Comments: 3573 • Responses: 38  • Date: 

NotWithTheFeds1179 karma

I'm in the same situation as you. It's tough. Say... wherabouts are you trying to live the American dream? Just curious...

immigration2013909 karma

Yeah buddy, let me just send you my passport and the best times to reach me at work...

Haha, I can say, its one of the southern states. Anyone from old Dixie here, y'all?

joelawyer881 karma

I am a lawyer and have done some immigration practice. From what I gather you are not from a Latin American country. This makes you rather uninteresting to law enforcement. Up until a few weeks ago, had you been arrested for some crime, you may have been referred over to ICE. They stopped doing that for all but violent crimes now. So you have that. Now, is the country from which you originate one of these ones? http://travel.state.gov/visa/fees/fees_3726.html

If so, your business could, possibly, support residency.

immigration2013536 karma

Thank you, good lawyer.

"From what I gather you are not from a Latin American country. This makes you rather uninteresting to law enforcement." Could you elaborate on that point a bit? I was always wondering about it. Do you feel the INS/Government gives extra harsh treatment to Latinos versus other undocumented aliens?

"Up until a few weeks ago, had you been arrested for some crime, you may have been referred over to ICE. They stopped doing that for all but violent crimes now. " Is that the case for all countries and all states? If I get caught with a joint, I won't get deported?

I looked at your link, it says my country is E-1. Would love to here more about the process if you have the time to share it.

raknor88156 karma

If your able to answer, what is your native country? Me as a typical american when I read that you were an illegal alien and in a southern state I just assumed you were Latino.

IAmADudette121 karma

He's already said multiple times he'd prefer not to say where he's from. Which in context is pretty understandable.

tweezyb283 karma

Yeah, if he said what country he was from the INS could cross reference the millions of people in that country and find out who is missing, and determine his identity quite easily. Then it's just a matter of employing IP backtrace technology and biometric filters to find out which public DNA sensor has most recently detected his presence. A simple cell phone triangulation from there could easily pinpoint his exact location. Then you send in the drones and clean up the mess.

acog523 karma

Clearly he's from a country that has very few immigrants here, so even saying the place would indeed identify him. I'm going to say Vatican City. OP is the recently retired Pope.

immigration2013547 karma

My cover is blown. Quick, to the pope mobile.

hiragar572 karma

Have you ever been close to being caught?

immigration2013951 karma

Ohh boy, Yes. Or at least I thought I was.

I get really nervous when a car I am in gets stopped by the police. I dread them asking my ID although I am not driving.

One time, this very thing happened. The cop took both mine and my ex-girlfriend's ids. I gave him my Passport. He hold on to it and sat in the car for what seemed like 15 minutes. We were devastated. She was about to cry, and I told her not to, as it will make the cop more suspicious. Those were some real long minutes to wait in silence, almost like a scene from a movie. She said that if something happens she will come after me and we can start our life again in my native country. It was very emotional.

We thought we are going to see a bunch of more patrol cars/ins but nothing happened. He gave us our documents and told us to drive safe and that was it.

Bored-Dev296 karma

Last time I was in the states I was in a car that got pulled over. The cop asked the driver for id like normal and asked if I had any id. I told him I did, I had my passport which was in a bag in the back and if he really wanted to see it I didn't mind grabbing it. He replied saying it was fine and tbh he had no idea going about looking it up anyway so he never bothered. So you never know, he probably spend those long mins trying to find the right menu on the computer and gave up after your girlfriends ID came back clean.

immigration2013324 karma

Yeah, that might happened.

The way I envision it in my head, is that he knew but his superior was like: "Leave it be, Bill, its out of our jurisdiction. Not worth the effort."

lajademoo392 karma

Have you attempted to become a legal citizen?

immigration2013618 karma

Once your visa is expired, your legal options are reduced to nill.

lajademoo260 karma

So after that point you literally have no way of getting citizenship? Or is it just super tough?

eduardog3000630 karma

Legitimately marrying an American citizen is his only option.

immigration2013549 karma


Marimba_Ani149 karma

Can't you leave and apply? That's still an option.

Maybe a lengthy option that you wouldn't consider, but still an option.


immigration2013456 karma

If I leave at this stage, I am barred from re enter the US for 10 years.


Jesus christ.

I know this doesn't really help your dilemma but, I'd be pissing my pants if I was facing the same situation.

immigration2013112 karma

Yeah, it is pretty damn scary. Like all things in life you learn to live with it. I got me some nice moisture protecting bed sheets ;)

Thank you "INSANITY_RAPIST" for your kind response. Only on Reddit, folks.

option_i166 karma

I am also illegal, but my parents brought me here when I was 2-4 months old (I'm 24). I haven't been to college for obvious reasons, and I have never owned a car. You guys take for granted the gift of driving. :( Try running 6 miles just to go to the gym. Lol

Edit: Also, you don't know the feelings of utter hopelessness. Or when people ask why you aren't going to school because you come off very intelligent. Suffice to say, I developed horrible social anxiety; this being a great contributing factor.

immigration201323 karma

"the gift of driving" Yes, I think some people don't get what the big deal about. Not driving in the states is a deathblow to many activities.

robot_therapist359 karma

Do your employees know you're undocumented?

immigration2013391 karma


Superlative_275 karma

Why did you make that knowledge public to them?

immigration2013595 karma

Its pretty hard to explain why you can't drive your own car.

panther5590143 karma

Are you ever afraid they will use this as leverage against you?

