In the last few days, I was asked to help in a heartbreaking situation. I got a call from a Romanian individual asking me for help with his 15 year old daughter. He was contacted by Immigration and was told was that his daughter was in a hospital in Washington State. I called Customs and Border Patrol (immigrating) and a very polite customs and border agent told me that the child was indeed in the hospital, but under immigration detention. He further told me that they were tracking the car when it crossed into the US, but while they lost sight of it, the car rolled. She was one of the passengers in the car and injured. Others were either hospitalized or arrested. After numerous phone calls, in which I argue that the parents have a fundamental right to see her, I convince the agent in charge to let the girl speak to her parents. I give them the father’s number, and an hour later a very happy Dad call s me to tell me that he just got off the phone with his child and she sounds good. The girl only speaks Romanian. I am trying to persuade CBP to release the child to the parents when she leaves the hospital. CBP works with The Office of Refugee Resettlement which takes custody of unaccompanied children. I argue that this child has parents and there is no need for guardianship. By Tuesday, I learn that she is released from hospital to CBP. She is now in their jail. So the US government thinks it is protecting the child by putting her in jail, instead of releasing her to her parents when the parents are physically present and able to care for their child. I ask them to let her parents visit. No, they have no facility for that. Then I speak the the criminal investigator who tells me the driver is being criminally prosecuted and they subpoenaed the child to the grand jury to testify. The child cannot leave the area as she has a Federal Subpoena. I am livid. The officer tries to appease me by promising to do everything he can to release the child to parents.
In the morning I get a call from the parents to tell me they have the child. Immigration officers stymied by red tape.
07.26.2023 The U visa is a little known mechanism to get status in the US. Eventually one gets a green card. It is available to victims of crime in the US. While being the victim of a crime is a horrific thing, it can bring huge benefits. The victim and his immediate family get status, a nonimmigrant visa and eventually a green card. The crime must be reported to the police and to commence the case, we have to obtain certification from law enforcement. Only listed crimes qualify. It is a very slow process but now people waiting in line for the visa can apply for work authorization. It also stops deportations. After the U visa is approved, one can file for a green card after being on the U for 3 years. Almost all immigration violations are waived, through a separate application process. It is a very effective path to a green card.
06.06.2023 Last year, we had a woman in our office, who was helping a Mexican family with their immigration paper work. Sitting quietly next to her was a young pregnant girl. I asked the woman if this was her daughter, she said, no, the girl was with her in foster care. The girl had a lot of problems with her family and Children's services had taken emergency custody and found her a placement. I asked the woman what the girl's immigration status was. She said that she was illegal. I then explained to our guest that under SJS the girl could get a green card. It was a relief to get an immigrating child whom we didn't have to battle in Juvenile Court. Everyone jumped at the idea that her current situation was exactly what made her amenable to a green card through the Special Juvenile Status provisions. Yesterday we got her Special Juvenile Status approved. She will get a green card. I am not even sure that she fully comprehends her immigration situation and how fortunate she is that she came to my office and I had the curiosity as to what was going on with her and the knowledge and skills to help her. It is an privilege to do immigration work. Every day we save a life.
05.08.2023 We recently won an asylum case for a lesbian from Honduras who was proved she was the victim of persecution on account of her being a lesbian. She will become a green card holder and then a citizen. These same sex cases are of particular concern to us, because the persecution of LGBTQ people is horrific throughout the world. If we can help people find a safe haven to live their lives with the partners of their choosing, then our efforts served a purpose. It is such a privilege to do the kind of work we do.
04.30.2023 Another immigration success story. We are happy to report success in timely filing U visa applications for an undocumented family from India who has lived undocumented for many years. Although their younger children were born in the US, their oldest daughter here and owned a convenient store for years. Their store is in a dangerous neighborhood and although they had been victim of several robberies, they were unaware of the special immigration U visa available to people who are the victim of certain crimes in the US. We were able to file two immigration cases for the parents and the daughter who was now over 21. These applications will give the victims permission to work while waiting for approval of the visa and eventually will lead to their green card.
In Rare Victory, Immigrants Prevail in Suit Over Meat Plant Raid.
The workers accused the government of racial profiling and excessive force. The agreement is very likely the first class settlement over an immigration enforcement operation at a work site, experts say.
Biden Administration Plans Crackdown on Migrant Child Labor.
The move came days after a Times investigation showed children were working in dangerous jobs throughout the United States.
12.12.2022 We are so proud to be advocates for the LGBTQ community. We recently wond asylum for a Lesbian from Guatamala. We had, only a few months ago, won asylum for a homosexual refugee from Albania. These are complicated immigration cases, but winning them makes it all worthwhile. So proud to be at the forefront of the battle against persecution and oppression.
11.01.2022 The court has terminated a case for a person battling schizophrenia. In the past, such people would often be deported to a country where they could not get any mental help, away from all family and any possible support group. Our guy threatened to kill his mother and threw his siter out a window. So yes, when his schizophrenia flares, he is dangerous to those around him. He needs hospital treatment. But such people can be treated with medication, and so their immigration cases do not have to be denied because they fail to show up in court, etc. The immigration court should be as forward thinking as other courts and treat mental illness.
US WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN We may be able to help Afghan nationals come to the US
On August 2, 2021, the Department of State announced a Priority 2 designation granting U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) giving access to certain Afghan nationals and their eligible family members.
This is in addition to the Special Immigration Visa (SIV) for certain Afghan nationals. To qualify for an SIV, an Afghan national needs to show a job which involved working closely with the U.S. military for at least a year. In limited situations, the job requires a specific timeframe (Oct. 7, 2001, to December 31, 2014).
The P-2 designation has made the job qualifications broader and those jobs do not necessarily have to show work with the U.S. military for any minimum time in the job.
