DERIVATIVE CITIZENSHIP WIN (Respondent convicted of an aggravated felony and sentenced to ten 10 years in state prison obtained citizenship)
Respondent, native and citizen of Mexico, was convicted of an aggravated felony- conspiracy to sell drugs- and sentenced to 10 years in state prison. A year prior to completing his term, our office was contacted by his family members to determine whether Respondent had any immigration relief. After an extensive consultation, our office determined that Respondent was a derivative citizen because of his Grandmother's birth in the U.S.
Our office immediately gathered all relevant documentation, and filed for his Naturalization in 2010. Immigration officers misplaced Respondent's file, but our office was able to trace the money order used to pay for the application to prove that in fact it was cashed by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office at Los Angeles five days after the application was filed.
Ms. Arzani made several trips to Los Angeles to locate Respondent's file. Since Respondent was incarcerated in Texas, a request was made to transfer his file to Texas.
Due to the complexity of this case, it took some time before Respondent's N-600 application was approved. Respondent's application was approved prior to his release from state prison. Therefore, Respondent was immediately released after serving his time, and not placed on immigration hold. Now, Respondent awaits the issuance of his certificate of citizenship.
This case is a prime example of the issues with unraveling government bureaucracies and procedures, as well as, hiring a competent, experienced attorney that looks for all avenues of relief beyond the face of what is immediately apparent. At a first glance, Respondent had absolutely no relief, but a more in depth analysis revealed that Respondent was a derivative citizen given his grandmother's birth in the U.S.
VAWA VICTORY (Abused spouse with no documentary evidence to substantiate the abuse)
Respondent is a native and citizen of Mexico who entered the United States in 1975. She was married to her abusive spouse in 1991. In 2011, Respondent divorced her abusive spouse. Respondent always lived illegally in the United States. Although Respondent married a United States Citizen, her husband never filed any petition to legalize her status and often times threatened to have her deported anytime she mentioned it.
Respondent came to our office with a dire need for help since she had recently left her husband, was homeless, and did not have access to any documents evidencing her abuse throughout the course of her marriage. Respondent was married to a high profile gang leader with such influence that our office was unable to obtain any documentary evidence pertaining to the numerous reported incidents of abuse to her children and herself.
Respondent was only able to provide us with a child custody order, one dated domestic violence conviction, and a psychological evaluation from one of her children, but no other documents to support the abuse. Our office helped Respondent collect documents to prove she married the abuser, there was a valid marriage, in addition to establishing the abusers legal status in the U.S.
Due to our tireless efforts, we were able to trace the abuse and obtain detailed declarations from all of Respondent's family members who witnessed the abuse throughout the years.
After receiving a flood of Requests for Evidences from the Vermont Service Center, our client's VAWA petition was approved in September 2012. Respondent remains homeless, however, she no longer fears deportation and is working on establishing her new life with her new identity.
Our office has a 100% success rate with VAWA cases, yet this case proved to be in a class of its own due to her husband's overreaching influence with various agencies and departments.
DEPORTATION WIN (Cancellation of Removal for Non LPR with one qualifying family member and false claim to U.S. Citizenship)
Respondent, native and citizen of Mexico, entered the U.S. with a tourist visa in 1997. Respondent overstayed his visa. In 1981, Respondent made an attempted entry into the U.S. making a false claim to U.S. citizenship using a false U.S. birth certificate.
Respondent applied to adjust his status as a religious worker, but was denied due to his previous false claim to U.S. citizenship, and was placed in removal proceedings. Our office was at least the third attorney working on this case.
Our office applied for relief under Cancellation of Removal for Certain Non Permanent Residents under 42B, and was afforded relief in court by the immigration judge. Respondent only had one qualifying relative, his son, age 20, without any medical conditions. However, our office demonstrated that Respondent's son had outstanding equities in the area of academics and sports. In addition, we were able to demonstrate what selfless contributions Respondent and his son made to their community throughout the years.
