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Been here for years: Finding the path to legal status

Practice Area: Immigration

Outcome: Dream Achieved

Description: Quite often I meet with younger people who have been in the United States for the vast majority of their lives. They may have been brought to the United States when they were young children and for one reason or another, they are now adults and out of status. It is a saddening situation, where they feel there is no hope and they bounce around from one immigration lawyer to another, hoping something has changed in the law, praying for a miracle. On at least 7 occasions in the last 3 years, the Law Offices of Ricky Malik, P.C. has been the answer. Most lawyers only briefly cover client questions in consultations, but attorney Ricky Malik personally sits down with clients and digs deep, forces people to answer tough questions, and even demands potential clients to get on the phone with family members, or will even call prior attorneys right there and then to find out information. Even when clients dismiss my questions about their families, I demand them to think and answer. When I hear a golden nugget, a gem in their answers “my mom’s old boss started a process but then she quit later” or “my dad started but did not follow up.” I jump on it … Client Isabel G., a young lady came to the law office with her U.S. Citizen Husband and small child in her arms, desperate and practically in tears carrying years of frustration of living in the shadows through no decision of her own, but that of her parents who brought her here when she was young. She did not expect to hear anything different, but a friend told her, “Go see this attorney Ricky Malik, he is honest and he will listen and he will tell you truthfully what you can do.” I found out after meeting with them for more than 1 hour that her mother, who is no longer even in the United States, had an employer begin a process for her in 1997. I felt myself jumping up and I demanded to know more. She did not have the answers. Over the next 4 weeks I called old lawyers, the mother in a foreign country, old employers, the Department of Labor until I obtained a faint shred of paper from the Department of Labor from 13 years ago. It meant nothing to the client or to countless many attorneys before me, but to me it was a foundation we could build on. We began our journey... There is a dated provision of law that states if a foreign national had a labor certification or immigrant petition filed before April 30, 2001, that foreign national and any derivative beneficiaries are protected under 245(i) and can later grandfather on a subsequent petition and obtain permanent residency in the United States. It took some time, the case was difficult, but we prevailed with determined perseverance. It was granted and the client remained in disbelief even after she got the card in her hand!! After all she had heard, she could not believe there was actually a way. She was so thankful and it was a moment that reminded me of the joy of being a zealous immigration advocate. Another happy ending.

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