Careful interview revealed clientâ€™s strong case to prove he was a U.S. citizen
Jan 01, 2011
Clientâ€™s father came to our office regarding his son who was incarcerated in federal penitentiary in Texas. The son was serving a sentence for an aggravated felony of selling drugs. An aggravated felony is a very serious felony which typically involves drugs, loss of human life or crimes that are violent.
The son was in removal proceedings in Texas based on his residence in the penitentiary in Texas, so we entered an appearance in the Texas Immigration Court. As an aggravated felon, there was no relief that the son qualified for, because he did not have a clear probability of persecution on account of the protected ground such as race, religion, political opinion, ethnicity or social group.
The clientâ€™s only defense was if we could prove that the client was a U.S. citizen and, therefore, not removable.
In carefully interviewing the father, counsel ascertained that the father had attained U.S. citizenship prior to the son attaining age 18. Generally, that would confer U.S. citizenship on the son. The problem in this case was that clientâ€™s parents were divorced and client was living with his mother, not his father, when the father naturalized. The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service and the U.S. Department of State both maintained that citizenship could only have been conferred by the father to the son if the father had been the custodial parent. Thus, the client appeared to be out of luck.
The law offices of George P. Mann & Associates zealously argued this case in the Texas Immigration Court and won. The Immigration Judge was satisfied that client was a U.S. citizen. Counsel gathered voluminous documentary and testimonial proof that the father was very involved in the sonâ€™s life throughout clientâ€™s childhood and adolescence. Even though the naturalized father was not the custodial parent on the date of naturalization, we showed that he had substantial parental rights, and through research and legal precedent we were able to convince the Judge that client legally was a U.S. citizen over objections from the Department of State and United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Application for a green card with a special hardship waiver
Client arrived in the United States as a refugee from Sierra Leone in 2000. In 2004 he brought his wife and three children from a refugee camp in Ghana to the United States. In 2006 he and his wife had a child.
In 2006, client was convicted in federal court of selling and transporting counterfeit retail items. Client served 10-months in jail for this conviction. This conviction led to his arrest by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in October 2007. Soon after, client was placed in removal proceedings at the Detroit Immigration Court. At that point client retained our services.
We realized that client, as a refugee was eligible to apply for a special hardship waiver in order to obtain his green card and the green cards of his wife and children, whose immigration status was tied to our clientâ€™s status. In February 2008, the Immigration Judge denied our clientâ€™s request for a green card with a special waiver, despite the compelling testimony by our client and his wife and children would suffer serious hardship were our client, and by extension, his wife and children deported from the United States. This case was immediately appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals, based on the fact that the Immigration Judge improperly assessed the hardships to our client and his family. In August 2008, the Board of Immigration Appeals remanded our clientâ€™s case back to the Immigration Judge in order to reassess the hardship to our clientâ€™s family and to allow our client to introduce new and compelling evidence about his familyâ€™s continuing hardship.
In November 2008, again, the Immigration Judge denied our clientâ€™s application for a green card along with a special hardship waiver. Again, we appealed this decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals. This appeal was based upon legal errors which the Judge had committed in the prior trials, which affected the outcome.
In May 2009, the Board of Immigration Appeals agreed with our arguments and remanded the case back to the Immigration Judge in order to correct her errors and directing her to look carefully at the hardship evidence our client had presented. In July 2009, after a brief hearing, the Immigration Judge granted our client his green card with a special waiver. Soon after, our client was released from detention after a 20-month stay. Within months, our clientâ€™s wife and children also received their green cards.
In 2014 our client and his wife and children will be eligible to apply for United States citizenship.
Green Cards for Postdoctoral Research Fellows with NIW
Our firm was recently successful in obtaining approval of two I-140 immigrant petition in the EB-2 category with National Interest Waiver.
As known, an immigrant petition generally requires the existence of a job offer from a U.S. employer and the approval by the Dept. of Labor of a labor certification certifying that there are no U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job at the prevailing wage for that position. However, in certain circumstances, a job offer is not required and the applicant can self petition.
In the EB-2 category (a professional holding an advanced degree or its equivalent) the applicant must demonstrate the following in order to qualify for the national interest waiver (NIW) and thus eliminate the need for the Labor Certification:
1. the employment is in an area of substantial intrinsic merit
2. the proposed benefit will be national in scope
3. the national interest would be adversely affected if labor certification were required
On behalf of our client, a citizen of Ukraine, we requested a waiver of the requirement of a job offer and labor certification per INA Â§ 203(b)(2)(B) asserting that it is in the national interest for USCIS to waive these requirements. The client held a B.S. and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from a Ukrainian university. She had also completed a Ph.D. at a U.S. university and was now a J-1 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Michigan. Her research interests of national and global importance were focusing on protein structures relative to HIV transmission and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimerâ€™s, Parkinsonâ€™s, and type-2 diabetes. Her findings had been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, and in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. Her studies were also reported in numerous publications having been cited in well over one hundred articles by authors in the United States and around the globe.
With the clientâ€™s help we gathered evidence of her work and publications, and obtained numerous letters of recommendation from professors and experts who attested to her significant contribution to the field of Biochemistry research on these major diseases.
Because premium processing for National Interest Waiver I-140 petitions is not available, we submitted the application package at the end of January 2011 and received the approval in July 2011. Client is now in the process of adjusting the status to legal permanent residency.
Another client we represented in a NIW case is from India. She completed her B.S. degree in India, graduated with a M.S. and Ph.D in Physics from a U.S. university, and was now in H-1B status as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at one of the countryâ€™s top universities.
We submitted the I-140 petition in April 2011 which was approved 3 months later. She is now waiting for the priority date to become current to apply for adjustment of status