Respondent now lives happily in Riverside, California, with his family and continues on his plight to be a service to his community through his weekly televised broadcasts.
DEPORTATION WIN (LPR with Two Criminal Convictions, Motion to Terminate Granted because DHS failed to meet their burden to establish that the Respondent had been convicted of two crimes involving moral turpitude by clear, unequivocal and convincing evidence)
Our client native and citizen of Chile was admitted to the United States as a permanent resident on June 21, 1973. On October 5, 1983 he was convicted of Grand Theft, a felony in the third degree. On August 4, 1988, he was convicted of Disorderly Conduct Lewd Act, a misdemeanor. Respondent was served with a Notice to Appear (hereinafter NTA) with the following charges: Section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act ("Act")-Convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude and Section 237 (a)(2)(A)(ii) of the Act - Convicted of two or more crimes involving moral turpitude after admission. At the Master Hearing we denied the allegations and contested the charge. DHS provided the Court with the conviction documents establishing the Respondent plead guilty to the charges. Based on that information, the Court determined the allegations in the NTA were true. At the next hearing our office submitted a Motion to Terminate arguing that Respondent was NOT an arriving alien, and his convictions were not for crimes involving moral turpitude.
The Motion to Terminate also argued that the Court must take a modified categorical approach since the statute is a divisible statute in that it punishes behavior that both involve moral turpitude and do not involve moral turpitude, thus they must look at the conviction documents in conjunction with the statute. The DHS only provided one document relevant to his conviction which was the actual judgment. Based on that the Court was unable to make any determination regarding the Respondent's actions, thus the Motion to Terminate was GRANTED since DHS failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent was removable under INA 237(a)(2)(A)(ii).
DEPORTATION WIN (LPR Failed To Attend I-751 Interview)
Our client, native and citizen of Mexico, married a United States Citizen in 2001 and had his status adjusted to that of a permanent resident on a conditional basis on February 16, 2002. He filed a I-751 with his spouse on December 4, 2003 and had his interview scheduled for February 15, 2004. Respondent failed to appear to his interview. He subsequently received a second interview on April 28, 2006 which he also neglected to attend. On January 12, 2007, Respondent received a Notice to Appear indicating he was subject to removability based on his failure to attend his last interview scheduled on April 28, 2006. The Notice further indicated that his status as an alien admitted for permanent residency on a conditional basis was terminated due to his failure to attend. He immediately contacted our office and explained his situation. He stated that although he was married to his United States Citizen spouse back in 2001, in 2004 she became pregnant by his best friend and after she gave birth to the child, this fact was verified by the child's birth certificate. Upon discovering her adultry, he separated from her without informing immigration. Our office represented him in his removal hearings. We asked the Court to Terminate proceedings in order for him to attend his interview to remove his conditional basis. The file was transferred to the adjudicating officer handling I-751 petitions. His interview was held on September 2008 and his residency was granted. Respondent is now a lawful permanent resident residing in Perris California with his Fiance and is a proud expectant father of a baby boy.
DEPORTATION WIN U VISA APPROVAL (Illegal Entry, Previous Removal, Battered Spouse)
Client is a native and citizen of Mexico and mother to five United States citizen children. She entered the US without inspection on or about 1988. On August 28, 2002, she retained an attorney to help her obtain work authorization. Instead of advising respondent on work authorization he filed a frivolous asylum application on respondents behalf. Respondents asylum application was denied by the asylum office and her case was referred to the Immigration Court. The same attorney prepared respondent's case for Cancellation of Removal. The Immigration Judge denied her Cancellation case and ordered her removed from the US based on her attorneys failure of providing relevant evidence that the respondent had continuous presence in the US from 1992-1995.
On April 9, 2004 The California Bar Association began disciplinary actions against respondent's attorney and ordered him not entitled to practice; On May 7, 2004, the California Bar placed him on Involuntary Inactive Status and on July 18 he resigned from the California Bar Association while charges were pending against him.
