What to do when questioned by US immigration
MANILA – The ordeal of 63-year-old Carina Yonzon Grande who was allegedly harassed by immigration officials at the Seattle International Airport and then deported made the headlines this week.
Immigration lawyer Lou Tancinco shared some information on what a traveler should do when faced with a similar situation.
Here's the transcript of her interview on ANC's The Bureau:
"First, we have to understand that at the port of entry, anyone entering with a visitor's visa is not entitled to a legal representation.
If you are presented with that situation, you have to explain clearly what your intentions are, which, in the case of Grande here, she said that she was clear about attending the wedding.
And if that happens, and if there's a threat she's going to be sent back to the PH, what you can do is request if you can just withdraw your admission that is in lieu of an expedited removal.
After explaining what you're intentions are and after being put in expedited removal, they will ask you to sign a written statement or declaration, under oath, the reason why you are being removed. And then you can also sign or not sign. You can deny the allegations there.
And, if eventually, despite your request for application for withdrawal, you're still removed or deported, you can still seek redress, that's when lawyers could come in and you can file a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security in regards to the way that you were interrogated at the port of entry.
Will this affect your future entries into the United States?
If you are put on an expedited removal, like what happened here with Grande, which is equivalent of deportation, you will be barred from entering the United States for 5 years, and it doesn't stop there.
You can actually have that reconsidered. You can have someone investigate the unreasonableness of the interrogation at the port of entry and if you are successful in contesting the basis of removal probably that would be reversed and the ban will be lifted.
ANC The Bureau, October 10, 2013