Green Card Issued After Immigration Judge Approves Adjustment of Status for Anaheim Client

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One of our longest running cases was finally completed this week when our client received his green card. He originally filed for adjustment of status based on his marriage to his US citizen wife. He filed the case through another attorney, and the mistakes were made. The attorney did not include evidence that the applicant entered the US legally, which is a requirement for marriage-based adjustment of status cases. The attorney asked USCIS to search their records and find the I-94 proof of lawful entry, but USCIS could not locate it (most likely because it was over 30 years ago).

USCIS denied the adjustment of status application (I-485) and placed the individual in removal proceedings. That’s when he hired me. We tried everything to recover the I-94 proof of lawful entry, including numerous FOIAs to different immigration agencies, but nothing worked. Eventually, we tracked down witnesses that were on the same flight with my client when he entered the United States. The witnesses testified that they remember my client going through Customs with them when they landed in the US. The Los Angeles Immigration Court judge regarded the witnesses’ testimony as valid and trustworthy and found that my client had been admitted to the US and was eligible for adjustment of status.

Because my client had a criminal record, we also had to apply for a waiver of grounds of inadmissibility. We satisfied the judge that my client had been rehabilitated from his prior convictions and that it would cause my client’s family extreme hardship if he were not allowed to stay in the United States and live in Anaheim with his wife and children.

My client and his family were very pleased with the outcome. He plans to apply for naturalization in three years when he becomes eligible.

If you are in immigration court proceedings or planning to adjust status through marriage, contact The Nunez Firm. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you to help you better understand the process and help develop a strategy to accomplish your immigration goals.

Cancellation of Removal Approved for Vietnamese Client from Garden Grove

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We recently won an immigration court case for one of our Garden Grove clients. The case had been pending for four years, but the immigration judge ruled that my client should be granted cancellation of removal for lawful permanent resident and allowed to keep her green card.

When she was younger she committed two crimes involving moral turpitude – theft and passing a fictitious check. The first offense occurred when she was 20 years old. The second occurred about a year later. She was charged and convicted of misdemeanors. She paid the fines and completed the community service.

In 2009, she was traveling abroad with a friend. When she returned to the United States, Customs and Border Protection ran her name through the criminal checks and found her conviction records. They placed her in removal proceedings in Texas (because her flight landed in a Texas airport). She hired us shortly thereafter. We filed for a change of venue to Los Angeles, and it was granted.

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Once the case moved to Los Angeles, we pursued cancellation of removal. We provided the court with evidence that my client had turned her life around since her convictions. We showed that she is currently employed and her mother depends on her a great deal to help around the house and with the bills. We explained that if my client were deported to Vietnam, her life and her mother’s life would be extremely difficult. I prepared my client thoroughly on what to expect when testifying. She did a great job testifying and both the government attorney and judge were convinced that my client deserved a second chance. The government attorney did not ask any questions on cross-examination.

My client plans to pursue naturalization in the next couple months. If you are in removal proceedings, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will help you better understand your options and which strategies might be available to you to avoid deportation.

Cancellation of Removal Approved in Los Angeles Immigration Court for Anaheim Client Despite Criminal Convictions

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An immigration judge in Los Angeles approved my client for cancellation of removal for lawful permanent residents. My client, who lives and works in Anaheim, has resided in the United States for over fifteen years. When he was younger, he committed three theft related crimes. Although these crimes occurred more than seven years ago, he was stopped at the airport in 2009 when he was returning from a trip to Europe. He was put into immigration court proceedings and charged with being removable because he had two crimes involving moral turpitude.