Upon receiving a letter from the State Bar that her attorney was no longer able to practice law, Respondent immediately contacted our office. We filed a motion to reopen and remand with the BIA and provided them with voluminous documents relevant to establishing respondents continuous presence from 1992-1995.
The BIA remanded the case back to the Immigration Court. Our office also discovered that while Respondent was married to her previous husband she was a victim of domestic violence and he was serving his sentence in State Prison. Respondent provided our office with ample evidence and declaration describing the horrific situation she had encountered during her marriage. Our office immediately filed relief under U-Interim Relief and asked the Immigration Judge to terminate proceedings. The case was terminated by the Immigration Judge in Los Angeles in 2008.
Respondent now resides with her 5 U.S.C children and works as a nurse practitioner.
--> On September 22, 2009, Respondents U Visa was approved. She will be eligible to file her adjustment of status on March 15, 2010.
DEPORTATION WIN (Criminal With Aggravated Felony Conviction, 18 USC 1962(d) Statutory Provision: 20 Years imprisonment, a Class C Felony)
Our client and his co-conspirators, citizens and nationals of China, were indicted on charges of conspiracy to participate in an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering by cheating. On one occasion, our client and four others won $1,500,000 by peeking at the shoe in a game of Baccarat. On October 17, 2000, Respondent and his co-conspirators were indicted on charges of conspiracy to participate in an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering by cheating. See 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d). Respondent pleaded guilty on May 9, 2002. His offense level increased to 18 (27 to 33 months), and the district court entered a judgment sentencing him to 27 months imprisonment on October 24, 2002.
After our client served his time in Federal Custody, he was placed in immigration custody. He immediately contacted our firm. We filed a motion for a expedited bond hearing. Although the Immigration Judge in Lancaster denied his bond since he was an aggravated felon, our office still filed a Motion arguing there is no case law that categorized this offense as such and he should not be subject to Mandatory detention. He was immediately released from custody on his own recognizance. He later had his hearing heard before the Honorable Judge in Immigration Court. Our firm applied for relief through a 212(h) waiver in conjunction with an adjustment. Although he was convicted of an aggravated felony, since he was a non LPR, we were able to obtain relief for him through this waiver. Once placed in proceedings, other issues arose. The government at that time brought in new charges against him, arguing that back in 1990 when he filed for a travel document, he had indicated he was previously married. Our client was not previously married, that document was submitted by a paralegal and our client was not aware of its contents.
The case was continued in order for us to prove he had no prior marriages. Our office contacted the Chinese Embassy and with the help of our clients family in China, we were able to prove that he was in fact never married in China. Once this issue was resolved, our client had his hearing where the Honorable Judge granted his request for the 212(h) waiver in conjunction with his adjustment. Our client now resides with his wife and two children. His co-conspirators were all deported from the United States based on the aggravated felony charge. Please note that our firm did not represent them, we only represented Respondent in this case. Respondent now happily resides with his wife and two children in San Francisco, California. Furthermore, he is making his monthly payments towards his restitution amount which is $1,795,636.86!
DEPORTATION WIN (LPR with Firearm Conviction, Motion to Terminate granted because DHS failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent is removable as charged)
Our client, National and citizen of Mexico was admitted as a permanent resident on April 13, 1990 and convicted on March 7, 1994 of violating California PC Section 12020(a)(Possession, manufacture, sell a firearm) and sentenced to 270 days in jail. The NTA charged him as being removable pursuant to Section 237(a)(2)(C) of the INA. Our office contested the charge of removability and filed a Motion to Terminate based on the fact that PC 12020(a) is a divisible statute which requires the modified categorical approach and DHS failed to meet their burden by clear and convincing evidence that the instant conviction was a firearm offense. The Honorable Immigration Judge in Los Angeles agreed and granted our motion.
Respondent happily resides in Riverside with his wife and three children.
