The marriage last week of a Carson City Jail inmate and his longtime girlfriend does not have any impact on whether the man can be deported, an immigration spokeswoman said.
"In general the mere fact that a foreign national marries a U.S. citizen does not convey any immediate status on the alien. The alien and the spouse have to file paperwork and they may or may not be eligible to adjust that status," said Virginia Kice, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Justice of the Peace Robey Willis married inmate Edgar Daniel Sarabia-Rodriguez, 26, born in Mexico, and Maricel Cervantez, 34, on Nov. 23. A preliminary hearing set for Sarabia-Rodriguez on that date was continued because a prosecution witness was not available. However, the couple had put in the request to be married and the judge complied.
Willis did not immediately return a call for comment.
Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said he was surprised to hear about the ceremony, especially after he had denied Sarabia-Rodriguez's request for a jail-house wedding.
But concerns that the marriage could somehow impede the government's efforts to deport Sarabia-Rodriguez are unwarranted, said Kice.
"They still have to apply for a change of alien status," she said. "And if the alien has a criminal history, that is going to inhibit their ability to adjust (the status)."
Sarabia-Rodriguez is charged with possession of a controlled substance.
He was arrested Oct. 28 on Woodside Drive after officers went to his home in search of person wanted for probation violation.
He remains in custody at the Carson City Jail on $20,000 bail. There also is an immigration hold placed on him.
Baker said once his local charges are adjudicated, Sarabia-Rodriguez will appear before an immigration judge to determine if he will be deported.