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At trial, I argued that although he was deportable, he was eligible for cancellation of removal. He had been been a permanent resident for over five years and he had lived continuously in the US for over seven years. None of his crimes constituted aggravated felonies. Although he met the requirements for cancellation, we also had to convince the judge that he was worthy of a discretionary approval. There are many factors the immigration judge will consider when deciding whether a green card holder deserves to be approved for cancellation of removal. We provided evidence and testimony that he had minimal family in his home country. All of his family lived in the US. His parents rely on him for financial support and he has a good job. He testified about how much he regretted the crimes that he committed when he was younger. He took ownership of his ill-advised decision to commit the crime when he described what had happened. His family attended the hearing, and his mother and father testified on his behalf. They talked about the changes their son experienced after his last conviction – how he started working harder and spending more time with his family, how he stayed away from some of his old friends with whom he got in trouble.

I had prepped him for the trial well, and although the government attorney tried to trick him into making excuses for his crimes or not taking responsibility for them, he did an excellent job of admitting what he did and acknowledging the severity of his actions. At the end of the trial, the immigration judge stated that she was approving the case. The trial attorney for Department of Homeland Security did not reserve appeal, which means the case is closed and my client remains a permanent resident.

If you are in removal proceedings in Los Angeles, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you to help figure out which forms of deportation relief might work for you.

Obama Announces Plans to Halt Deportation Court Cases

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) today announced its plans to expand backdoor amnesty.  Beginning in late April, DHS will suspend all non-detained dockets for illegal immigrants in four additional jurisdictions, as it previously did in Baltimore and Denver, for two weeks.  These jurisdictions include Detroit, New Orleans, Orlando, and Seattle.  In May, DHS will partially suspend the non-detained docket in New York City and then in July, it will implement the same procedures in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

This means that DHS intends to solely focus on detained cases in these jurisdictions, meaning those who come to the attention of law enforcement.  But if the illegal or criminal immigrant bonds out of jail, they can be put on the non-detained docket and could potentially remain in the U.S.  This decision is just another part of the Obama administration’s plan to grant administrative amnesty to potentially millions of illegal immigrants.

If you or a loved one is in immigration court in Los Angeles or San Diego, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a free consultation.

After 9 years, Client is Approved for Green Card through Diversity Lottery Process

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Recently one of our clients was approved for a green card through the diversity lottery process. He originally came to the United States in 2000 as a student. He met his wife a year later and the couple married. She petitioned for him to get his green card, but after at least 5 interviews, two motions to reopen and countless requests for evidence, he was placed in removal proceedings. He was ordered deported in absentia.

He hired The Nunez Firm two years ago asking us to reopen his deportation case and fight for his adjustment of status to permanent residency. We were successful in reopening his case. The immigration judge agreed to terminate the removal proceedings because we argued that my client still had an open case with USCIS that was awaiting adjudication.

After the removal proceedings were terminated, my client won the diversity lottery and asked me to assist in processing the green card. The processing of a diversity lottery based adjustment is generally fairly routine; however, his other case with USCIS had been pending for over 8 years already. Initially, I told him that I believed we had a less than 50% chance to win his case because there were several issues complicating his adjustment.

We filed for the adjustment of status earlier this year. After not hearing from USCIS for several months, I followed up with them asking why we had not received an interview notice. USCIS agreed to schedule an interview. At the interview, the officer seemed to stone-walling us. She had not read the file and was not prepared. She said she would have a decision to us within 30 days. I reminded her that diversity lottery adjustment cases must be adjudicated by September 30th or they become moot.

After 30 days, we did not receive a decision. I drove to LA again and asked to speak with her. She said she still had not reviewed the file, but she did not believe he was eligible for adjustment because he was out of status. I explained that despite being out of status, the case law I provided in my legal brief clearly stated that he was eligible for adjustment of status despite falling out of status because he was still a spouse of a US citizen.

She said she would review that case law and would have a decision to me within a week. I reminded her that we only had 20 days left before September 30th.

Once again, she did not issue a decision. I drove back to LA three more times over the next three weeks including a visit on September 28th to speak to a supervisor. We contacted US congressmen to get them involved as well. Finally, on September 30th, my client called me. He was very excited and announced that he just checked his case status online and the case was approved. I was shocked as well, but very happy for him.

If you are considering the adjustment of status process, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a free consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you at our Irvine office and discuss your case and any possible options available to you.