DEPORTATION WIN (Criminal with Aggravated Felony Conviction sentenced to 6 years)
Our client was convicted of Section 273A(A) of the Penal Code of California and sentenced to 6 years in prison. After serving his time, he was transferred to Immigration custody in Texas. Clients family immediately retained our firm. During the initial interview, we noticed that respondents father was a United States Citizen and although Respondent himself was born in Mexico; he was still considered a United States Citizen. We filed a Motion to Terminate based on this and client was released from immigration custody despite his aggravated felony conviction.
DEPORTATION WIN (Criminal With Two Previous Deportations)
Our client was served with a Notice to Appear charging him removal from the United States. Although our client was born in Mexico, his father was born in the Philippines on July 17, 1945 and moved to the United States in 1957. His father naturalized on March 9, 1962. Client was born on February 28, 1972 and by the time of clients birth, his father had lived in this country for approximately fifteen years (since 1952) and thirteen of those years were after he had turned fourteen years of age. Since our client was legitimated before the age of 21 and his father met the 5 and 14 year residency requirement, a Motion to Terminate was granted based on our client being a U.S.C. derived from his father. Please note that this client had 2 PREVIOUS DEPORTATION CASES!!!!!! Had his previous attorney's investigated his case by looking into his family history, they would have discovered he is in fact a US Citizen!
DEPORTATION WIN (LPR With At Least Four Criminal Convictions)
Our client, citizen and national of El Salvador, obtained his lawful permanent status on October 29, 1990. Since then he had four convictions for Petty Theft. In 1998, he was convicted of PC 666 Petty Theft with a Prior, a Felony, sentenced to 120 days plus probation. In 1998, he violated his probation by moving to Seattle. In 2008, he filed an application to renew his lawful permanent resident card. The card was mailed to his home, however he was advised by immigration that he had an open case in San Bernardino that he needed to resolve. He flew to California to take care of the warrant he had for violating his probation. The Criminal Judge in San Bernardino County sentenced him to six months for violating his probation in 1998.
After he served his time, he was placed in Immigration custody. The Client's family immediately contacted our office, and we filed a Motion for Bond Hearing but the Immigration Judge found that the Respondent was subject to Mandatory Detention. A Merits date was set and we filed for relief under Cancellation of Removal for certain permanent residence. His family flew in to testify on his behalf. At the time of hearing, Respondent was questioned about the circumstances which gave rise to his convictions.
Looking at his criminal record, one would not be able to tell what an outstanding citizen this man is to our community. Surely he made his mistakes, but given the circumstances he was placed in, he did the best he could. This Respondent was a single father raising three young boys without the help of their mother, the youngest being two. Their mother abandoned them at a young age and this father raised these boys the best he possibly could given the circumstance he was in. In 1998, the Respondent was convicted of PC 666 and was placed on probation. Shortly after his release, his motor home was burned and his family lost what little they had. At that point he decided he wanted to change his life around. He did not want his sons to grow up in a corrupt neighborhood. He wanted to start a new life for himself and his family. He got a car and drove his family to Seattle. After he settled in Seattle he made sure to enroll his children in school with the help of a local Pastor.
His three sons are prime examples of what happens when a father places his past behind him, learns from his mistakes and makes sure that his children do not follow his footsteps. All of his boys graduated from high school and enrolled in college. One of his sons graduated from Police Academy and is currently a Correctional Officer. After high school, two of his sons went to Mexico as Missionaries. From the time Respondent moved to Seattle, he has been actively involved with the Church. Every week, he commits himself to doing a random act of kindness, whether it be going to a local park and feeding the homeless or taking clothes to the underprivileged.. He has always made an effort to give back to society. This noble man is a prime example of what it means to rehabilitate! He is no longer the same person he use to be. After hearing everyone's testimony, the Immigration Judge granted the relief. The Government waived appeal. Respondent was released and now resides with his three sons in Seattle.
ADJUSTMENT WITH A WAIVER (EWI Husband With Criminal Convictions)
Our client a US citizen filed for adjustment for her husband, the father of her five children. The case was denied because in 1985 her husband was convicted of a *lewd or lascivious act with a child under 14 and sentenced to jail.