The 3 categories that qualify for the P-2 designation:
- Afghans who do not meet the minimum time-in-service for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) but who work or worked at any time as employees of contractors*, Locally Employed (LE) Staff, interpreters/translators for the U.S. government, United States Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A), International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), or Resolute Support;
- Afghans who work or worked at any time for a U.S. government-funded program or project in Afghanistan supported through a U.S. government grant or cooperative agreement*;
- Afghans who are or were employed in Afghanistan by a U.S.-based non-governmental or media organization.
- There is no resettlement processing in Afghanistan and certain neighboring countries such as Iran. If/when you and your family make the difficult choice to leave Afghanistan, you will need to arrange and pay for your own travel to a third country.
- Once you have arrived in a third country, you must contact the U.S. Department of State to begin processing your case. Case processing can be lengthy (potentially 12-14 months), so please be aware that this process could require living in and supporting yourself and your family in a third country for a substantial amount of time until case processing is complete.
- Even if you qualify for the P-2 program and travel outside of Afghanistan, there is no guarantee that you will be approved for resettlement to the United States. In particular, applicants must pass extensive security checks.
- The United States is unable to provide protection or support to you while you await a decision on your refugee case. If you leave Afghanistan, you can register for international protection and assistance as a refugee with the government of the country you are in, if the country has an established asylum process; or, you can register with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
07.29.2021 We often counsel people to try as hard as they can to stay in the US as long as possible because immigration laws are so fungible. They change daily. The current change in administration has been like opening the shutters in a dark house and letting all the light in. Today we were visited by one of our most unfortunate clients. This man has a 10 year old boy who has muscular dystrophy and has an undocumented wife whose kidneys have completely shut down. She is on dialysis 3 times a week. He was being represented by another attorney when he came to us 3 years ago, facing a deportation trial just 3 months hence. The situation was bleak. He did not have 10 years in the US when he was apprehended by ICE and put in deportation proceedings. His previous lawyer filed for asylum. However, his asylum case did not have any chance of succeeding. It was clear that he could not leave the US. We eere able to help obtain DACA status, but this still didn’t solve his deportation problems. He could not abandon his then 7 year old USC son and leave his extremely ill wife in the US. Neither son nor wife could accompany him to Mexico where they would not have proper medical care. 3 years ago, SCOTUS issued a decision in Pereira which would give them a solid opportunity to stay in the US. Several months later, the Trump administration effectively upended the decision, dashing his hopes. We fought on. We kept his deportation case alive. Two months ago, SCOTUS issued another decision reviving the Pereira decision. SCOTUS went further in Niz Chavez, issuing a decision that as of this date had terminated numerous deportation cases. Our client’s chances of receiving a green card have been revived. This is why you should not let your lawyer convince you to opt for Voluntary Departure unless you have a visa with which you can immigrate to the US immediately.
07.26.2021 One of the attorneys in the office was successful in a VAWA application which lingered for many years. A VAWA application is available to a person who married a US or an LPR spouse and who suffered abuse during that marriage. The abuse can be physical, psychological or emotional. If you’re in a marriage and are experiencing such abuse, please know that you can leave the marriage and still get a green card. In a similar situation, we recently had succeeded in getting a case in which the husband was the victim of chronic psychological and verbal abuse during the marriage. Often in these situations, a person will stay in the marriage, at great physical and psychological risk just to get the green card. VAWA gives the victim the option of leaving the marriage.
07.21.2021 We recently were able to obtain VAWA approval for a client who had a very complicated immigration history. He EWE’d into the US and subsequently married his current wife. They sought the assistance of a lawyer, who advised them to get divorced as he was going to have to go back to his home country to get his green card (see above). They divorced and he went back to his home and had an interview. At the interview, the consular officer uncovered that he had been in the US illegally for more than a year and told him that he needed a waiver. Instead of filing the waiver, our client and his divorced wife decided to come back to the US illegally. This triggered a 2121(A)(9)c penalty. When the client approached us, his wife was very difficult, very stubborn, very controlling and so we tried to ascertain if he was, indeed the victim of psychological abuse .Once we confirmed that he was the victim of abuse by this wife, we filed a VAWA application which was approved today. We expect to terminate his removal hearing under Niz Chavez.
07.17.2021 If your spouse or adult child is currently serving in a branch in the US military or has previously served and is now a Veteran, you may well be able to apply for the special immigration status of Parole In Place or PIP. This benefit is granted by the Immigration Service and it has three benefits: it gives you deferred action and protects you from being deported.; it gives you work authorization and it is viewed as an admission to the US for the purpose of filing a green card application. Thus a person who EWE’d into the US (entered illegally) can apply for a green card, either through a petition filed by a US spouse or a US adult child without having to leave the US. This offers opportunities for people who otherwise cannot get a green card. Remember, that if you entered the country illegally under most circumstances, you have to return to your home country. Leaving the US triggers a 10 year bar to returning. The only way to ask for a waiver of this penalty is to show that your USC or LPR spouse or parent will suffer extreme hardship if separated. Most of our clients do not have a USC or LPR spouse or parent and cannot avail themselves of such a waiver. Thus people who can apply for PIP have get a benefit from having a military family member.
06.11.2021 Our Middle Eastern client married a USC and was trying to get his green card, based on marriage to his USC wife. Although everything was approved, the government charged him with being a terrorist, and as a resul of the terrorist bar,( arguing that his membership in a guerrilla group that was fighting the Hezbollah was a terrorist organization and subjected him to the bar). Our office was able to prove that the said bar did not apply as this clandestine organization, which was in fact, aligned with the US and that fighting against the Hezbollah was counter terrorism. Our client was able to prevail and he was granted his green card.
