(Please read if you are not in the
New England Region.)
- Obama's New Waiver (I-601A) Regulation in Effect March 4, 2013
- Effect of Receiving Public Benefits and Non-Payment of Child Support on Immigration Petitions (Nov 2012)
- Deferred Action Program for Young Immigrants or Childhood Arrivals - DACA Part 2 (August 2012)
- Deferred Action Program for Young Immigrants or Childhood Arrivals - DACA Part 1 (July 2012)
- Residency and travel abroad: Avoid losing your residency (Dec. 2011)
- Cancellation of Removal/Deportation, Second Quarter 2011
- Priority Dates Advanced - December 2010
- The "U" Visa, First Quarter 2010
- Conditional Residency Newsletter, Third Quarter 2009
- American Citizenship Newsletter, Second Quarter 2009
- First Quarter 2009 Newsletter (immigration benefits for stepchildren, deportation, waivers, TPS, 245i, criminal charges and immigration)
- Is your Immigration Petition Taking too Long? You may sue the immigration service (USCIS)
- The 2008 U.S Presidential Candidates on National Immigration Reform
- December 2007 Newsletter
- Newsletter Index
Client Success Stories
Note: All the names of our clients in the stories below have been changed in order to maintain our client’s privacy and confidentiality.
Our client, "Claudia" contacted our office for a marriage petition case. She is from Colombia and entered with a visitor visa, but stayed in the US beyond the permitted time on her I-94. Claudia married a US citizen and thought that she would need to return to her country in order to apply for the marriage petition. Attorney FitzGerald informed her that she could apply inside the US because she was inspected and admitted to the US. We worked with our client to get all the information required to prepare the marriage petition, and prepared Claudia and her husband for the interview. Claudia’s residency based on her marriage was approved and afterwards we helped her remove the conditions of her conditional residency and she obtained legal permanent residency. She will be able to apply for citizenship in 2013.
Unfortunately, her only son, "Julián"was over 21 and could not be included in her applications. Mr. FitzGerald reviewed the case and advised our client that her son could apply for a cancellation case based on the extreme hardship that his mother would suffer if he got sent back to Colombia. (Claudia suffered from anxiety and a delicate health condition). During the course of the case, Attorney FitzGerald found out that Julián was receiving special education which normally is a disadvantage in cancellation cases. However, attorney FitzGerald was able to prove that Julián’s condition could not be properly cared for in his home country, and that his departure would severely affect the psychological and physical health of his mother. The case was granted and Julián is a permanent resident of the US.
In 2006, our client "Manuel" was charged with operating a vehicle with a suspended license and waived his right to counsel with no idea how this charge could potentially impact his immigration status in the future. In 2010, Manuel was placed into removal/deportation proceedings before the Immigration Court and was ineligible to renew his Temporary Protected Status (TPS), as pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, these two convictions made him ineligible for TPS. After reviewing the client’s criminal dockets, Attorney FitzGerald noticed that Manuel had waived his right to counsel in one of the cases, but there was no indication that the waiver had been interpreted to the client in his language to ascertain he understood his rights and the consequences of relinquishing such rights.
After collaborating with the client to recall the events, collect all the relevant evidence in the case, and reviewing the Massachusetts practice and waiver of counsel rules, attorney FitzGerald determined that it was clear that our client had not understood his rights and filed a motion to vacate the conviction and reopen the case, which was subsequently approved by the Judge. A new hearing was scheduled (five years after the original disposition date) and attorney FitzGerald obtained a favorable disposition of license suspension case (the charges were decriminalized) which did not negatively affect Manuel’s immigration status. He now is eligible to present a TPS claim before the Immigration Court.
Our client "Ricardo" entered the U.S. from Colombia, as a teenager in 1985. In 2008, "Ricardo" began a cancellation of removal/deportation case with our office as he had been in the U.S. for over 10 years, demonstrated good moral character and had evidence of exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to US citizens if he were deported. His U.S. citizen daughter has, as a consequence of lead paint poisoning, a severe learning disability. During the entire process (2.5 years), our office collaborated closely with Ricardo to obtain supporting records and affidavits to demonstrate hardship to his U.S. citizen children if he were to be deported from the United States.
In preparation for the final court date, Attorney FitzGerald met with Ricardo, who was unable to obtain all of the requested therapy records, which generally has a negative impact on a case for lack of evidence of hardship. However, through extensive preparation meetings, Attorney FitzGerald was able to elicit testimony from the client that focused on the hardship his U.S. citizen daughter would face if he was deported. At trial, our client was prepared, consistent and honest in his answers and the Judge granted him Cancellation of Removal. Finally, after years of hard work and perseverance, our client is now a permanent resident of the United States and will be eligible to apply for citizenship in a few years.
Our client, "Katerina" is a legal permanent resident who applied for citizenship. At the citizenship interview she informed immigration that she had been convicted many years before for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Immigration denied her citizenship application and had just notified her that she would be placed into removal/deportation proceedings, when she came into our office seeking assistance. After submitting a timely filed appeal to immigration, we determined that there were technical legal errors in the processing of the case, therefore her criminal conviction was in violation of her constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel. We submitted a motion to vacate the criminal conviction and reopen the case which was subsequently granted by the criminal court. After the case had been reopened, the case was successfully litigated so that the charges were dismissed. We informed immigration of the dismissed charges and the client was interviewed a second time to determine if the previous denial of her citizenship application should be changed. The deportation proceedings were stopped and Immigration granted her citizenship.