The respondent retained our office to file a waiver based on the hardship that her and her children would suffer in case her husband was removed. Our office prepared the waiver and included declarations from the victim, the victims family, the husband and the wife indicating the circumstances which gave rise to his conviction in 1985 and expressing the remorse they felt for his actions. We also provided voluminous documents describing his rehabilitation and good moral character. His waiver was granted by Immigration and in 2008 we filed for his naturalization which was granted. Respondent is now a Naturalized United States Citizen happily living in Riverside with his wife and five children.*Please note that this office reserves the right to reject PC 288 cases. In this particular case the age difference was minimal and the victims mother was aware of their relationship.
DEPORTATION WIN (LPR Caught At Border For Alien Smuggling)
Respondent was detained at the border after being charged with smuggling aliens in the United States in San Ysidro, California. Upon contacting our office, we immediately contacted (ICE) and had her released on a $5000 bond. We later filed Cancellation for Removal for Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) with the Immigration Judge in San Diego, California and based it on the hardship her children would suffer. Her waiver was granted. Respondent now lives in Riverside with her five children. *Please note that had Respondent been CONVICTED of alien smuggling, she would not have been afforded this relief. Cancellation of Removal for Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) is only available if :the Respondent :(1). Has been an LPR for 5 years;(2) Has resided in the U.S. continuously for 7 years after having been admitted in any status; and (3) Has not been convicted of any aggravated felony.
DEPORTATION WIN (LPR Caught at Border for Alien Smuggling, Motion to Terminate granted )
Respondent, native and citizen of Mexico, was placed in proceedings on April 22, 2007, for alien smuggling. At all times, Respondent maintained that she was unaware that the adults in her vehicle were undocumented. Respondent appeared with her previous counsel, contested the charge of removability and indicated she would seek termination of proceedings. In support of the charge, the DHS submitted Form I-213, the record of deportable/inadmissible alien. The Court instructed Respondent to file a Motion to Terminate and any objections to the form I-213 by November 6, 2007. On November 7, 2007, the Respondent’s attorney filed a Motion to Terminate Proceedings, but did not specifically object to the I-213. Respondent’s prior counsel never consulted with Respondent about whether to object to the I-213. Instead, the motion merely presented Respondent’s account of events, but did not provide a legal argument. On December 6, 2007, the DHS filed an Opposition to the Motion to Terminate. It argued that the Form I-213 established Respondent’s removability as charged. Since Respondent did not file any objections to the I-213, the DHS asserted that the Court should admit the I-213. The Court concluded that DHS made a prima facie showing of removability, reasoning that Respondent did not object to the I-213. Consequently, it admitted the item into evidence. The Court accepted the narrative offered by that document. It stated that based on the DHS’s evidence Respondent drove the vehicle, allowed the undocumented passengers to enter the vehicle despite knowing that the documents had been purchased. The Form I-213 further indicated that during the primary inspection, Respondent claimed that all minors in the vehicle were her children. Based on the foregoing, the Court denied Respondent’s Motion to Terminate, as Respondent lacked sufficient evidence to suppress the I-213.
In 2011, Respondent retained our office to represent her. Our office immediately requested the FOIA of Respondent’s videotaped statement. The FOIA coordinator would not provide our office with the videotaped sworn statement. We then requested the Honorable Immigration Judge to subpoena a request. After receiving the sworn video statement, review of the sworn videotape revealed that Respondent at all times denied knowledge of the smuggling act after repeated questioning. We then filed another Motion to Terminate, and ultimately, the government agreed to have the case terminated.
During the duration of Respondents case, she suffered from extreme depression, anxiety disorder and a plethora of other medical complications- all derived from the stress imposed on her after placed in proceedings.
Had Respondent originally hired an experienced attorney, this trauma could have been avoided. Our office investigated all facts and tentatively listened to Respondent’s version of the facts. A careful review of the videotaped sworn statement not only corroborated our client’s story, but made it very clear- Respondent was not an alien smuggler!