06.10.2021 Today a Mexico mother of 3 children was granted cancellation of removal by the Immigration Judge. We are so proud of the work of our associates. This Mom was able to convince the EOIR that the rape and abuse she suffered from her husband was nothing compared to the fear she had of taking her 3 children, all of whom have severe learning disabilities and would have no special accomadations in Mexico. The children would suffer extreme hardship if the mother were to be deported.
06.09.2021 Our client, a producer of an environmentally friendly product attempted to hire a foreign engineer to help with operations in the US. We were trying to do an NIV application, arguing that our client had extensive experience to man the work at the Cleveland production facility. When we actually started the work, the employees accreditations were unacceptable and we had to struggle to prove that the company’s work was in the Nationl Best interest and that the workers qualification met the necessary requirement. We succeeded.
06.08.2021 Another Middle Eastern client who was referred to us by an Islamic social service agency has been facing immigration problems arising out of CIS’s accusation that he had entered into a fraudulent marriage succeeded in reversing that situation and we got him his green card. We are so pleased. Ensalah!!
05.13.2021 Yesterday was an excellent day! We were able to stop the deportation of a mother of 3 US citizen girls, ages 16, 12 and 7. While it may appear conclusive that the US government would act in the best interest of children, it does not do so in immigration matters. It is difficult, nearly impossible to stop the deportation of a parent, unless the child has an extremely serious medical condition, one that is a matter of life and death, such as, say, cancer. Yet, with tireless and systematic preparation, at the conclusion of a long 2 day trial, we were able to convince the Immigration Court to grant our client the relief. As a result, she will become a permanent resident and raise her children with no further threat from Immigration Authorities. I was joined at the trial table by two stalwart associates. We won!
Our office has been successful in receiving approvals of T visas with work authorization within one year. These visas are for employees who have been victimized by their employers either by not paying them their wages, threatening to call immigration on them, forcing them to work long hours without properly pay and withholding their immigration documents as a threat.
DACA travel is back and we are sending approved DACA recipients back to visit family in their home country.
On Apr 29, 2021, the Supreme Court made an important immigration decision. The name of the case is “Niz-Chavez v. Garland.” To understand what this decision means, you have to understand “cancellation of removal.”
Before the government can deport an undocumented immigrant, the immigrant usually has the right present his or her case to an immigration judge. That person may stay in the US if he or she qualifies for certain immigration benefits. Some of those benefits lead to a green card.
One of those benefits is "cancellation of removal." It is hard to get, but one thing an immigrant needs is to live in the country for ten years *before* his or her immigration case starts in the immigration court.
The case with the court starts when the government gives the immigrant a document called a "Notice to Appear." It is similar to a subpoena because it tells a person they have to go to immigration court to stop their deportation.
The Immigration and Nationality Act makes it clear that the NTA must have the date and time. That is an important point.
The US Supreme Court has decided two cases about this point. The first time was in 2018, “Pereira v Sessions.” The Court said that an NTA is not valid if it doesn't have a date and time. This meant that a lot of people who did not live long enough in the country long enough to qualify for cancellation of removal suddenly had enough time.
After that case, the people in charge of the immigration courts made new rules saying if the court sends papers *later* with the date and time, that makes the NTA valid. This meant that a lot of people who were eligible for cancellation of removal were suddenly ineligible again.
The Supreme Court’s new decision says that's wrong. The NTA is invalid if it does not have the date and time, and the court cannot fix that by sending other papers with the date and time. Once again, more people may be eligible for cancellation of removal.
This is a major win for immigrants all across the country. Many people who have no legal status may now be eligible for this immigration benefit. This may lead to more immigrants getting a green card in the future.
This article is not legal advice. The law is complicated and each case is different. Speak to one of the immigration lawyers at Svetlana Schreiber & Associates to see if you qualify for this or other immigration benefits.
04.28.2021 DACA travel good news. It is well know that entry to the US during COVID was severely restricted. One of our clients had difficulty trying to enter US on an approved U visas, despite the very generous and ameliorative U visa rules. However, another immigration client, who has approved DACA was able to reenter the US after a short trip to Mexico. He desperately wanted to see his dying father. We were able to obtain advance parole but cautioned him that he may not be allowed back into the US, even with the approved I131. The good news is that he traveled and was allowed to enter at customs. He will still have to travel to the Consulate to process his approved immigrant visa, as the AG had reversed Matter of Arrabally
03.08.2021 When our wonderful legal assistant, Zeynoon Elassal, whose family owns the much loved, Felafel Cafe http://www.falafelcafecleveland.com/ becomes the subject of the immigration story we tell. https://www.msn.com/.../lolas-legacy-how.../ar-BB1e891E... This is why we do what we do!
03.01.2021 We just got a U visa approved for a person who was a victim of menacing incident. He was sitting in a car with 3 other people, when a stranger came up to the car and smashed the car with a baseball bat. We successfully argued to the Immigration Service that the attack on the car with a bat was the same as being threatened with a bat, and hence threatened with assault with a weapon. The case was approved. A person who is a victim of a crime in the US can file for a U visa, if the police certifies that the victim cooperated with the police in the investigation of the crime and the crime is a qualifying crime under that statute. An felonious assault is defined as an assault with a weapon. A person has to maintain U visa status for 3 years, after which they can apply for a green card.
02.24.2021 Biden Revokes Trump’s Pause on Green Cards
- The bill allows undocumented individuals to apply for temporary legal status, with the ability to apply for green cards after five years if they pass background checks and pay their taxes.
- Dreamers, TPS holders, and immigrant farmworkers who meet specific requirements are eligible for green cards immediately under the legislation.
- After three years, all green card holders who pass additional background checks and demonstrate knowledge of English and U.S. civics can apply to become citizens.
- Applicants must be physically present in the United States on or before January 1, 2021.
- The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may waive the presence requirement for those deported on or after January 20, 2017 who were physically present for at least three years prior to removal for family unity and other humanitarian purposes.
