default Re: How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you ov

Jana --

I'm very sorry to hear your story... Hope you will be able to sort it out quickly.

Just couple of thoughts: can your husband just take time off without pay, without giving much explanations? Or maybe he can "volunteer" -- i.e., continue to work without pay. I'm not sure whether the latter is legal, but I heard that some organizations allow it, especially if a person is just between EADs. At least that will allow him to keep his job, so that when he gets EAD he can go right back to work.

Good luck with everything,

Julia
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Old Oct 11th 2004, 1:31 pm
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Default Re: How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you over!

Jana,
I'm sorry that you are going through this....I pray that nobody else has this problem....
there are several things you can do..
1. didn't your husband get his first EAD via the I-485 applicaton? It should say 274 (c) (9) or something on his EAD card. That means that they did have the application and therefore issued him that first EAD....right? so how is it that they don't have the file now?....i'm thinking analytically and it just doesn't make sense....it's too bad you have to drive 4 hours to get there....or better....call the 1-800 # and ask them if they have your file now.

2. call the rep...i've heard that it's better to call a rep than a senator (though i just recently did that and haven't heard from them yet).....

3. complaint everywhere you can.....hehehe

4. it's illegal for them to deprive him on employment status....it's in one of the laws that they have....i'm a dork....i like to read their laws and regulations...but again he needs to prove that his I-485 is pending....i'm not sure why his NOA reciept isn't enough....it should be enough to tell them...'hey morons! he does have a I-485 pending...see the reciept! we didn't make it up!'

well good luck! let us know what happens.

Rukhie
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Old Oct 11th 2004, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you over!

Originally Posted by Rukhie
Jana,
I'm sorry that you are going through this....I pray that nobody else has this problem....
there are several things you can do..
1. didn't your husband get his first EAD via the I-485 applicaton? It should say 274 (c) (9) or something on his EAD card. That means that they did have the application and therefore issued him that first EAD....right? so how is it that they don't have the file now?....i'm thinking analytically and it just doesn't make sense....it's too bad you have to drive 4 hours to get there....or better....call the 1-800 # and ask them if they have your file now.

2. call the rep...i've heard that it's better to call a rep than a senator (though i just recently did that and haven't heard from them yet).....

3. complaint everywhere you can.....hehehe

4. it's illegal for them to deprive him on employment status....it's in one of the laws that they have....i'm a dork....i like to read their laws and regulations...but again he needs to prove that his I-485 is pending....i'm not sure why his NOA reciept isn't enough....it should be enough to tell them...'hey morons! he does have a I-485 pending...see the reciept! we didn't make it up!'

well good luck! let us know what happens.

Rukhie

HI Rukhie and everyone else. Thank you for your replies! I will try to answer them all here:

MightBe: Thanks for the link to the Ombudsman. I had never seen that and will definately try that.

SecretGarden and Gin: When we had a lengthy K-1 processing time I contacted ALL congress representatives and the two Alabama state senators. The senators both replied but just gave me a "they are working on your case" type response. My local congressman is Bud Cramer. I honestly can't recall what his response was because I contacted him later in the process.

Jemavalon: My husband is technically "taking time off without pay" right now. The problem is, they approved it for a week. He goes in today to see if he can extend that. Unfortunately, from a business' view, I would not be surprised and would totally understand if they had to let him go.

Rukhie: I made that exact arguement about his receipt. In fact we had the original with us and showed them that. They aren't "denying" him an employment card they just won't issue it until its in their hand. Apparently a fax isn't good enough. I asked 3000 questions on how it could have been sent away but she couldn't tell me anything without seeing the file. It's very unfortunate. And I have stressed all weekend about how much they didn't care.

Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts. Marc goes in to his job this morning to explain the situation. I will update you on thier response.

Jana
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Old Oct 11th 2004, 2:51 pm
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Default Re: How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you ov

Originally Posted by Jana
And I have stressed all weekend about how much they didn't care.

Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts. Marc goes in to his job this morning to explain the situation. I will update you on thier response.

Jana
Hi again, Jana and Marc,
I won't say that I know how you feel because we haven't been down this particular road yet, but I do know how hard it was to get through almost nine months on only my paycheck (and I make a pretty damn good living).

The one thing I would say now is to just take it systematically, and keep written notes of every contact you make, what is said, and the date. This will help you keep track of who you've called and give you a reference to quote for conversations with others. It's very hard sometimes to remember all the details of conversations/dates/outcomes without something in front of you. Only takes a few seconds each time, and in my experience, well worth it. In fact, you could print out your original post in this thread for a synopsis of the situation thus far.

I know it's easy for me to say, but try not to stress too much. It sounds like Marc's employer is willing to try to work with you to ease your burden in this "in between" time. Good luck Jana, and remember that you're together to deal with it, rather than working it through from miles away. A hug at the end of a shitty day is a godsend. Keep us posted when you have some news.

