HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — Two siblings who’ve donated hundreds of computer systems to Triad college students could also be compelled to go away America.
Two Triad siblings who moved to America as youngsters constructed a thriving enterprise collectively. They’ve given computer systems to hundreds of scholars. Now they could possibly be compelled to surrender all the things due to a easy mistake that obtained them detained on the Canadian border.
“We went from Slovakia to Canada in pursuit of my mother and father’ dream,” Miriam Martincova mentioned.
She was 4. Her brother, Adrian Martinca, was 8. They moved the North Carolina from Canada 14 years in the past. They’re within the U.S. on an E-2 visa.
“Our household just about needed to show to the USA authorities that we’ve got a enterprise right here, and we’ve got the chance to speculate and create jobs,” Martinca mentioned.
They run a tech firm. Additionally they run a nonprofit, Expertise for the Future, that places computer systems in college students’ palms. This yr they donated greater than 10,000 gadgets to varsities in Guilford County and across the nation.
“Just about we have been thrown into this frontline disaster of we are actually those chargeable for ensuring youngsters can proceed their academic journey,” Martinca mentioned.
They’re on what’s known as an I-94. Their visa is what permits them to return to the U.S. It wasn’t set to run out till 2023. However that I-94 offers them permission to remain. Their’s is for 2 years at a time.
Martinca advised FOX8 they’ve all the time needed to cross the border by a sure date after which get a brand new one after they cross again into the U.S. Whereas making an attempt to get computer systems out to 2 colleges final month they ignored their date by two and a half weeks.
“In order quickly as we came upon, we shortly drove as much as the Canadian border in Buffalo as a result of we knew at that time that we have been late and we have been advised we simply wanted to go as much as the border and renew it,” Martinca mentioned.
“They inform us we’re arrested,” Martincova mentioned. “I began shaking, clearly as a result of I don’t break guidelines. The worst factor I’ve achieved is get a parking ticket.”
That they had two selections: look forward to a choose to listen to their case or agree to go away the nation by signing a voluntary departure type.
“I used to be actually involved as a result of what they advised us was that if the choose decides that we did overstay and that we needed to go away, it could primarily start the method of an precise deportation, which ends up in a ban. I feel that’s my best worry,” Martincova mentioned.
So that they determined to go away. Now the clock is ticking. They’ve till June 21.
“It doesn’t matter what we have been doing, it doesn’t matter what we do,” Martincova mentioned. “We have been late. And that’s all that issues.”
“There are situations the place even when it’s been a matter of days or even weeks lower than a month, these are some harsh penalties the place if you happen to fail to take care of your standing,” immigration lawyer David Lengthy mentioned.
FOX8 requested U.S. Customs and Border Patrol if there’s been any form of grace interval through the pandemic.
“There isn’t a grace durations and non-citizens might entry the I-94 web site in the event that they require data or a reminder on their given interval of admission,” a U.S. CBP spokesperson responded.
Lengthy doesn’t characterize Martinca and Martincova. FOX8 spoke with him in generalities. He says exceptions do occur typically.
“You could name it a grace interval the place they are saying if the violation of standing was via no fault of your personal, and what does no fault of your personal imply? That’s form of a nebulous time period. That’s the place legal professionals or the shopper tries to argue in protection of their state of affairs if there’s good trigger chances are you’ll get fortunate.”
FOX8 requested what’s stopping them from turning into residents. Seems it’s not that straightforward.
“The best way you may get citizenship as an immigrant is to get a inexperienced card then apply for citizenship,” Martincova saod. “However with our present visa, we don’t additionally qualify for a inexperienced card. So we don’t have that path.”
“I feel the pathways to incomes your proper to be part of the American household don’t have quite a lot of selection inside them,” Martinca mentioned. “To show your self in any means, we’re primarily based on the preliminary intention of the appliance. And no matter it’s, that’s it. If you wish to change your intention that adjustments all the things.”
They inform us their lawyer has suggested them that getting public assist is likely to be their option to keep. They’ve began a chang.org petition. In case you’d prefer to learn extra of their story or signal the petition, you possibly can follow it here.