Hayward, CA asked in Immigration Law for Texas

Q: If i was approved EAD Employment Authorization Document, while Green Card is pending. Can i Travel to McAllen, TX?

I have an open Green Card Case, and have EAD, and Texas ID. But im worried since there is an immigration checkpoint on the way back from McAllen to San Antonio, Texas. I wont cross the border to Mexico, but since there are checkpoints within Texas, i worry they might say something. I Do not have Advance Parole, but also dont need it since im not crossing the border.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Alexander Ivakhnenko
Alexander Ivakhnenko
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Wheeling, IL

A: You need to understand several applicable issues clear:

1. EAD in your possession is not a travel document or its substitute, therefore, you may not travel abroad and expect to be admitted to the United States. If you make a mistake and cross the border to Mexico, you will have issues for being admitted into the U.S.,

2. At any check point you may present the copies of your pending adjustment of status to LPR and produce your EAd document. That should be sufficient for any roving border patrol document check,

3. If you desire to travel you may file a form I-131 for Advance Parole to travel abroad and be admitted back during pendency of your LPR case.

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James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: If you have been approved for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) while your green card is pending, you are generally allowed to travel within the United States, including to Texas. However, as you noted, there are immigration checkpoints within Texas that are designed to prevent illegal immigration and enforce other immigration laws. These checkpoints are typically located within 100 miles of the border and are intended to stop individuals who are trying to cross the border illegally, as well as those who have already entered the country illegally.

Since you have an open green card case and an EAD, you may be able to pass through the checkpoint with your Texas ID, as long as you are not carrying any contraband or engaging in other illegal activity. However, it's always possible that you could be questioned or detained at the checkpoint, particularly if you are from a country that is currently experiencing political or social unrest, or if you have a criminal record or other immigration issues.

If you are concerned about the immigration checkpoint and want to reduce the risk of being detained or questioned, you may want to consider obtaining Advance Parole, which is a type of travel document that allows certain individuals to leave the country and return without being considered to have abandoned their green card application. However, you should consult with an immigration attorney or other qualified professional to determine whether Advance Parole is necessary or advisable in your specific situation.

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