~SecretGarden
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Old Oct 11th 2004, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you over!

Jana,

Assuming you made a copy of your I-485 application docs, do you think it would do any good if you made copies of the copies and took them into the office as proof of filing? Or do they have to have to have the original filing?

I wish there was something else I could suggest to you for your situation. I feel for both of you because my hubby and I face a similiar problem with finding him a job in the local area. Good luck with your various phone calls. Have to agree with Sphyrapicus on this one: Give 'em lots of Hell. I get really pissed at the thought that the system can royally screw us over, even when we try to follow it to a 'T.' What's the use of doing things the correct way, when we still get f*&^ed up the arse, ya know?!

Good luck!
Jamie
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Old Oct 11th 2004, 3:42 pm
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Default Re: How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you over!

Originally Posted by sunflwrgrl13
Jana,

Assuming you made a copy of your I-485 application docs, do you think it would do any good if you made copies of the copies and took them into the office as proof of filing? Or do they have to have to have the original filing?

I wish there was something else I could suggest to you for your situation. I feel for both of you because my hubby and I face a similiar problem with finding him a job in the local area. Good luck with your various phone calls. Have to agree with Sphyrapicus on this one: Give 'em lots of Hell. I get really pissed at the thought that the system can royally screw us over, even when we try to follow it to a 'T.' What's the use of doing things the correct way, when we still get f*&^ed up the arse, ya know?!

Good luck!
Jamie
Hi Jamie. We have copies of copies of copies. My little filing box which used to house all my important papers is now busting at the seams. We will bring them the whole box if we must!!!

Update on Marc: His work is going to excuse his absense if "it doesn't take too long". You know the INS, their wait times are Too long, forever, and yeah right!

Jana
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Old Oct 11th 2004, 4:45 pm
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Default Re: How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you over!

You might want to consult with an immigration attorney on this. I think I
remember reading on this forum that, just because his EAD is expired, that
doesn't mean he's not authorized to work. I think he is still authorized,
he just doesn't have the correct documentation at the moment. You might be
able to convince his employer of that and maybe they will let him keep
working. But again, I would check with an attorney if you can.

- Eric S.


"Jana" <[email protected]_expats.com> wrote in message
news:[email protected] m...
    > > Jana,
    > >
    > > Assuming you made a copy of your I-485 application docs, do you think
    > > it would do any good if you made copies of the copies and took them
    > > into the office as proof of filing? Or do they have to have to have
    > > the original filing?
    > >
    > > I wish there was something else I could suggest to you for your
    > > situation. I feel for both of you because my hubby and I face a
    > > similiar problem with finding him a job in the local area. Good luck
    > > with your various phone calls. Have to agree with Sphyrapicus on this
    > > one: Give 'em lots of Hell. I get really pissed at the thought that
    > > the system can royally screw us over, even when we try to follow it to
    > > a 'T.' What's the use of doing things the correct way, when we still
    > > get f*&^ed up the arse, ya know?!
    > >
    > > Good luck!
    > > Jamie
    > Hi Jamie. We have copies of copies of copies. My little filing box
    > which used to house all my important papers is now busting at the seams.
    > We will bring them the whole box if we must!!!
    > Update on Marc: His work is going to excuse his absense if "it doesn't
    > take too long". You know the INS, their wait times are Too long,
    > forever, and yeah right!
    > Jana
    > --
    > Posted via http://britishexpats.com
 
Old Oct 11th 2004, 7:11 pm
  #15  
Solana
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Default Re: How you can have a simple case, do everything perfect, and INS still screw you ov

Jana,

terrible situation, I feel for you.

Atlanta INS is the worst as far as customer service is concerned. Very
unfriendly people (and I tried to be friendly, believe me.). Whenever
I filed any sort of application or form (even change of address,
moving within Atlanta!), I always sent my whole original file with it,
for their reference.

as far as your case is concerned.. Id be considering getting in touch
with a lawyer.. the INS will not give you call, they care less about
you guys (sorry, my opinion, might be wrong, but I learned to expect
nothing from them).

Id consider a leave of absence, if Id be your husband (and work allows
it). Wondering if there is any legal way of keeping on working w/o an
EAD, maybe without pay etc.

Definitely activate your congressman/woman. Id consider actually
trying to speak to them directly, not via letter etc.. by making an
appointment or something like that.

I recently filed for N400-Naturalization, I can tell you, I cant wait
until I can show 'the finger' to the INS office everytime Ill be
driving by it for the rest of my life, after I got naturalized..

good luck.

jemavalon <[email protected]_expats.com> wrote in message news:<[email protected] om>...
    > > Mine is a different sitution.. But I didn't hear back from Richard
    > > Shelby... Mike Rogers office was nice but all they did was send my
    > > letter to the Consulate in Montreal with a note saying to process with
    > > in the law my case is moving but I thinks its just due to time..
    > >
 

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