Our client, "Peter", had been a legal permanent resident of the United States for many years when he came into our office seeking assistance. He had traveled outside the US many times without any problems, but on his most recent trip, while attempting to enter the United States, he was stopped by immigration and his residency was terminated due to a criminal conviction from many years ago. Our client was placed into removal proceedings and faced being deported from the United States and being separated from his family.
After a thorough review of his situation we realized that his criminal conviction was in violation of the individual’s statutory rights to receive "alien warnings" when tendering a guilty plea. The alien warnings ensure that the individual is accepting guilt with full knowledge of the consequences of the guilty charge. We quickly submitted a motion with the criminal court to vacate the conviction and reopen the criminal proceedings. The criminal court granted the motion to vacate and the criminal case was reopened. We represented Peter in the re-opened criminal case and it was successfully dismissed. We informed the immigration court that Peter’s conviction no longer existed and the Immigration Judge dismissed the charges of removal/deportation, allowing him to remain a legal permanent resident of the United States.
Our client "Maria", a Mexican national, entered the United States across the border without a visa, with her only child at the time to reunite herself with her husband who had arrived a few months earlier in the same manner. During her first few years in the US, her husband (who was also undocumented) severely abused and mistreated her. He used her inability to communicate in English and her undocumented status to his benefit and scared her from seeking the help she needed. Finally, after a particularly violent episode where her husband pushed her and caused her to break her arm, our client filed a police report and a restraining order against her husband. Although the restraining order provided Maria one means of protection within this country, she remained without legal status, and was unable to legally work and provide for her children on her own. Our client felt helpless until she saw a television program during which Attorney FitzGerald explained the process of obtaining a U-visa.
Maria, although reluctant to tell her difficult story, decided to contact our office. She met with attorney FitzGerald, who carefully reviewed her case and told her that she could qualify for the U visa, but that it was necessary that the police department agree to certify on her U visa application that she was helpful in the investigation regarding the abuse. Although it was difficult for Maria to relive her experience, we were able to assist our client in creating a strong U-visa application, including a personal statement describing the hardship both she and her children have suffered as a result of the abuse. Maria waited patiently for the processing of her U-visa to go through, and after 9 months, the USCIS made a favorable decision in her case based on the application and documentation prepared by our office. Our client was granted U-visa status, and will be able to apply for her legal permanent residency in 3 years.
Our client, "Juán", is a national of Spain, and is the CEO of a growing multi-subsidiary company. Prior to our consultation, our client had formed a subsidiary of his company in the U.S. This company, although growing, has the potential to produce even greater revenue and profit within the U.S. Our clients’ goal was to further develop this subsidiary and create a stronger international network. His presence was necessary to direct the managers and employees within the company and expand the company’s general operations. After meeting and consulting with attorney FitzGerald, it was ultimately determined that an E-2 treaty investor visa would be most appropriate for Juán, as it would allow him the opportunity to invest significant time and funds into the company within the US, while maintaining his relationship with the Spanish parent company, and allow his wife and children to relocate, study and work in the US.
The US subsidiary company was still young to show significant profits, so we had to rely on future growth projections and the profitability of the parent company in Spain. We assisted our client, all the while in Spain, in reviewing and presenting a more detailed business plan and comprehensive revenue and profitability forecasts for both, the US and parent company, as well as a detailed executive statement in support of the E-2 visa petition. After processing the visa at the US consulate in Madrid, the E-2 visa was ultimately approved for Juán and his family members, and they successfully relocated to the US in order for Juán to fulfill his role as CEO of the US Company.
Our client "Sara" entered the US in August 2002 with a tourist visa and she overstayed her visa. In early 2008, she was questioned by an immigration officer at Logan airport while she was waiting for her mother’s arrival. She was subsequently presented with a Notice to Appear before the Immigration Court and was placed in deportation proceedings. During that time, Sara was involved in a serious relationship with a US citizen and decided to marry in mid 2008 and file a marriage petition with the immigration service. Unfortunately, the relationship became physically abusive and our client sought two restraining orders against her husband.
In 2009, she submitted visa petition under VAWA (Violence Against Women’s Act) due to the physical abuse she suffered from her husband without the help of an experienced immigration attorney. In 2010, Immigration issued a request for more evidence (RFE) of the abuse and at this point Sara decided to contact us for help. Our firm worked extensively to obtain and prepare a detailed affidavit from our client, detailing the abuse and mistreatment she suffered from her husband. We carefully reviewed her documents and found specific language in the restraining orders that proved she was being "battered" by her US citizen husband. In early 2011, Sara’s VAWA petition was approved and she has hired us again to help her with her permanent legal residency petition.
Our client, "Julieta" entered the United States in 1992 through the Mexican border without a visa. In 2007, she submitted a marriage petition with her US citizen husband with the assistance of a notary. Unfortunately, she was not eligible to adjust status to a legal permanent resident because she had entered without a visa and she was not eligible for 245i relief under the Immigration & Nationality Act. She was subsequently referred to the Immigration Court for removal proceedings. Upon review of her case, our firm determined that Julieta was eligible for Cancellation of Removal as she had been here for 10 years, was married to a US Citizen, had good moral character, and was able to show that her husband would suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if she were to leave the US or if he were to move with her to her native Colombia.
Julieta’s husband suffered from several serious medical conditions and depended highly on her financial, emotional and medical care. In investigating her family’s situation in depth, our firm also discovered that Julieta’s husband’s mother suffered with a severe illness, and was highly dependent on our client’s help as well. With our assistance, Julieta was able to show the totality of the extreme difficulties that her deportation would cause her husband and his mother (both US citizens) and the cancellation of removal/deportation was granted. She is now a resident of the US.