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Woman denied entry despite valid tourist visa

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently denied entry of a Mexican businesswoman who intended to visit her aging parents in Maryland. According to a story in the Washington Post and other media outlets, the woman who owns a travel agency and rental property business in Mexico with her husband had visited the U.S. frequently yet never overstayed her visa.  

A preemptive measure

The Customs and Border Protection agents not only denied her entry at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, but also revoked her 10-year tourist visa and barred her from entering the U.S. for five years. Since she was traveling with her U.S.-born toddler, officials believed she intended to immigrate.

Another reason for the determination was that she had traveled to the U.S. in 2016 and took advantage of legally available health benefits for treatment of complications of her pregnancy, which was then at five months. The complications took place during what was intended to be a one-month visit.

This action falls in line with the Trump administration’s proposal to disqualify those seeking legal residency or a temporary visa if they or anyone in their household (including U.S.-born children) legally used Medicaid or other non-cash benefits.

An all-too-common occurrence

Unfortunately, this denial is an all-too-common occurrence when border officials believe that the visitors plan to stay. This has been the case in the past as well, but the increased scrutiny and tougher measures under the current administration has led to higher barriers even for those visitors who abide by the law.

When following the lawis not enough

If you believe that you gave a poor impression during your interview at customs or a consular office, trying again with more paperwork likely will not help your cause. Often the best course of action is consulting a lawyer with experience handling these types of issues. They can provide legal insight that may provide solutions to address your initial denial.

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