Child Porn and other Victimless Crimes
Many believe that victimless crimes do not require an Adam Walsh Act immigration waiver, or that a waiver should be easy to approve because there was no victim. This is incorrect. Anyone who has a specified offense involving a minor child is subject to the AWA, victim or no victim. There is no exception, and the path to success is difficult in every case.
Child porn includes computer viewing or downloads, and a child’s age can be anywhere under 18. It could include distribution of child pornography. In any event, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident petitioner will need a waiver (i.e., no risk determination) when trying to immigrate a foreign family member to the U.S.
Adam Walsh Act Principles
The Adam Walsh Act was enacted to protect children from sexual exploitation and other similar crimes. It professes to prevent child abuse and child pornography, promote Internet safety, and honor the memory of Adam Walsh and other child victims. So, preventing child pornography is part of the intent of the Adam Walsh Act.
Child pornography is not entitled to protection under the First Amendment and thus is prohibited. The government has a compelling State interest in protecting children from those who sexually exploit them, and this extends to stamping out the vice of child pornography at all levels in the distribution chain. Every instance of viewing images of child pornography represents a renewed violation of the privacy of the victims and a repetition of their abuse.
Can I Work on My Own?
The Adam Walsh Act waiver success rate is low, especially without legal representation. These cases are always difficult, physical contact with a victim or not. You should not want to make mistakes when filing a process that can take well over a year, to ultimately be denied. Any denial decreases your chances of success on future submissions, not to mention the family stress involved.
If you begin a case on your own, believing your situation is “less bad”, it takes away immigration options for the attorney to consider. The attorney looks at reasonable immigration options you may have before submitting an AWA petition and waiver. However, we cannot unsay what you have claimed in a petition that was filed, which can end up hurting your future prospects on a new application. Denied cases might possibly be reopened or reconsidered, or perhaps administratively appealed, depending on the issues. But, if your original submissions are not correct, you are tying the hands of your attorney. You must have things filed correctly and processed correctly from the start to give you the best chance of success.
Withdrawing or re-filing a new case from scratch might be your best option if you’ve been working on your own. However, this would mean timing of the process has to begin again. You may have cut off other immigration options that were worth considering before you filed.
These are serious filings that should not be taken lightly in the hope that your case will be approved. An initial call to our office can help you understand the importance of doing things correctly from the start.
Removed from the Registry
Being removed from a registry is possible in some cases. Each state has a different system for coming off the registry, if possible. But, a tier 1 or coming off the registry does not allow you to bypass the Adam Walsh Act no risk determination.
Whether you are on or off the registry, or if you were a minor tried as an adult and you did not have to register, your case is still going to need the Adam Walsh waiver, and as much evidence as possible to show no risk to your family. Our office will do ample work to understand your background, so that we can help present your best case. The goal is not to hide defects or overlook the seriousness of crimes or arrests. Immigration officers are experienced and can easily detect when someone is hiding the facts. Instead, we want the adjudicator to be comfortable and trust what we submit so they, perhaps, will be willing to listen.
We will need to start from scratch if you are denied and do not have cause for appeal. Consequently, your options dwindle for putting your family together or keeping them with you. Deportation is a real possibility if the foreign family member is in the U.S., so be careful.
Our law firm has an excellent understanding of Adam Walsh Act immigration waivers. We can be effective, particularly in cases that are tier 1 or for those off the registry. We have several recently approved Adam Walsh Act waiver cases before the USCIS. Few if any other law firms can assert that. A consultation at no charge with our offices to learn more about how we might work together is a good first step.