Friday, August 27, 2010

New I-290B Appeal for Denied I-601 Waiver

Had a very busy last few weeks, as we took on many new cases. One in particular was interesting, a Chinese national had been previously granted asylum based upon persecution as a practicioner of Falun Gong.

As a asylee, she filed her I-485 adjustment of status petition many years ago, which USCIS left unadjudicated.

Then about 2-3 years ago, she married a U.S. citizen husband who filed I-130 and I-485 petitions on her behalf. At the time of her interview, USCIS confronted her with evidence that her previous I-589 asylum application had "material misrepresentations." USCIS had been investigating the attorney, Kurt Miller, who had prepared the application for her and had provided a fraudulent arrest warrant from the Chinese government for her arrest. Mr. Kurt Miller is now disbarred from the practice of law, by order of the California Supreme Court.

So based upon her "material misrepresentation" in her asylum application, she was held to be inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(6)(C). She was eligible for a waiver under INA § 212(i), based upon the extreme hardship her husband would suffer if she were not permitted to stay in the U.S.

She had another attorney prepared her initial I-601 Waiver application, which was not properly supported with sufficient evidence and was denied. Only then, did they come to our office, with about 3-4 days before the time to file an appeal was exhausted, and we worked very hard and fast to put together a complete package, consisting of an I-290B Motion to Reopen / Reconsider, with new evidence, and an I-290B Appeal to the BIA. We met all our deadlines and now are waiting for a decision.

I feel hopeful because of the equities on the USC spouses side of the scale. Let you know how the appeal is decided.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Reports of Links Between Private Prison Corporations Poised to Gain with Lobbyist Inside of Arizona Governor Brewer's Office

An investigation by KPHO-TV finds that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's deputy chief of staff was a lobbyist for Corrections Corporation of America, and his wife still is. Another Brewer adviser runs a firm that represents the prison company. And Gov. Brewer didn't answer KPHO's questions about the connections or why she hadn't revealed them.

Morgan Loew, the KPHO reporter who broke the story, is quoted as saying it a simple equation:

"When someone's picked up on the side of the road or for a crime, they're taken to the jail. At that point, their immigration status is determined. If they're an illegal immigrant, they're reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Then they're taken to one of these private prisons, Corrections Corporation of America.

"So, you'd have to do the math. But if you increased the number of people who are picked up, illegal immigrants, increase the number that are sent over to ICE, you're likely going to increase the number that companies like Corrections Corporation of America are going to be housing."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ninth Circuit Court Asked for Oral Argument in One of Our Cases

Very exciting news yesterday.

One of the cases that I personally briefed to the Ninth Circuit has been scheduled for Oral Arguments on October 6, 2010. I believe the reason they are looking at this case is because of the novel legal argument I raised on appeal.

The issue is unresolved and stems from the statutory interpretation of two on conflicting sections of the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act), 8 USC § 1229a(c)(7)(A) and 8 USC § 1158(a)(2)(B). Both statutes and their enabling regulations govern motions to reopen removal proceedings.

To be continued.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Unbelievable - Riverside Man Poses as US Marshal and Deport Relative's Wife

I cannot believe this story our of Riverside County, but the story is being posted by the SF Chronicle.

A Riverside County man has pleaded not guilty to falsely deporting a relative's pregnant wife by posing as a U.S. marshal.

Gregory Denny of Hemet entered his plea Monday in San Diego federal court. He is accused of kidnapping, conspiracy and other crimes that carry potential life sentences. His wife Karen is accused of helping him carry out the alleged crime.

Prosecutors say Denny barged into his cousin's home in January to kidnap Cherriebelle Hibbard, who was waiting for a new green card.

The Dennys claimed she was in the U.S. illegally, drove her to San Diego and put her on a plane to the Philippines, where she remains.

Bail was set at $50,000 for Karen Denny, but the mother of three has not been released. Her husband is being held without bail.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Success Story Yesterday - Vacated a Domestic Violence Conviction

In Santa Clara County Superior Court, Criminal Division:

Yesterday, I was able to have two criminal charges dismissed against my client, on the court's own motion, for P.C. 243 - Battery and P.C. 273.5 Domestic Violence. He first came to our office to inquire about renewing his "Green Card" status as an LPR.

After he told us about his conviction, we were concerned because under INA § 237(a)(2)(E)- he was deportable for his DV conviction. "any alien who at any time after admission is convicted of a crime of domestic violence . . . is deportable."

So we detailed the legal alternatives to him and he chose to retain our office to attempt to vacate his plea. I filed a P.C. 1016.5 Motion with the Court and after two DA Motions and three appearances, was granted.

Then I pled my client's case to the DA and she agreed to dismiss the charges against him because he had already completed the 52-week counseling course, paid his fines, and had not re-offended since his initial arrest. The Court agreed, and on Monday we will be filing the N-400 application for his citizenship. Our client was a happy man, going from one moment being deportable to the next moment becoming a U.S. citizen.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Just Finished AAO Appeal of Denied I-129F Petition

Just finished writing and compiling the documentary evidence to support my Form I-290B Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) appeal of our client's denied I-129F fiance visa petition.

Our client, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Ethiopia, got engaged to marry her future husband through a family arranged marriage. USCIS however, felt that there was not enough evidence of a bona fide premarital relationship. We supplied as much as we could, but it was an arranged marriage after all.