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The Pfeiffer Family: A Family Reunited


Mads (far right) happily reunited with his mother, Marleen, and stepfather, Juan.

Immigration is NOT a DIY project and family unification can be at stake. We were happy to assist the Pfeiffer family after a go-it-alone immigration experience landed them in turbulent waters. Marleen Pfeiffer and her 15-year-old son, Mads, were separated for eight months after Mads was refused entry into the United States and a petition was later denied. After coming to Berardi Immigration, however, the wait for mother and son to unite was finally over and we saw a successful end to their immigration story.

Marleen Pfeiffer is a citizen of Denmark and had been a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) of the United States since August of 2015. Mads entered the U.S. with ESTA (the Electronic System for Travel Authorization) in June of 2014, a week before his mother and stepfather, Juan, a U.S. citizen, were wed in the State of New York.

Unbeknownst to Mads and his family, Mads was granted admission to the U.S. only through September of 2014. Shortly after his arrival, Mads began school for the 2014-2015 academic year. Unaware of the immigration laws, Mads incorrectly remained in the U.S. under the ESTA program throughout the next year.

In August of 2015, Mads, Marleen and Juan traveled back to Denmark for a family emergency. Mads’s 21-year-old sister had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. After the trip, when Mads attempted to re-enter the United States at the Copenhagen Airport with Juan and Marleen, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) denied Mads’s application for admission on the basis that he had violated the ESTA program by overstaying his previous admission period in the U.S. With no other place to go, Mads was separated from his mother and stepfather and forced to remain in Denmark, where his only option was to reside with his elderly grandparents. This was the first time Mads had ever been separated from his mother.

Back in the U.S., Marleen worked diligently to bring her son home. She tried to file an application for Humanitarian Parole for Mads with USCIS, but regrettably, the application was filed without the help of U.S. immigration counsel and was denied. 

Shortly after receiving the Notice of Denial, the family found us at Berardi Immigration Law.

We filed a standalone Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) on behalf of Mads and his U.S. citizen stepfather. Afterwards, we submitted a request to CBP at the Peace Bridge requesting that they admit Mads into the U.S. on the basis of Humanitarian Parole while the petition was pending.

At that point, Mads had been separated from his mother for more than eight months. 

With all the correctly completed forms and a compelling letter of support from our office, CBP approved our request. Mads boarded a plane in Denmark and met his mother in Toronto, Canada. From there they drove south to meet Rosanna Berardi at the Peace Bridge. 

Mads was admitted to the U.S. and is now able to live with his family while the I-130 application is pending.

Seeing the Pfeiffer family reunited was one of the many rewarding moments we see here at Berardi Immigration Law. We understand the critical importance of the immigration process and our experienced team knows what it takes to achieve a successful ending.

If you have an immigration need, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys today!