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.

Taking Migrant Children From Parents Is Illegal, U.N. Tells U.S.

“Q.   And toddlers?”

“A.   And toddlers.”

Sometimes our government goes too far, and the fervor of the zealots leads them to engage in criminal conduct; to violate accepted, bedrock, principles of decency and international law. When Central American families come to our country seeking asylum because they are fleeing persecution, rape and murder at the hands of vicious gangs, such as MS-13, it is unlawful and immoral for our government to separate young children from their parents, and hold them in cells, like criminals. Our government is doing this today, in our names, and it is wrong. Organize; speak out; and commit yourself to prevent this continued, intentional, infliction of severe trauma on innocent, desperate, children.

From The New York Times:

Taking Migrant Children From Parents Is Illegal, U.N. Tells U.S.

The Trump administration treats all undocumented border crossing as a crime, jailing adults and splitting families. The U.N. says that violates the children’s rights.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/05/world/americas/us-un-migrant-children-families.html

Su TPS o DACA se Vence? Hay Esperanza

Perdón Provisional (I-601A) – Una manera de poder legalizarse en los Estados Unidos

El perdón provisional fue puesto en regulación en el 2013 y el programa fue extendido para cubrir no solo a los familiares de estadounidenses sino también para familiares de residentes permanentes en Agosto del 2016. Las personas que entran a los Estados Unidos indocumentados, necesitan obtener un perdon antes de poder recibir su recidencia. Antes, estas personas tenian que salir del pais y aplicar para un perdon desde su pais natal, esto era un proceso largo y duraba muchos años y seperaba a las familias. Con el programa del perdon provisional, un inmigrante indocumentado que quiere aplicar para hacerse residente; quien entro a los Estados Unidos sin inspeccion y que tiene un familiar cercano que es estadounidenses o residentes permanente puede pedir este perdon mientras esta en los Estados Unidos. Al principio, el programa solamente estaba disponible para los familiares inmediatos de estadounidenses. Pero, ahora tambien incluye a familiares de residentes permanentes. El programa está diseñado para evitar el riesgo de que el individuo viaje a su entrevista en el consulado de su país natal y que no pueda regresar a los Estados Unidos. Ahora es posible que miles de personas puedan beneficiarse de este programa – especialmente aquellas personas que ahora se encuentran con la realidad de que su estatus de protección temporaria (TPS) será eliminada.

Quienes son elegibles:

  1. Esposos de un ciudadano americano (USC) ó residente permanente (LPR).
  2. Padres de un ciudadano americano (USC) – el USC tiene que tener más de 21 años de edad.
  3. Hijos menores de edad (menos de 21 años y no casados) de un ciudadano americano.
  4. Un familiar en las categorías de preferencia (estas categorías tienen una espera para una visa, a veces de años, para poder proceder con un proceso consular) – Puede llamar para una consulta para más información.

Quienes no son elegibles:

  1. Ciertos inmigrantes con convicciones criminales (debe de asesorase si tiene un record criminal ó arrestos)
  2. Inmigrantes que hayan comité fraude, por ejemplo: el haber entrado a los estados unidos con un pasaporte falso.
  3. Inmigrantes con una orden de deportación de una corte de inmigración ó alguna orden de deportación hecha por el gobierno. (En unos casos limites, hay maneras de resolver estas órdenes – puede hacer una cita para hacer una consulta)
  4. Niños menores de 17 años.

Que debe demostrar:

TODO APLICANTE PARA UN PERDON PROVISIONAL DEBE DE DEMOSTRAR QUE TIENE UN FAMILIAR CALIFICANTE (“Qualifying Relative”), POR EJEMPLO:

  • ESPOSO/A CIUDADANO/A Ó RESIDENTE PERMANENTE; Ó
  • PADRE/MADRE CIUDADANO Ó RESIDENTE PERMANENTE

(Desafortunadamente, los hijos ciudadanos no pueden calificar)

Y ADEMAS, DEBE DE DEMOSTRAR QUE EL FAMILIAR CALIFICANTE TENDRA UN SUFRIMIENTO EXTREMEMO SI EL APLICANTE NO PUEDE PERMANECER EN LOS E.E.U.U. MIENTRAS ESPERA SU PROCESO CONSULAR.  (Esto incluye mucha documentación)

Aunque este programa ha estado en efecto desde el 2013, todavía existen muchas personas que no saben que pueden utilizarlo para poder obtener su residencia permanente. Si usted tiene alguna pregunta sobre este programa puede llamar a nuestra oficina para hacer una cita y le podemos dar más detalles.