- Lastly, the bill further recognizes America as a nation of immigrants by changing the word “alien” to “noncitizen” in our immigration laws
02.09.2021 Syrian beneficiaries of approved I-130 Petitions for Alien Relative may apply directly for consideration under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program without a referral by UNHCR. Beneficiaries may also include their derivatives on their refugee case. Derivatives are defined as spouses and unmarried children who were under 21 years of age on the date the I-130 petition was approved by USCIS. Refugee processing under this program is currently available in the following locations: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates If a beneficiary is interested in pursuing refugee resettlement through this program, either the beneficiary or petitioner should complete the required forms in accordance with the instructions on the forms. Beneficiaries must be physically present in their selected location of processing before submitting their EOI forms. Regardless of whether an eligible beneficiary elects resettlement as a refugee under this program, his/her approved immigrant visa petition will continue to be processed by the National Visa Center. The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is free of charge to applicants.
01.21.2021 Biden administration to pause deportations, curtail arrests
Joe Biden’s immigration plan lays out path to citizenship
The Biden/Harris plan, if it becomes law, will have an eight-year pathway to actual citizenship, not just green card. It will put millions of qualifying immigrants in a temporary status for five years and then grant them a green card once they meet certain requirements such as a background check and payment of taxes. They would then be able to apply for citizenship three years later.
DACA has been reinstated.
USCIS announced that in response to the December 4, 2020, court order reinstating DACA, USCIS announced that it will accept first-time requests for consideration of deferred action under DACA and USCIS will also accept DACA renewal requests; applications for advance parole documents; extend one-year grants of deferred action under DACA to two years; and extend one-year EADs under DACA to two years.
If you have questions, please call our office. We are happy to assist.
TPS has been extended to 10/4/21
Department of Homeland Security and CIS issued notice that there is an automatic extension of TPS designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal through 10/4/21. If you are currently on TPS, your current documentation showing prior approval of TPS is automatically extended to 10/4/21. (85 FR 79208, 12/9/20).
If you have questions, please call our office. We are happy to assist.
10.29.2020 Our office can report another U visa success. We have to thank Vivian in our office for her meticulous and thorough preparation of these applications. This is another individual with a deportation order who has been permitted to wait for the approval of his U visa in the US. Immigration has been fairly generous in allowing people with pending U visas to stay in the US, despite a Removal Order. ICE puts people under supervised release, which allows us to also get them work authorization while waiting for the approval of the U visa. The approval of the U visa allows the victim and his immediate family members to receive the same benefit. Our client is now permitted to stay in the US lawfully and work and in 3 years will be able to get his green card. More importantly, his wife who is also illegal and his son who is 20 years old will also get U visas and then be able to file for their green cards.
10.28.2020 We proudly share another immigration win. In this anti immigration environment, each win gives us huge reason to celebrate. Today we were able to obtain a U visa in a very difficult case. The U visa is available to a person who has been the victim of a qualifying crime. The crimes include Abduction, Abusive sexual contact, Blackmail, Domestic violence, Extortion, False imprisonment, Female genital mutilation, Felonious assault, Fraud in foreign labor contracting, Hostage, Incest, Involuntary servitude, Kidnapping, Manslaughter, Murder, Obstruction of justice, Peonage, Perjury, Prostitution, Rape, Sexual assault, Sexual exploitation, Slave trade, Stalking, Torture, Trafficking, Witness tampering, Unlawful criminal restraint, Other related crimes, including attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation of any of these offenses, or similar activity where the elements of the crime are substantially similar. Our client was the victim of such a crime and he was able to get his immigration case approved, even though he had a previous deportation order. In fact this visa overcomes many immigration bas, including claim to citizenship. Our client had a host of obstacles to getting any kind of immigration relief. In fact without this visa, he would never be able to return to the US or get a green card. However, this visa will after 3 years make him eligible to apply for his green card. He is now legally allowed to live and work in the US until his green card application is filed and adjudicated.
09.10.2020 Many years ago, a Mennonite family showed up In our office. When I walked out into the waiting room, I saw the mother, father and 15 adult children, ranging in age from 18 to 35, quietly waiting to see me. I was surprised and explained that there must be some mistake because we are an immigration office, and it seemed unlikely that they would be facing immigration problems. However, I was wrong. They did have enormous immigration problems, as the family had come from Mexico a few years earlier, and their previous lawyer’s application for extension of their visas was denied. They had been living illegally since that time. Their case was compelling, but their immigration situation hopeless, unless we were able to reopen their visa denial. We are zealous advocates and when we put our full force into an immigration case, we can be quite convincing. Still, I did not believe that we could prevail. Not with a 2 year lapse. Ultimately, as part of our immigration strategy, we were able to convince their Congressman to help us champion their case, and through our work, his advocacy and possibly a lot of prayer from the family, we succeeded in reopening their immigration case. I can report that today they have their green cards and are living happy, quite, prosperous lives.
08.15.2020 We were hired to file an immigration appeal for a client from Lithuania. His case was lost by his previous attorney and he wanted us to try to get a reversal. We knew that the immigration appeal was not likely to succeed and we made certain recommendations, primarily to start working on getting his green card through his marriage. When the appeal was denied, he did not listen to us, acted imprudently, resulting in his removal. However, he came back to us and asked us to complete his immigration case. We are happy to report that the immigration case is nearly complete and he will return to the US within the next 6 months with a green card.
06.01.2020 The office is striving to be COVID compliant. We see clients outside. Only the staff works in the office and remotely. Everyone wears masks and observes social distance when meeting with clients.
This is an opportunity to brag. It reminds us that we do a lot of good work (time to pat ourselves on the back). Five of our clients will become citizens on 2/7/20 because of our hard work.
