My name is Judith Delus Montgomery, I have been practicing since about 2009, and I am an immigrant. I was born in Freeport, Bahamas. I came to the States at the age of four as an immigrant, to immigrant parents who are of Haitian descent. Every member of my family has gone through the immigration process in some form or fashion. Thus, I grew up being very interested in immigration, how immigration works, and helping my family as first generation in the United States in assimilating into the American culture. There was a lot of things that I, as an English speaker, would have to assist them on.
I offered assistance in completing forms, going to the bank, opening their business accounts, starting their businesses, and I played a significant role in assisting them with just about everything as it related to legal documents. I had a desire very early on in immigration and wanting to assist those that didn’t have a voice. So, my passion for immigration grew through that experience, especially since family law is very interesting. It’s something that I began to really hone in on, and realize that I was building a practice that was more in alignment with folks who are in couples where one of the spouses is a US citizen and one of the spouses is an immigrant. So, I’ve built this niche area by happenstance really, but I’ve been doing it for over ten years now, and it’s something that I’m very proud of.
Many people call to speak with me and schedule a meeting because they want to understand what the ramifications are if a divorce happens while an immigration petition is pending. I felt that there were really not any books out there that touched on this subject. Even folks in my industry either practice family law or immigration, and they didn’t really see how the two intersected, but I did. I have been invited to speak at different conferences, specifically the family law conference, to talk to family law lawyers about how family law and immigration intersect. I think that people are starting to get a handle or a better understanding on why these two areas of law make sense.
That's the reason why I want to write this book. This book is for both US citizens that are married to immigrants, and immigrants that are married to a US citizen, so that they can understand what the law really entails, and what the ramifications are when a marriage doesn't work out. The US citizen spouse is the one who petitioned for you. Not only that they petitioned for you, but they're also your financial sponsor, and they made a promise to the US government that they would be responsible for you until such time that you can become a US citizen on your own accord, or for at least ten years. So, that's really what and who it’s for.