Las personas que van a perder su estatus protegido no pueden perder la esperanza – tienen que investigar las opciones para legalizarse. Y mas importante, no usar “notarios” ó supuestos “consultantes” – tienen que usar abogados con experiencia, para que nos los vayan a defraudar.

La información anterior incluye solamente los detalles básicos – cada caso es diferente y usted debe de hablar con un abogado con experiencia para poder asesorarse si usted puede calificar para este programa y también para estarse seguro de llenar todas las aplicaciones conectadas con un proceso consular y un perdón provisional correctamente. Llámenos para más información

Impact Of DWI Conviction on Non-Citizens in Deportation

Matter of Siniauskas, 27 I&N Dec. 207 (BIA 2-2-18)
Analysis & Suggestions for the Criminal Defense Bar

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) hears appeals from the U.S. Immigration Courts. A non-citizen may appeal from an Immigration Judge’s (IJ’s) order of deportation; other times the government may appeal an IJ’s order finding the person is not in fact deportable; or they may appeal an order granting discretionary relief from deportation. The BIA also hears appeals of IJ’s bond decisions. Precedent decisions, such as that in Siniauskas, must be followed by all IJ’s, unless there is contrary, controlling, precedent from the Circuit Court of Appeals with jurisdiction over where the deportation proceedings take place.

Matter of Siniauskas, decided earlier this month, involves an appeal by the government from an IJ’s decision granting Siniauskas release from custody while his deportation proceedings were pending, upon posting a $25,000.00 bond. While Siniaukas was in fact undocumented, he was eligible for relief from deportation in the form of adjustment of status based on an approved visa petition that his U.S. citizen daughter had filed on his behalf. In addition to his daughter, he had his lawful permanent resident wife and other longstanding and deep ties to his community.

The government appealed the IJ’s bond decision. They argued Siniauskas’s three (3) DWI convictions from approximately ten years prior to his detention by ICE, combined with his pending DWI charge, demonstrated he presented a danger to the community and should have been denied bond while his removal proceedings were pending. In reversing the IJ’s decision, the BIA ruled his history of prior convictions for DWI, coupled with his pending DWI prosecution, indicated he presented a danger to the community; undercut his claims of rehabilitation; and warranted detention during his deportation proceedings.

This decision is part of a trend toward increasingly harsh treatment by immigration authorities of individuals convicted of, or in some instances, simply charged with, driving while intoxicated. While Siniauskas may not present as the most sympathetic figure, it is anticipated IJ’s will use the decision to justify denying release to other non-citizens with a pending DWI prosecution, or with prior DWI convictions, despite what may be stronger equities than those presented by Siniauskas. The decision is also notable because, under the immigration laws, a conviction for DWI, in and of itself, does not render a lawful permanent resident subject to deportation, nor does it render inadmissible someone who is otherwise eligible to gain status as a lawful permanent resident. In fact, a conviction for DWI is not even one of the criminal offenses enumerated at §236(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), which details the convictions that subject non-citizens to mandatory detention during their deportation proceedings.

Release under bond during deportation proceedings is of critical importance if the client is to have the best chance of winning his case.  For those otherwise eligible for some form of discretionary relief, a charge or conviction for DWI is considered a substantial negative factor and weighs heavily against an IJ exercising his discretion in favor of permitting the person to remain in the U.S.. Deportation proceedings for detained individuals are customarily concluded within months, whereas those involving individuals released under bond routinely take years. A client at liberty under bond has the opportunity to seek, and complete, treatment, and thereby demonstrate genuine rehabilitation. This will provide the client’s deportation defense1 attorney a far better chance of convincing the Immigration Judge his client merits a favorable exercise of discretion.