In one instance, a lovely woman who had been brought to the US by an abusive husband and then abandoned, had a deportation order when she came to our office. By proving that she had been the victim of domestic violence, we were able to reopen her immigration case, and continue her fight till her VAWA case was approved. After, we continued to fight very long and very hard to get her a green card. Now she is getting her citizenship. We are so pleased. She is lovely and well deserving.
In another case, a gentleman who was well in his 70’s, a Vietnam veteran, an arch conservative, found himself in the crosshairs of immigration law and realized that he had never become a US citizen. He was totally unaware that his green card did not automatically bestow citizenship. He had never traveled outside the US, other than in combat and hence had never needed a passport. We were also able to fix his situation, and he too will take his citizenship oath on 2/7/20, 47 years after nearly sacrificing his life for this country.
In yet another case, we were able to get the immigration service to accept the application of an 81 year old woman who had long ago given up the hope of ever learning English. Dementia and other factors often impact on older persons ability to pass the citizenship test, and make the ineligible for citizenship. This can be overcome with proper argument. Our Nigerian client who had done each step of her marriage greencard case with our office, will also be sworn in as a citizens on the 7th.
Lastly, our Albanian client will join his spouse, also our client, who became a US citizen earlier this month. They will both be US citizens after a lengthy immigration struggle.
We are so proud!!
We were so grateful to succeed in obtaining a green card for our client, who was in removal proceedings. His case went to trial before the Immigration Judge. To win, or to get a green card for our client and to stop his deportation, we would have to Our client had sustained a head injury in a work related accident and his US wife was diagnosed as schizophrenia, diabetes and dementia. The client was not able, due to the memory challenges to prove that he had entered the country more than 10 years ago. Although we were confident that the Judge would find that the requisite extreme and unusual hardship existed in this case, we were uncertain that our client could prove presence in the US for the requisite 10 years. We were able to find a witness who was able to confirm the date of arrival and we were successful in obtaining a green card for this client.
We are overjoyed to report that a family of 5 children who were here undocumented for 15 years were granted U visa, which gives all the undocumented members of the family the right to remain in the US and work for the next 3 years. 3 of the 5 children are US citizens, but 2 are still outside of the US. The grant of the U visa applies to them as well and will make them eligible to come to the US on a U visa. After maintaining U visa status for a period of 3 years, each of them will be eligible to file to their green card. This U visa application stemmed from injuries caused to the husband who was forced to work without pay. The US Department of Labor accepted the complaint and then certified the case.
We were approached by a very nice couple and asked for help. They have been married for 10 years and have 2 children. Both have a very good employment situation, but they are out of status, and thus undocumented. The wife had come to the US on a J visa, which allowed her to stay here for 3 months. She never left. Until August of 2018, people who came to the US on a J visa did not accrue illegal presence, which triggers penalties if you leave the US. The employer of both spouses was willing to sponsor either spouse for a greencard. However, for the process to complete, the beneficiary would have to leave the US and have their green card interview at the Consulate. In this case, only the wife was eligible to leave the US because she was on the J visa, which meant that when she left the US she did not trigger the penalties associated with staying in the US illegally. However, in August of the 2018, the Attorney General issued a rule ending the protected status of J visa holders, giving them 6 more months to stay in the US before accruing such penalties. We convinced our client to leave the US in January of 2019 and protect her ability to complete the greencard process. She followed our advice and will be returning to the US with a green card within a year after leaving. While we had hoped the process would be faster, we are delighted.
We are continually amazed how undocumented immigrants who have lived in the US for more than 20 years, never sought immigration assistance until they heard about us. Recently, one of our clients, who himself had a very complicated case and who was told by other lawyers that there was no immigration solution, but is now a US citizen brought us his family member who was in jail facing deportation. First we were able to get his person released on bond and then had to create a strategy to get her a green card. And this is where we are different from other lawyers. We approach even the most hopeless cases by collecting all the immigration information to see if there are other solutions. In the instant case, our client had several adult children in the US who could apply for a visa on her behalf. However, she has to consular process to get a green card, and when leaving, will trigger a 10 year bad time bar. Unless we find a way to get her a waiver from that penalty, she cannot immigrate to the US . We learned that her husband has a parent with a green card. That indicated that we should try to get a green card for the husband, and if we succeeded, then she would have a qualifying relative for her green card. So we proceeded to get the husband his green card. That process is almost finished. As soon as he becomes a lawful permanent resident, he will become a qualifying family member for a green card application and for an application for 10year cancellation. His green card will give her two avenues to a green card. This is an excellent outcome.
One of our clients had come to the US on a summer travel work program, which allows qualifying foreign students to work and travel during their summer vacation. This person had at some point married a US citizen. The marriage had not worked out and his marriage based green card was denied. He was now illegally in the US. He then was offered an excellent job. His new employer offered to do an H1B visa for him, which is available to people who are doing professional work. We advised him to go to his home country to obtain his visa. He had to as he was completely out of status but had not yet triggered the bad time bars. He had consulted with numerous lawyers who had advised against leaving the US, worrying that he would not be issued the visa because of his failed marriage. We thought otherwise and strongly encouraged him to consular process. He was successful, and returned to the US. We were all very grateful.
We are so happy to report that one of our clients who went back to Mexico to consular process his green card application after he missed an immigration hearing due to inclement weather was able to overcome the 5 year "in abstentia" bar, due to our advocacy at the consulate.
Due to our proactive and intense advocacy at the US consulate in DVet Nam, one of our client's green card petition based on marriage was approved. The Consulate was questioning the validity of the marriage, even through the I130 was previously approved. We avoided a rescission and succeed with an approval by submitting a voluminous package containing proof of bonafidetness of the marriage.
A Brazilian pastor arrived in Cleveland as a tourist and was invited by a Portuguese church to stay on as a pastor to serve the Portuguese speaking community. The Boston church opened a branch in Cleveland. We were able to get the religious worker visa approved for our Brazilian pastor. We hope that the Church will continue to sponsor him for his green card.
