Delaware County woman stuck in Mexico not knowing when she can come home | Action News Survey

YEADON, Pa. (WPVI) — The members of a Delaware County family miss a wife and a mother, forced to spend another vacation without her.

She’s in Mexico, stuck in immigration limbo after allegedly receiving bad advice from a lawyer.

For the Roberts kids, it’s yet another uneven FaceTime call with their mom Karen.

“I feel like I’ve been forgotten,” Karen said.

Her husband of 10 years, Lamar, is in Yeadon trying to keep the family together.

“For me, my daughters, my sons, we’ve been, you know, struggling to find different outlets to deal with it,” he said.

Karen Serrano Roberts has been living in hotels and Airbnbs for a year and a half in a country where she knows few people despite her Mexican nationality.

“We didn’t have a lot of options as to where she could live,” Lamar said, “if we wanted to protect her.”

Karen was brought to the United States without papers in 1991 by her parents when she was 4 years old. She moved and eventually settled in Delaware County where she attended Upper Darby High School and started a family.

“My wife has been here her whole life. You know, her whole life,” Lamar said.

In 2021, Karen hired a lawyer who didn’t deal with immigration issues. He said he filed all the necessary paperwork and asked her to go to the US consulate in Mexico, pass his green card interview, and then come back to America legally. It was supposed to be a four day process.

“He didn’t know what he was doing,” Lamar said. “It was a process that had to be done before he left.”

Under the old immigration law, Karen cannot enter the United States for 10 years as punishment for living here for so long without papers. But under changes to the law, her new immigration attorney said Karen could have waited for her waiver approval and green card while staying with her family here in Delaware County.

“So she’s stuck,” said her attorney, Thomas Griffin. “I can’t get her on the national program because she’s not there. So it just won’t apply.”

Griffin says Karen needs to prove her absence is creating hardship.

“The difficulty for the spouse would be, ‘I have to raise five kids on my own and work full time,'” he said.

Money has been tight as Lamar is taking over two homes, so they wait and wait – hoping to make their voices heard and reunite with his family.

“It’s an anonymous process,” Griffin said. “You know, you don’t know if the files are under someone’s desk and they’ve forgotten about it. There’s no one to talk to. There’s no number to call at this topic,” he added.

Karen looks forward to the only place she knows to be home.

“Be merciful and think of the children,” she said. “I feel like I’ve had my day even though I haven’t committed any crime.”

The offices of Senator Pat Toomey and Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon conducted inquiries of Congress to expedite the waiver process. Both were denied by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


Statement from a spokesperson for Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon:

“MP Scanlon and her team treat every constituent service request as urgent and important. Our team will continue to work to provide the Roberts family with the best constituent service possible and will communicate any updates to the Roberts.”

US Citizenship and Immigration Services:

In practice, due to privacy protections, USCIS does not share, confirm, or deny immigration information about specific individuals. Agency adjudicators evaluate each application for immigration benefits fairly, humanely, and efficiently on a case-by-case basis before rendering a decision, and USCIS is committed to fulfilling America’s promise as a nation. welcome and opportunity with fairness, integrity and respect for all we serve.

Copyright © 2023 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved.

Comments are closed.