If defense counsel understands his client will eventually be placed into deportation proceedings – either at the conclusion of his prosecution for his DWI case, or while on probation – he can work from the outset of his representation to prepare his client for his future deportation proceedings. This is of critical importance whether the client is undocumented, or, a lawful permanent resident with a previous conviction that renders him deportable. By ensuring the client enrolls in, and if possible completes, counseling while the DWI charge is pending, defense counsel increases the likelihood that if placed into deportation proceedings, the IJ will find the client has demonstrated sufficient rehabilitation that he should not be considered a danger to the community and should be granted release under bond.

Release under bond not only affords the client the ability to remain with his family, and to work to fund the defense of his deportation proceedings, but in addition, it affords the client additional time within which to demonstrate rehabilitation, and to accrue favorable equities. The greater the time between the non-citizen’s last arrest, and the time when the IJ must decide whether to permit the person to remain in this country, the greater the chance the judge will find rehabilitation.

In order to demonstrate rehabilitation, the client should promptly enroll in a recognized treatment program. If held in custody during his criminal prosecution, determine whether the jail has any type of alcohol counseling program, and if so, have the client enroll. If it appears he must serve time in jail – try to negotiate a period of in-patient treatment in lieu of extended incarceration. If that is not possible, ask that he be placed in the DWI dorm, or be afforded treatment while in custody.

If the person is at liberty but will ultimately plead guilty and receive a sentence of incarceration or of probation, delay taking the plea in order to afford the client the chance to complete treatment. In the alternative, negotiate a plea where the client will remain at liberty after pleading guilty, so he can complete his treatment prior to sentencing. A sentence to a conditional discharge, as opposed to one of incarceration or probation, will often forestall the client being placed into deportation, and so provide additional time for the client to demonstrate rehabilitation. Ideally the program should include random screening for alcohol and controlled substances; test results and counseling updates should be saved, as these will provide corroboration for the client’s later claims of abstinence.

While this advisory is geared toward DWI cases, the importance of demonstrating rehabilitation holds true irrespective of whether the client’s underlying problem is with alcohol, drugs, or domestic violence. While counseling is generally helpful for most of our clients, when the client is a non-citizen, it becomes imperative. The recalcitrant client needs to understand that completing counseling will not only help him in his life, and with his criminal case, but it may also enable him to gain release under bond if he is detained by ICE.  Ultimately, by demonstrating rehabilitation, the client may avoid the life altering hardship which follows detention and deportation.

________________________

[1] Although Congress, in true Orwellian form, renamed it “removal” proceedings in 1996, it remains what is historically known as “deportation” proceedings. We should not strip these proceedings of the historical context surrounding the word “deportation”; we should call it what it is, because deportation may result in: “the loss of both property and life, or of all that makes life worth living.” We should never forget that.  Justice Brandeis, Ng Fung Ho v. White, 259 U.S. 276, 284 (1922).

 

Latin father and daughters embracing in circle

DHS Announced that TPS for El Salvador would be Terminated!

DHS announced on Monday that TPS for El Salvador will be terminated. This decision affects some 200,000 Salvadorans. If you or someone you know is impacted by this terrible announcement from DHS, please call us to make an appointment with one of our attorneys so we can explore any options for legalization. Our experienced attorneys are fluent in Spanish and we are here to help! Here are some other things to consider:

  1. The termination of El Salvador’s TPS will not be effective until September 9, 2019.
  2. Salvadorans with TPS can keep their status until September 9, 2019, but they must re-register. If you have any questions, call us we can help!
  3. Some Salvadorans with TPS may have other options for remaining in the United States. You should consult a reputable immigration attorney to explore these options.

Lecture: Best Practices for Avoiding Claims of Ineffective Assistance of Counsel When Defending Non-Citizens in Criminal Proceedings

Earlier this week, George A. Terezakis, Esq. presented a lecture, at the Nassau County Bar Association, which provided the criminal defense bar with guidance on the best practices for criminal defense lawyers when defending non-citizens.  The Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Padilla v. Kentucky requires defense attorneys to ascertain and advise their non-citizen clients of the direct immigration consequences of any proposed plea agreement, or of conviction after trial.