Many of our clients enter the US by crossing the desert or river at the southern border. Such individuals have to return to their home country to get their green card if they are married to US citizens. If these people have been here for more than one year, they trigger a 10 year penalty to returning to the US. In such cases, we have to file a waiver to forgive the penalty. To succeed we have to prove hardship to the USC spouse. This is often difficult. However we have done this numerous times with a great rate of success. Most recently we were able to have the husband of a close friend of the office return to the US after being stranded in Mexico for 4 months. We were so happy.
The U visa is our favorite right now. It is available and will eventually result in a green card, for people who have been victims of certain crimes which they reported to the police. We were able to get our client released from jail, where he was held without bond pending his appeal. His wife had been the victim of a qualifying crime and had U visa approved. After the I visa is approved, you have to wait 3 years before you can apply for a green card. Our client is a derivative on his wife’s U visa, which according to recent guidelines allowed him to be released from Immigration Detention. He is now back to work and back to his family.
In another U visa case, our client was granted a green card numerous years after commencing his/her case.
In the current anti immigration environment, it is so nice to be able to report a good immigration result. We were deeply disappointed when we were unable to assist a close friend of the office who had married the love of her life, a foreigner. His visa was denied at the Consulate on Public Charge grounds. This recent anti immigration move by the Administration has created new obstacles for poorer people. All of a sudden it appeared to us that only rich people could marry and bring their spouses to the US. In our case, our US sponsor was deemed not to make enough money to sponsor her foreign spouse. A qualified joint sponsor was never a problem until now. Much to our chagrin, the Service refused to recognize our highly qualified joint sponsor. After an ardent fight with the consulate and with the assistance of Senator Portman, we were able to reverse the determination. The Consulate also changed its position on requiring us to refile the waiver. They have issued the immigrant visa. The foreign spouse is returning to the US within a week as a green card holder and the newly weds will live happily ever after.
The entire office celebrated the issuance of a bond to a client who was in Immigration custody for more than 4 months because of false criminal allegations. He has 5 children, one of whom is autistic. We were fortunate to have present at our trial one of the social workers overseeing the autistic child’s education. She cried during her entire testimony in support of our client’s extraordinary relationship with the autistic child. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Judge gave us a bond. His case is not yet finished but he is at home with his wife and children.
The U visa is an immigration path to green card, available to people who have been the victim of a crime. It requires that the crime be reported to the police and the police has to certify the incident, prior to the filing of the immigration papers work. It takes about 5 years from filing to approval of visa. After approval, the immigrant has to stay in U visa status for 3 years prior to filing for green card. I was on the phone with a Mexican girl the other day who told me that she was raped when she was 16 by a boy from school. She was invited to a party. The boy spiked her drink, took her out to his car, asked her to help him look for his home in the back seat. She was naïve. He locked the back doors with the child lock so she could not escape then raped her. She passed out, woke up in the hospital and was told what happened. So horrible. The U visa is a long immigration path, it takes roughly 8-10 years for a person on U visa to get a green card. In this case, we are able to get this person a green card through marriage so we don’t have to pursue the U visa. But I cannot imagine the permanent scars that this child bears as a result of a boys inhumanity. The U visa is a very good immigration path for those who were victims of crime.
One of our immigration lawyers was able to win a removal case, where the alien had divorced his Jordanian wife and married a US citizen, but then leaned from CIS that his divorce was fraudulent. His immigration case was made more complicated by the fact that he was now accused of misrepresentation. We had to get him a proper US divorce and refile his immigration case. In the end, the immigration attorney was able to persuade the immigration Judge that this alien was innocent of any intent to defraud the government. The failure to register the divorce was the misfeasance of his foreign lawyers. He now has a green card and his deportation case was permanently closed.
In a recent immigration case, one of our clients had a disorderly conduct conviction after we filed his citizenship. One of our attorneys was able to successfully argue that this disorderly conduct conviction and his prior criminal convictions did not constitute bad moral character and his citizenship application was approved. Sometimes hiring an immigration lawyer will make all the difference in the world.
In Grace vs. Whittaker, the Federal Court ruled that former Attorney General Sessions efforts to eradicate asylum claims based on gang violence and domestic violence violated existing immigration laws. The Government has to bring back to the US anyone deported based on the Sessions decision. This is a huge victory for immigration practitioners and for victims of domestic and gang violence
Sometimes, it appears, I do more than immigration. In this case, I introduced two guys, both immigration clients who lived in the same city. I thought they had a lot in common and could become friends. One of them was married, the other one, the loner, had simply worked since he got to the US and not built any meaningful ties other than his extremely successful business. These guys met. The married fellow introduced the other one to his sister. She is a green card holder. It was love at first sight. They came to see me, madly in love. Neither one of them had had much luck in love before and this meeting was euphoric. They live together and even have a dog. They are getting married, and while at it, my client will resolve his immigration situation and will be able to get his green card. So all will end well, and they will live happily ever after, I am sure!!
In one of our cases, we have an immigration client who filed for her green card through an immigration law known as The Violence Against Women’s Act. This client was married to USC with significant mental health issues. She was terrified by him. She stayed in the marriage because she was afraid to leave the marriage when she had no immigration status in the US. Her husband was institutionalized several time for suicidal inclinations and violent outburst. Despite that she, like many similarly situated people felt hopeless and desperate. Her choice seemed to be to stay in the abusive marriage in which her life was threatened, especially when her husband slept with a hatchet under his bed, or leave the marriage and save her live, but most likely never get immigration status and be deported. After consulting with us, she learned that she could file under VAWA. She did so, and we succeeded in not only getting her a green card, but most likely saving her life. Sadly this brings to mind a similar situation in which a potential client, contacted me from Chicago to ask for immigration assistance in a situation in which she was married to an abusive husband. She was a talented and highly educated person. Her husband became more and more possessive and jealous and abusive. The police prosecuted him and confiscated his guns. When she called me, she assured me she would she would move away from Chicago to a safe place. I told her TPO’s cannot protect you from someone who wants to kill you. She moved with friends to Milwaukee. When we didn’t hear back from her for a few weeks, I googled her name, to learn that her husband found her and hacked her to death with a hatchet. If you are an illegal immigrant and are in an abusive marriage to a US citizen or green card holder, be sure to consult a lawyer about leaving that marriage and filing for a green card under this wonderful law that seeks to protect you. This applies to both men and women seeking immigration status.
