Grant of Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Resident Falsely Accused of Gang Membership

Our client’s former companion falsely accused him of being an MS-13 gang member, and of physically abusing her for many years.  The complaints she filed against him in Family and Criminal Court days after he ended their long term relationship resulted in his being picked up by ICE and placed into deportation-removal  proceedings.

At his deportation hearing, we methodically rebutted these false and vicious allegations. We introduced into evidence records from her psychiatric hospital admissions which revealed a history of physical abuse by her former husband, but made no mention of any misconduct by our client.  In fact, they showed she was depressed and suicidal since he had left her, and that her greatest fear was that he would try to gain custody of their son.

We demonstrated her refusal to seek treatment for her mental health issues had driven our client to leave her, and that since he had left, her drinking had increased, and so placed their son at risk.

Our evidence established our client had been a valued employee of the same company for ten years; that he paid his taxes; that he spent his free time caring for, his disabled son; and that his church and his religious beliefs were central to his life. A petition from his church vouched for his good moral character, and stated there was no reason to believe he had ever been involved in any misconduct or gang activity.

The Immigration Judge concluded the allegations of gang membership were untrue; the claims of abuse had no basis in fact; the charges were brought out of vindictiveness and had been dismissed; and that our client was a good person who had been unable to cope with his companion’s long-standing mental illness.

The Judge also found the medical records we submitted documented our client’s son’s severe physical and mental disabilities, and that he would suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if his father was deported.  He was granted cancellation of removal:  we saved him from deportation and he gained status as a lawful permanent resident.

An experienced criminal immigration attorney knows you can never win a case by ignoring or running from false allegations.  You must fight them head on, rebut the charges, and show the Court the truth of who your client is and why he deserves to remain in the United States. We do this to keep our clients and their families together. It is never easy, but it is always rewarding.

Asylum Win for Salvadoran Fleeing MS-13 & Salvadoran Military

In Spanish, there is an expression: “Entre la espada y la pared,” which means: “Caught between the sword and the wall.”  Recently we won a grant of asylum for a young man who witnessed members of the MS-13 gang as they chased down a Salvadoran military officer, moments before he was murdered. The gang members later threatened our client to remain silent.

A Salvadoran police officer, assigned to investigate the case, told our client’s friend, a neighbor who had actually witnessed the murder, not to say anything about what he had seen, to anyone. A few days later his friend was killed.

Members of the Salvadoran military stopped our client in public, beat him and accused him of willfully refusing to identify the gang members who killed the officer. They interrogated him, literally, with a cocked pistol at his temple. The soldiers believed he was helping MS-13 by not identifying the killers and threatened to kill him.

After our client was seen being questioned by the military, he learned MS-13 gang members had “green lighted” him to be killed by any gang member.

Many in the Salvadoran police are corrupt and have a history or working with   MS-13. The military threatened to kill our client, and MS-13 was also looking to kill him. He fled to the U.S. for his life, and for safety. After hearing his testimony and reviewing the evidence which corroborated his claims, an Immigration Judge granted him asylum. While the Attorney General’s recent decision in Matter of A-B- will make it harder to win asylum in cases based upon fear of persecution by the MS-13 gang, deemed “private actors”, the persecution by the military distinguished our client’s claim. Let’s hope our country continues its proud tradition of lifting up its “lamp beside the golden door” and of offering refuge to those who flee persecution.

Winning Aggravated Felony Deportation-Removal Cases

Winston Churchill said we should “Never Surrender”, and he was right.

Too often attorneys see a non-citizen, especially a lawful permanent resident, who is charged with an aggravated felony conviction, and they simply turn the case away because they believe nothing can be done for the person, but that is often just not true. Sure, aggravated felony cases are the hardest to win, but the reality is they can be successfully defended, although we can’t win them all, we have saved many clients with seemingly hopeless deportation-removal cases.

We realize even good people sometimes make serious mistakes. Often they’ve accepted responsibility for what they’ve done. They’ve pled guilty to a felony, served a prison sentence, and in many instances have gone on to change their lives for the better. Then one day there’s a knock at the door, the person is taken into custody by I.C.E. and they face the true terror of deportation proceedings: mandatory detention, immigration court, and the threat of being deported and separated from their home and families. In many cases, the person came to the U.S. as a child. They have had no contact with their native country and have no prospects for employment. They face a life of misery and isolation if deported, and their families in the U.S. will also suffer. That is why it is so important to fight these cases, and to win. Here are some recent examples. Continue reading