Criminal convictions can result in: detention, loss of legal status, deportation and permanent separation from the client’s family.  Knowledge of the interplay between criminal and immigration law, and guidance from an experienced “crimmigration” attorney, can enable defense counsel to craft a plea agreement which avoids or minimizes adverse immigration consequences.  This permits the client to make an informed decision as to whether to accept a proposed plea agreement, or to exercise their right to go trial.

“Refusal” Hearing Win in Charged D.W.I.

When police stop a driver on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, they often question the person and ask him or her to perform certain standard field sobriety tests.  The police also frequently request the driver submit to a “breath test,” which is designed to determine the individual’s blood alcohol level from a sample of the person’s breath.

In New York, if there is a finding that a motorist unjustifiably refused to submit to a breath test, the D.M.V. will impose a one (1) year suspension of the person’s driver’s license. During that suspension, the person is ineligible for a restricted or conditional driver’s license which would otherwise permit the person to drive to and from work during their suspension period. The refusal can also be introduced into evidence against the motorist if he should go to trial on his D.W.I. charge.

Before D.M.V. can impose this one (1) year suspension, the motorist is entitled to a “refusal hearing” before a Judge, at which time the arresting officer must demonstrate he had a legal basis for stopping the motorist and for requesting he submit to a breath test. Most importantly, the officer must also establish he gave the motorist the required, clear and unequivocal, warning that if the motorist does not submit to the breath test, his or her license will be suspended for one year, irrespective of whether or not the motorist is convicted of the underlying DWI charge.  Unfortunately, many motorists do not take advantage of their valuable right to such a hearing, or give up their right to be represented by an attorney of their choice, because they mistakenly believe they will never win, or feel the cost of attempting to vindicate their rights is not justified.

The reality, however, is that all too often, the arresting officer fails to provide the motorist with the proper warning regarding the consequences of failing to submit to a breath test, and as a consequence, the motorist does not deserve to have their license suspended.  This past week we defended one of our clients at his refusal hearing: he faced both the suspension of his license and the loss of his job. Today we received the Judge’s decision finding, as we had argued, that the officer failed to provide our client with the clear warning of the consequences of refusing to submit to the breath test, to which he was entitled, and so the Judge refused to suspend our client’s license.  This case demonstrates an important maxim: your rights are useless unless you assert them.

Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash

DACA RECIPIENTS: DON’T PANIC! Possibilities for Obtaining Legal Status & Avoiding Deportation

There is great fear and uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration’s September 5th, 2017, announcement that it is terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program.  Current DACA beneficiaries should understand this does not mean your deferred action status has been terminated at this time. To try to minimize the confusion, we have outlined below the main points contained in the administration’s announcement, and an analysis of how it will impact current beneficiaries. The second section reviews different paths which may be available to enable current DACA beneficiaries to gain legal status in the U.S., including status as Lawful Permanent Residents.

It is important to remember that in most instances, with limited exceptions discussed below, non-citizens present in the U.S. who are out of status and subject to deportation-removal are entitled to a hearing before an Immigration Judge, at which they will have the opportunity to be represented by counsel; to seek release under bond; and to apply for relief from deportation.

I.  What does the Trump Administration’s Rescission of DACA Mean for Current Beneficiaries?

The Trump administration’s order does not immediately strip DACA recipients of their deferred action grants, or of their work authorizations, which are currently valid.

USCIS will adjudicate DACA renewal applications and applications for work authorizations which have been accepted by USCIS as of September 5th, 2017. Individuals granted deferred action, and whose benefits expire on or before March 5th, 2018, may apply to renew their DACA status and work authorization, provided their applications are accepted by USCIS on or before October 5th, 2017an extremely short deadline which is now less than one month away! These renewal applications must be prepared and submitted well before the deadline, as applications received after that date will be rejected.

DACA recipients whose employment authorizations expire after March 5th, 2018 will not be permitted to renew their status, and will revert to the unauthorized status they were in prior to being granted DACA.

USCIS will still adjudicate initial DACA applications and requests for work authorization that were accepted by USCIS as of September 5th, 2017; applications received after that deadline will be rejected.