Expedited I-130/601A waiver/Interview/green card
This lovely family was experiencing extreme hardship wince the wife’s diagnosis of stage II pancreatic cancer. The immigrant husband, had lived in the US for years. We were hired to do all the immigration work, including the filing of the immigrant visa petition and the preparation and filing of the I601 immigration waiver. Everything was ready to go to the NVC, when the wife was diagnosed with stage two Pancreatic cancer. We had seen too many people die too quickly after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis and we very much wanted this couple to have a Christmas miracle and get the husband’s immigrant visa and green card as soon as possible. Through congressional help, we were able to get him to Mexico, fingerprinted, photographed with medical completed and an interview within days. He had his interview on Dec. 20, and received his green card packet the next day. He was home for Christmas. His green card will arrive in the mail very soon. Congratulations!
We represented a client who had immigrated from Canada and then came to the US as an investor. He was married and had several children. He had sought many opinions as to how to convert his E visa to a green card and thus immigrate. He was most concerned about his older child’s ability to immigrate. This child would soon emancipate and thus lose immigration status. The family was planning on remaining in the US permanently. They had consulted many immigration lawyers about their immigration options and were disappointed by the responses. Upon consulting us, we proposed that the spouse, who was the E1 owner of the business sponsor the other spouse as an employee, as long as the spouse was qualified for the position. The entire family would then qualify for green cards as dependents of the employee. The application was successful and the each member of the family now has green card.
We represented a Mexican immigration client with the most dramatic history. Her mother brought her to the US in 1992 , when she was only 11 years old. Her mother’s efforts to immigrate her were thwarted when she was the victim of a violent crime when she was kidnapped and sexually abused. Her kidnapper took her back to Mexico in 1995. He is still in prison. She managed to return to the United States in 1998 at the age of 17 and has since that time struggled to find an immigration solution to her terrible ordeal. She now has a severely handicapped wheel chair bound child. We were especially proud to win her Non LPR Cancellation of Removal case based on the fact that she was the single parent of her severally disabled, wheelchair bound child. She now has a green card, and hopefully will one day be a US citizen.
Two of the immigration law clerks who have been with us for more than one year have passed the bar and are being sworn in tomorrow. Congratulations to Lindsay Cook and Joseph Mamari on being sworn in and becoming Ohio. Each will make a fine immigration lawyer. We are so excited to have them aboard!!
In this anti immigration climate, any win is cause for celebration, particularly thorny cases. We were happy to celebrate the receipt of a citizenship by our Hungarian client and his family. About 7 years ago we were asked to intercede in a case which another attorney had botched. We had very tight time constraints to resolve the immigration situations with the USDOL. Employment based immigration first goes through the US Department of Labor. A company can sponsor an immigrant based on an offer of employment. In such a case, the application cannot be filed by a company until the US department of labor certifies that the petition can proceed through the immigration process. After taking over this very complicated case from the other attorney, we were able to fix all the problems with the USDOL and obtain timely certification, thus allowing the application to proceed through the immigration system. The Hungarian couple was facing deportation and we were able to resolve their removal case and obtain permanent resident status, or green cards. Five years later, the couple came back to seek assistance with obtaining U.S. citizenship. Now, both have passed their naturalization test and have been sworn in as U.S. citizens.
Our office was able ot reunite a Yemeni couple and their children after fighting the case for 15 years. The US husband had filed an immigrant petition for his wife and children. The wife had told an inconsequential lie to the Consulate at their first interview in order to preserve family honor. This lie caused the Consulate to make an adverse finding in the case and kept couple living apart for fifteen years. After numerous petitions and arguments, and various DNA tests we were able to convince the Consul of the legitimacy of the case and have the immigrant visa approved. Now, couple can finally enjoy their life together here in the United States as spouse was finally able to enter on an immigrant visa and obtain her green card. The children accompanied the mother.
We had the privilege to assist an extremely kind woman who was seeking immigration relief for her 2 adopted Mexican children. We advised her that because she was a US citizen she could file a green card application for her children. She had adopted these children years earlier when their mother was deported. The children had been living with her for a few years when the adoption was completed and they were now attending high school. In adoption cases, the children have to be living with the adoptive parent in a legal relationship for two years prior to filing for immigration benefits. The mother had never obtained guardianship when she enrolled the children in public school and thus we faced the challenge of convincing the Immigration Service that the prior years should be recognized and not further delay these children’s green cards. We successfully argued that the school, as an agency of the state recognized her as a guardian and that formed the requisite legal relationship. The argument was accepted and the I-130 immigrant visa petition was approved. Our client and her children had to travel to Mexico for the green card interviews. During that trip they were able to visit with their biological mother and siblings, much to everyone’s joy. The children’s immigration cases were approved and they received their green cards upon returning to the US. They were able to immediately file for derivative citizenship through their US mother and next time they traveled to Mexico, they did so with US passports.
Our Uruguay immigration client was married to a US citizen who was a police officer. He came to see us, after he was placed in deportation proceedings because his US citizen wife, who had initiated the process asking for his green card, changed her mind, and told the Immigration Service that the marriage was a sham.