CdeoD113 karma

I work with an illegal immigrant that also has an expired visa, he is older than I and wiser on the subject of construction. I would give this man the shirt off my back and help his family in any way I can, let alone work for him. I would in all my power, which is bar none in a case like this, try to prevent his deportation. It's a good chance that if his employees know about it, they too would feel the way I do.

immigration201323 karma

Thank you for your comment.

That is the case with my employees as well.

lilbundes354 karma

Did you buy SimCity 5?

immigration20131366 karma

SimCity 5?

Helllll noooo, that DRM is like... Un-American

dracdrac84245 karma

If you were to face deportation tomorrow, what preparations would you make, and what would you plan to do afterward?

immigration2013292 karma

I think about it quite a lot.

First of all, I really don't know how its all going to be. Jail? Prison? How long? Is it going to be civil and quick or a scary and depressing and long process? Who knows? Is it different by state? What is a good source for some reading about the whole process?

Also, I don't know if I could do any type of preparations as I assume I will be held in a cell. I hope it will never come down to that, but if it does, I will return to my native country and peruse a college degree.

uberwaffle528 karma


immigration2013140 karma

Oh man, Thanks for posting. This is the first time I hear an actual account of actual deportation.

"detention centre" - just illegals or other criminals?

They deported you to Tijuana the very same evening? Damn, that's fast.

I am not a Canadian, a deportation will require a plane.

Thank you for your story. If you have the time, could you shed some more details about the whole process and the after math. How did your folks coped? Where are they right now?

Tredesde178 karma

How are you paying your taxes without a social security number?

RTFW392 karma

Easy. Anybody can get an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). As a matter of fact, the IRS is perfectly fine with people filing using those if they have no SSN even if their residency her is less than legal. Better to pay the taxes and not have the IRS after you than anything else, ask half the mafia brought down by violations of tax laws when they couldn't be brought down for everything else they did.

azurleaf231 karma

If there is one agency you don't want to piss off, it's the IRS.

ThePieWhisperer97 karma

I would have thought it would be the CIA... because... you know... they'll kill you.

theghostofme308 karma

The CIA may kill you, but the IRS will destroy your very being.

mindspork435 karma

CIA will kill you.

IRS will make you kill yourself.

immigration201316 karma

Love it.

immigration2013138 karma


math1985146 karma

In America, illegal employs you...

immigration201340 karma

Haha, laughed out loud.

It is an indeed bizarre situation. When conservatives that are not aware of my situation telling me about immigrant job stealing I just sigh and smile.

I ain't no Vanderbilt, but this train is going.

Tech5858141 karma

Which one is a j1 visa ? where did you come from ?

immigration2013262 karma

A J-1 visa is a student/worker exchange visa. It is often granted for 6 month to 1 year.

I would rather not reveal where I am from. I can say its not Mexico.

Tech5858271 karma

Reason I asked is because I came here 12 years ago with a dependent to (h1 visa ) And finally, after 12 years and many hoops , this coming Thursday I be going in for my citizenship interview and hopefully become a USA citizen.

immigration2013156 karma

I am jealous.

Congratulations, I wish you luck.

I know you won't take it for granted, that's for sure.

danielcberman130 karma

I applaud your entrepreneurial spirit, but why haven't you applied for citizenship especially when you might be in a position to pay the necessary fees and/or fines?

immigration2013320 karma

Once your visa expired, you legal options for naturalization are almost non existent. Your only route is a LEGITIMATE marriage to a US citizen. I realize that some folks have fraudulent arrangements and game the system, but it feels wrong to me and just asking for troubles in the future. I have consulted immigration lawyers and they explained that is my current only option.

GoldenDriller314 karma

... ladies

Quebe152 karma

Girls from /r/Liberal will be all over this shit.

jpreston200546 karma

I'm a guy, hell, I'd do it.

immigration2013147 karma

Haha, I think I'll get plenty of that once I am detained

santa4nt273 karma

I have a feeling that most people don't realize how unrealistically hard it is to "just apply."

immigration2013228 karma

That is a very good point. Folks in the US don't know how fortunate they are.

For example, I had to pay a hefty fee, schedule a visit at the US consulate, wait in line for 5 hours (no joke) bring my bank statements and a bunch of other documents, have an interview with a US representative and even then, there are good chances you will be denied.

Have any of you ever experienced something like that when traveling to other countries?

