Firstly, please note that Google Answers is not meant to provide legal
advise. Should you require legal opinion, please consult a licensed
attorney in your state.
However, with that stated... You may not like the answer I can give
you, but, it is an accurate answer. The document that the sponsor
(spouse) signed for the (now) legal permanent resident is something
called the "Affidavit of Support". It is the form I-864 which can be
found on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website here:
The reason that the form is required for family based immigration
petitions is to overcome the public charge ground of inadmissibility.
That basically means that there is a presumption that all immigrants
will become "public charges" (welfare recipients) the second they step
foot on US soil. The sponsor (the US Citizen/LPR spouse) will sign
that document to protect the US Government from having to pay money to
support a new immigrant.
Since the document is meant to protect the Government from a new
immigrant becoming a public charge, there is no residual effects given
to private individuals. What that means is that the sponser is ONLY
responsible to the Government for repaying things like welfare and/or
other means-tested public benefits.
To make it sound more lawyerly (even though I am NOT a lawyer and
Google does NOT provide legal advise), the Sponsor entered into a
contract with the US Federal Government to indemnify the Government if
a specific and particular action occured vis-a-vis the new immigrant
collected money from the government that was based on a means-tested
method of determining eligibility. However, the sponsor did NOT
contract with you to indemnify YOU for a potential judgment against
the new immigrant. Therefore, you have no claim against the sponsor.
Sorry for the bad news.
No search was performed. I am familiar with, and have knowledge of,
the I-864 document and ramifications of the document.