ILLEGAL CHILD GRANTED LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENCY
Our client, a native and citizen of Mexico, entered the US illegally at the age of 6. After her entry she went back and forth to Mexico and made her last entry to the US in 2007. As a juvennile she had no sense of direction. She was raised in a broken household, subject to numerous abuse by her step-father in addition to her uncles. Her biological mother tried to raise her the best she could. Her mother was a victim of domestic violence for years until her husband got convicted for the domestic violence and deported back to Mexico. The mother testified against her husband, received the restraining orders however after her husband was released she moved back to Mexico to be with him. Our client was forced to go back with her mother.
Once in Mexico she decided to run away. She left her family in Mexico and crossed the boarder illegally to get away from the abuse. She started attending school and became very close to her mentor. Her mentor then decided to adopt her and later came to our office to inquire into getting her status in the US. Because she was already 17, she would not have been able to adjust through adoption thus we advised her she would have to become a ward of the State. With the help of a local Riverside Family Law Attorney, Michael Schneider, we were able to obtain Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for her from the Family Law Court in Riverside. Our office then filed for her I-360 which was approved and the I-485 to adjust her status to that of a Lawful Permanent Resident. The interview was conducted in San Bernardino field office and granted. Had she filed the adjustment pursuant to the adoption, the case would not have been granted as she was over the age of 16. This is why it is extremely crucial to go to an experienced immigration attorney. We had to basically undo the adoption and redo the entire process to make her eligible to adjust.
Our client is now happily residing in Riverside with her guardian. We are please to say she is a straight A student and has applied to several Universities. This is the same child that was failing in school, had several criminal convictions as a juvenile and had no sense of direction in life. Once she left the abuse she was experiencing in her household and with the help of her mentor who is now her Guardian, she was able to redeem herself. Thanks to her Mentor, our office, attorney Schneider (who handled the family law portion) and her will power she is an example of the true American Dream.
DEPORTATION WIN (NON-LPR with Criminal Conviction under California Health and Safety Code 11366 was granted Cancellation of Removal and Adjustment of Status for Certain Non-permanent Residents under Section 240(b)(1) of the Act)
Our client is a 33 year old native and citizen of Mexico. She entered the United States in 1984 and had not departed the United States since that date. She graduated from high school with a 4.5 GPA and was on the honor roll. She was married in 1995 and had three children, however one of them passed away due to a congenital heart defect.
One of her boys also had a congenital heart defect (whole in his heart) and although he is doing fine, he still continues to have regular checkups with a specialist. He may require surgery in the future which will be covered by our client's health care provider. Her other son belongs to the gifted program at school and our client plays an active role in her children's education in addition to being an active member of the community.
On October 5, 2001, our client pled guilty to California health and Safety Code Section 11366. On July 22, 2004, her guilty plea was set aside in the interest of justice, thus her conviction was expunged. Our office submitted a Brief to the Court arguing that Lujan-Armendariz should be applied to this case. The government untimely filed their opposition stating it should not apply because the offense was not a simple possession of a controlled substance but rather she was convicted of maintaining a location for giving away or selling controlled substance. Our office further argued that her misdemeanor offense is less serious than possession of a controlled substance and there is no federal statute to cover the crime. Our client testified as to the circumstances which gave rise to the offense and we provided all conviction documents to the Court. The Honorable Immigration Judge granted our client relief pursuant to Lujan and Cardenas-Uriarte and held that her conviction did not disqualify her for Cancellation of Removal. Hardship, Physical Presence and Good Moral Character were also established.
Our client is now a single mother living in Riverside California with her two boys and mother. She is still an active member in the community and pursuing her career as a Real Estate Agent in addition to owning her own business. Her children continue to do well in school as they are still in the gifted program and honor roll. Her sons health is stable, he continues with his regular check ups and there has been no sign of irregularity with his heart. They are now living the American Dream and no longer have a fear of being stripped away from everything they have worked so hard for.