In the sexiest story that you will ever read on this blog, a Playboy Playmate faces federal charges related to her alleged attempt to assist her boyfriend in illicitly entering the United States. The alleged story raises a number of issues that U.S. citizens and foreign national spouses/fiances/significant others should think about before doing anything rash. Above all else, it shows the possible consequences that exist if a couple decides to go outside of the law to enter the United States. Interestingly, if the prosecutor’s statement of facts is correct, it appears the couple had a chance to enter the US legally.
I have no connection to this case, but based on the news reports, the case starts out when the Playmate, a U.S. citizen, attempted to enter the United States with her boyfriend’s car. The customs official became suspicious of the Playmate’s answers and notified his or her colleagues within the Department of Homeland Security. The colleagues followed the Playmate’s car as she entered the United States and followed it to a hotel near the Canadian border. The next morning, the couple emerged from the hotel and were apprehended by the government officials. The government appears to believe the boyfriend entered the U.S. by boating across St. Lawrence River.
I think most U.S. citizens do not think they can be charged with immigration laws – however that is not the case. U.S. citizens complicit in illicit immigration actions, can face fines and possible imprisonment.
The government thinks the couple sought to enter illicitly because of the boyfriend’s criminal record. What is unclear to me is if the couple had attempted to get a waiver allowing him to enter the United States despite his criminal record. Although there is no certainty that the 212(d)(3) waiver would have been granted, it sure would have been a better option (and less expensive option) than breaking the law.
Since I do not know the specifics of this case, everything above is “allegedly.” If you are in a similar bind, and are not sure what to do, please contact an immigration lawyer to learn what waiver options, if any, may be available. If you were expecting a sexier story – I am sorry, this is an immigration law blog - what did you expect?