You are an immigration attorney and a client named Mary walks into your office with a newly-received Notice to Appeal (NTA) in her hand. The NTA charges her as being present in the U.S. without admission or parole under INA section 212(a)(6)(A)(i).
After speaking with Mary, you learn she entered the U.S. without authorization just 3 months ago. She ended up in removal proceedings because she happened to be at a friend’s house when ICE arrived looking to take her friend into custody. During the incidental encounter, ICE discovered Mary had no lawful status and issued her an NTA.
You also learn Mary is married to a U.S. citizen, and that the couple lives together and has co-mingled their assets and other aspects of their lives. Mary’s husband previously filed an I-130 petition on her behalf, which was approved. Mary has no other immigration applications or petitions pending. Mary has a hearing coming up in immigration court in two weeks.
You decide to take her case, and she’s overjoyed to have someone helping her with the complexities of the immigration law. She says all she wants to do is stay with her husband in the U.S. The couple plans on opening a business together and starting a family if everything works out immigration-wise.
As Mary’s attorney, what are some possible courses of action? Identify and discuss what you come up with and choose the best option to pursue. Why is it the best?
Please explain your chosen strategy fully.