I dream of the day where I could "just apply".

hiragar128 karma

can you provide some proof? maybe expired J1?

iwasinthepool411 karma

Nice try, INS agent.

immigration2013219 karma

Yeah, That's exactly what I thought.

As you can imagine, I am quite paranoid about revealing too much. But could provide something to the mods that will not compromise me.

mini-you118 karma

Do you feel you're entitled to stay? Do you feel you've wronged the immigration system, or the system has wronged you?

immigration2013271 karma

I don't feel entitled to stay.

I don't feel I wronged the immigration system or been wronged by it. The situation is very complicated and not black and white like that. The thing is, I love this country, I am a productive tax paying member and I hope the government will find a sensible way for people like me to stay and become a legitimate part of the US.

spektakular39 karma

Do you ever wonder whether the officials actually know your situation but value the contributions you make too much to deport you? It may sound like a silly question, but some of the "close calls" you talk about here make me wonder.

immigration201337 karma

Not really, I heard about a number of cases where huge business were shut down/owner deported. I think there is a very interesting internal conflict between the revenue collecting forces and the law enforcing forces.

theratch84 karma

Have you entrusted anyone with a "just in case" set of instructions should the worst happen and you get deported? I.E. how your business will continue to be run, etc.

immigration2013525 karma

There's money in the banana stand.

geekymama64 karma

Why didn't you just immediately renew your visa or find a different, and legal, option to stay?

Some aren't fantastic (I hated my F1 student visa) but it at least kept me legal and kept my options open.

immigration2013115 karma

Yes, it seems like the best route in hindsight. But when the visa was expiring, I just wanted to stay one more month to check one more state, and than that turned into six months. And here I am today. I would obviously do things differently if I could go back in time.

maltesetigerotp63 karma

What kind of obsticals have you had to face as a result of owning your own business and not having your citizenship? Also, are you aware of or do you know other immigrants who are successful business owners in the same situation?

immigration2013160 karma

That is a very good question.

  1. Driving is the worst obstacle of them all. Unless you work online or live in a major metropolitan area where a car is not needed (NY) you will learn very quickly that public transportation is a joke. I pay one of the guys $10 an hour just to drive me to places. Not able to own anything outright, fearing to keep money in the bank/not able to open a business account. I think the biggest of them all is that huge feeling in the back of your head, that all your efforts and property can be reduced to dust in one unlucky day. Its hard to have a 5 year plan when it is feasible to get deported tomorrow. Another thing is the whole taxation situation. You might be surprised, but I WANT TO PAY TAXES. I feel like I have been granted access to this land of opportunity and I need to pay my dues to the system. It is very hard to find a creative ways to pay taxes. There is the I-TIN number that basically allows you to pay income tax albeit does not grant you any protections whatsoever. The I-TIN also allows you to pay your workers taxes as well. Its a scary proposition, to send your passport to the IRS, especially where there is a precedent where that information was used to deport illegals.

  2. Yes, totally. There are a bunch of illegal Spanish folk in my city that have thriving businesses. I don't know how they do it. They are all very well connected and have a multi generational knowledge capital that is just priceless. Not being from Mexico, and unable to speak Spanish I don't have access to those systems/information. I think they feel a bit more safe, because Mexico is so close to the US that even if those guys are deported they can be back in the US working the next week.

BonChicBonScott52 karma

How has the system not caught you already? You're in the database, because of your visa, you're paying taxes... Why doesn't one government computer beep at another government computer and tell it you're not supposed to be there?

immigration201383 karma

You know that is a very good question.

I thought that my first interaction with a cop would result in an immediate detention. That was not the case, so far.

You can see where the enforcement people priories are by driving to home depot early in the day. You will see dozens of laborers trying to score a day worth of work. I can assure you, 85% of those workers are undocumented. The cops/ins could easily scoop all of them on a weekly basis but chooses not to.

cdb03b34 karma

If your Visa is expired how are you paying your taxes and not getting caught?

immigration201362 karma

individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).

mastermrt32 karma

What country did you come from originally?

Why did you leave it?

What do you like about America that makes you want to stay?

immigration201378 karma

I rather not reveal what country I am from.

I left it for a regular trip/adventure. Never thought I am going to stay longer than the visa allowed. I thought it was going to be my one major trip before I go to the university. I come from a very law abiding family that was furious in the beginning and tried very hard to convince me to re-think the whole overstaying route. Regardless, I have beautiful memories and had a very good experience so far.

I really like the people, I won't lie... Folks are really friendly and warm around here, which is not the norm in my culture. Another reason, is that the political climate in my home country is very tense and makes me anxious. Another reason is, that its been 6 years, which is a good chunk of my life. I feel connected, enjoy speaking the language, and consider myself an American by now. Most of my friends by now are Americans.

Topicale58 karma

You're from Canada, I knew it!

immigration2013103 karma

Its too damn cold in Canada. I like friendliness, but not CRAZY CANADA FRIENDLY, that's just over the top ;)