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Being married to a U.S. citizen does not halt deportation

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Many people believe that if they marry a United States citizen, any risk of being deported is no longer an issue they need to worry about. However, immigration law changes in 1996 meant that even if someone was married to a U.S. citizen, they may still face deportation if they committed any kind of immigration violation. This has led to the break-up of families in virtually every state and Maryland, including one family in particular, as a 37-year-old man recently prepared to be deported back to Bangladesh.

The man came to the U.S. on a student visa. That visa ran out in 1994, and the man’s family stopped sending him money to stay in school. He then took a job at a Best Buy and continued to work there for 20 years. The man also married a U.S. citizen a few years ago.

The man was stopped for a DUI in 2009. This led to him being on the radar of immigration officials, so to speak. Although he has appealed and his wife has sought out legal help, the man must return to Bangladesh. He had to relearn his native language in the meantime and reconnect with family in Bangladesh as part of his preparation for leaving the United States.

Deportation can have a devastating effect on the families of immigrants and also on the friends and co-workers of those immigrants. Some immigrants may be unsure about what violations or immigration issues can lead to deportation. Anyone in Maryland who is unsure of their status or who is facing deportation may benefit from knowing their rights and what to expect if they are subject to a deportation hearing.

Source: The Washington Post, "The other side of deportation: An American struggles to prepare for life without husband", Eli Saslow, May 24, 2014

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