DACA recipients with advance parole who are currently outside of the U.S. should be admitted to the U.S., provided they return before their advance parole expires. DACA recipients granted advance parole are advised not to travel outside the U.S.: there is always the possibility overly aggressive enforcement will result in the person being denied admission to the U.S. upon their attempt to return. USCIS will no longer approve advance parole requests made based upon status as a DACA recipient.

II. Paths to Legal Status

There is no simple, clear, and easy way to assess whether a current DACA recipient may be eligible to gain legal status or qualify for relief from deportation because these assessments turn on the facts of each person’s particular case. Factors which must be considered in order to determine eligibility for  relief from deportation include: how the person initially entered the U.S.; whether the person traveled outside the U.S. after having been out of status, and was subsequently admitted or paroled back into the U.S.; whether the person has a parent, spouse or child who is a Lawful Permanent Resident or U.S. citizen; whether the person fears persecution or torture if deported to their homeland; and the nature of any criminal record the person may have. While a person may only have been eligible for DACA at the time they initially applied for that protection, today that same person may be eligible for different forms of relief or have an alternate pathway to legalization.

Outlined below are paths to legal status which may be available to DACA recipients or to others who are undocumented. While DACA is a valuable program, these other paths to legal status should be considered.

  1. Adjustment of Status. In certain instances, a person who is out of status may be able to adjust their status without leaving the U.S. and become a Lawful Permanent Resident. The person must have previously been admitted or paroled into the U.S. – including after traveling outside the U.S. pursuant to a grant of advance parole while a DACA beneficiary; or be the beneficiary of a petition for an immigrant visa filed prior to April 30th, 2001. Assuming they otherwise qualify, it may be possible to adjust status based upon a bona fide marriage to a U.S. citizen.
  2. Consular Processing of an immigrant visa, coupled with a provisional waiver of inadmissibility due to unlawful presence in the U.S.. The person must first show they are the beneficiary of an immediately available immigrant visa filed for them by their Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) or U.S. citizen parent or spouse, and then carry their burden of proving their LPR or USC parent or spouse would suffer extreme hardship if they are denied the waiver. If the non-citizen is already in removal proceedings, this relief may still be available, but the process is more complicated.
  3. Cancellation of Removal as a non-permanent resident: once placed into deportation-removal proceedings, the non-citizen may apply for this relief. The person must demonstrate they have resided continuously in the U.S. for a minimum of ten years prior to being placed into removal proceedings; that their parent, spouse or child who is either an LPR or U.S. citizen would suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if the person is deported; that they are a person of good moral character who merits this relief as a matter of discretion; and that they do not have a specified criminal conviction which would disqualify them from eligibility.
  4. Violence Against Women Act: This law enables certain spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens or spousal and children Lawful Permanent Residents who have been subjected to assault, battery or extreme cruelty by the U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident family member to petition for legal status in the U.S., and to eventually apply to become Lawful Permanent Residents.
  5. Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: This protection is afforded to unmarried individuals, under the age of 21, after a juvenile or family court has made certain specified findings that the child’s reunification with one of his or her parent(s) is not viable due to prior abuse, neglect or abandonment.
  6. T and U Visas for Victims of Crimes: T visas are available to undocumented individuals who can demonstrate they: have been a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons; are physically present in the U.S. or its territories on account of trafficking; have assisted in investigating and prosecuting trafficking, if over age 18; and would suffer extreme hardship or harm if removed from the U.S..  U visas are available to non-citizen victims of certain crimes; who have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse or injury as a result; and who have assisted law enforcement with investigating and prosecuting the perpetrators. If granted a T or U visa, the person may then be able to apply to adjust their status and become an LPR.
  7. Special Rule Cancellation of Removal through the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA).  In certain instances, children who were under the age of 21 at the time a parent was granted status as a Lawful Permanent Resident through the NACARA, may themselves be eligible to adjust their status and become Lawful Permanent Residents.
  8. Asylum, Withholding and Deferral Under the Convention Against Torture: Asylum, and the related withholding and deferral, are available to individuals who have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country based upon their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, or who fear torture, at the hands of government actors, or persons or organizations the government is unable or unwilling to control. A grant of asylum will enable the recipient to apply to adjust their status and become a Lawful Permanent Resident, while a grant of withholding or deferral permits the person to avoid deportation and remain in the safety of the U.S.
  9. “Undocumented” Person May In Fact be a U.S. Citizen by Operation of Law: In certain instances, a child born outside of the U.S. to a U.S. citizen parent or parents, may acquire citizenship at birth. Also, children born in the U.S., or U.S. territories, except those born to diplomats in the U.S., are U.S. citizens.

The above is a very general overview of potential avenues for gaining legal status in the United States, and its purpose is to help current DACA beneficiaries understand that even though their deferred action will soon expire, there is still reason for hope.

Current DACA beneficiaries, and other undocumented individuals, should not fear they will be seized by ICE, put on a plane and deported! All individuals in the U.S., regardless of their legal status, are entitled to constitutionally mandated due process protections. This means that before a person without legal status can actually be deported, the person must first be placed into deportation-removal proceedings before an immigration judge. During their deportation-removal proceedings, the person has the right to be represented by an attorney of their choice, and to apply for relief from deportation. They also have the right to appeal any deportation order to the Board of Immigration Appeals, and may seek further review in the Federal Courts. (Individuals who have already been ordered deported; who unlawfully re-entered the U.S. after having been physically deported; or who overstayed after having been admitted to the U.S. under the visa waiver program, generally, are subject to removal without appearing before an Immigration Judge. In certain limited instances, however, it may still be possible to apply to reopen or rescind an existing deportation-removal order, and then to apply for the relief outlined above.)

DACA beneficiaries should explore all avenues of relief which may be available to them.  They must be careful to avoid being victimized by “notarios” or other unscrupulous charlatans who use the current climate of fear to defraud  non-citizens. They should resist being pressured to consent to being deported and instead seek the assistance of reputable and experienced immigration attorneys.  If a person cannot afford private counsel, they should check with their local bar association, or reputable not-for-profit organizations such as the American Immigration Lawyers Association; the Immigrant Defense Project, located in New York City; the Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN), located in Hempstead, New York; as well as Catholic Charities Immigrant Assistance Program, based in Amityville, New York, for assistance or referral to attorneys who are willing to provide free or low cost representation.

More Notable Wins for the Terezakis Law Firm for July 2017

SHOWING INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL VACATES DEPORTATION ORDER….

Clients are entitled to trust that their attorney will provide them effective and zealous representation in their deportation proceedings, because the outcome of those proceedings will determine the course of their life, and affect their entire family. Our clients’ children came to us after their father surrendered himself after learning he had been ordered deported in his absence. For two years, the attorney he retained had not moved to change venue in his case from the Immigration Court in Texas to the Immigration Court in New York where he was living. When he called his attorney several days before the hearing date, he was assured by the paralegal his case had been adjourned, and he would receive a new hearing date – that was not true: he was ordered deported and taken into custody.

Our client faced imminent deportation – within a week we had reviewed the file; obtained the requisite supporting documents; filed the required bar complaint against prior counsel; and prepared and submitted our motion to vacate our client’s deportation-removal order. We learned our client’s name was on the list for the next day’s flight. We obtained a stay of removal which stopped his deportation – he was the only one on the list not deported. Ultimately the I.J. found he had indeed been the victim of ineffective assistance, and he reopened his deportation order. He will now have his asylum claim determined on the merits.

EXPEDITED GRANT OF I-601 WAIVER

Our client, educated at one of America’s foremost University’s, returned to Pakistan to marry her childhood sweetheart. During the years she lived there following her marriage, she spoke out frequently and publicly against that country’s mistreatment of women and its rigid barriers preventing their full participation in society. As the result of her advocacy on behalf of women, she began receiving anonymous death threats, and then she and her family were fired upon while in their car. As a result of these threats, and her son’s medical condition, we were able to have her request for a waiver of inadmissibility for her husband expedited, and granted. She and her family will soon be safe in the U.S. and she will be able to have her young children – U.S. citizens – grow up with the freedom, security and opportunities available to them in the U.S.