We were astonished that a police officer would admit to entering into a sham marriage, or commiting fraud. But we were futher alarmed that this police officer went as far as threatening her husband with her service revolver during a family dispute. Based on the threats and the abuse we were able to prove to the Immigration Service that our client was a victim of physical and psychological abuse were successful in helping him obtain a green card under a law known as The Violence Against Women Act, aka, VAWA. This law allows an immigrant get a green card if that person was in a bona fide marriage to either a US citizen or a green card holder and suffered physical, psychological or emotional abuse in the course of that marriage.
Early in the morning of June 5, while the Corso immigration raid was underway, Pastor Elvin of Templo Genesaret located in Fremont and Norwalk, Ohio called us asking for immigration assistance. By the end of the day 112 people were arrested. They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, parents and children, brothers and sisters.
We immediately responded and on the evening of June 6, a legal team from Svetlana Schreiber and Associates drove 11/2 hours to Norwalk to meet with the affected family members and try to explain the immigration impact of the raid. We were the first lawyers to respond. There were well over 150 terrified, tearful, heartbroken family members in attendance. We sat down with each and every family member and discussed the individual immigration consequences and immigration possibilities resulting from these arrests. We explained that most of the people arrested were bond eligible and as we carefully reviewed each case, we determined that many people had the possibility of legally immigrating and becoming green card holders. Late at night, when the meeting finally ended, people left looking much relieved. It was a privilege to bring hope to a very dark situation.
AILA members document their experiences on the ground as they offer pro bono services to Central American detainees at the family detention center in Dilley, Texas. To find out more information, visit AILA’s CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project webpage
The Supreme Court has found section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. That means that the Immigration Service and U.S. embassies and consulates will adjudicate visa applications that are based on a same-sex marriage in the same way that they adjudicate applications for opposite gender spouses. This means that the same sex spouse of a visa applicant coming to the U.S. for any purpose – including work, study, international exchange or as a legal immigrant – will be eligible for a derivative visa. A same-sex marriage is now valid for immigration purposes, as long as the marriage is recognized in the "place of celebration." The validity of a marriage will depend on whether it was legally valid in the place of celebration, rather than the place of domicile. A same-sex marriage is valid for immigration purposes even if the couple intends ultimately to reside in one of the 37 states that do not recognize same-sex marriages. The same-sex marriage is valid even if the applicant is applying in a country in which same-sex marriage is illegal. This would apply for same sex fiancé visas as well. Stepchildren acquired through same sex marriages can also qualify as beneficiaries or for derivative Lastly, foreign same sex spouses of US citizens who are the victims of domestic violence, and have suffered physical, emotional or psychological abuse can file for benefits under VAWA, and if successful, obtain a green card.
We opened a new office in Painesville, Ohio
1 Victoria Place Suite 144 Painesville, OH 44127, Phone:440-354-2993, Fax: 440-354-4005
We are in Painsville Tuesday and Thursdays and on Saturdays by appointment. Call 216-621-7292 to get more information.
The office of Svetlana Schreiber & Associates announces that the recent Supreme Court decision, striking DOMA, has resulted in allowing same sex couples the privilege to pursue all the immigration benefits available to heterosexual couples. So if you are in a long term relationship and plan on getting married, please contact us to discuss your immigration options. You may also be able to use your same sex relationship to qualify for other immigration benefits, such as visa based on domestic abuse, or waivers proving hardship to your US spouse, or U visa, if a family member was victim of a crime. Call us for a free conference. Remember, we are in Painsville Tuesday and Thursdays and on Saturdays by appointment. Call 216-621-7292 to get more information.
Immigration Judge granted permanent resident status (through NonLPR Cancellation of Removal) to a client from Mexico whose daughter was born here in the United States without an arm. Immigration Judge granted misrepresentation waiver to a client from Mexico, who lied about his prior history in the United States in order to obtain a visitor visa. After some bad luck with another attorney, succeeded to obtain permanent resident status for an HIV positive client after terminating deportation proceedings. Succeeded in obtaining permanent resident status for a client, who was told by several other attorneys that he would not be able to get permanent resident status because of his criminal history. Succeeded in having immigration proceedings terminated for a lawful permanent resident after his criminal attorney successfully reopened his criminal case because of substantial legal errors made in prior criminal proceedings. Succeeded in obtaining cancellation of removal for a lawful permanent resident after his criminal convictions were successfully overturned because of legal errors.
ICE granted our Request for Stay for our Chiapas client and released him from jail, temporarily ending our 4 month battle to secure his release. After his arrest by ICE, we learned that he had a deportation order from 1994. Our Motion to Reopen was denied by the Miami Immigration Court for being filed so many years after the order. An appeal to the BIA also failed. Kudos to ICE for granting this Stay and releasing him, clearly showing adherence to the new guidelines. We provided a complex psychological report which described in detail the ramifications to the 4 US children of our client in the event of his deportation. Another family reunited for Christmas. We are privileged to be able to do this work and to bring so much joy to clients.
We are proud to report the grant of a green card to our Romanian client who was subject to a 212 e home stay requirement because she had originally come to the US on a Fulbright on a J visa. These waivers are almost impossible to get. However in this case, careful planning together with the detailed work of our attorney made winning this case a reality (after this client was told by at least 5 other lawyers that she would have to go to Romania for the requisite 2 years and that getting the waiver was impossible).
Today an Egyptian family won its long fought deportation case. One of the members was granted a green card based on 3 year, VAWA cancellation. Another member was granted Withholding of Removal and the third member was granted asylum. This family had been in the US illegally for many years before being placed in proceedings. We would not have succeeded without the assistance of Middle East country conditions expert Shaul Gabbay.
Now we also serve Romanian Comunity in Chicago!
Tuesday of October 25th 2011, from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM and
Wednesday 26th 2011 12:00 PM to 6:00PM we will be at the:
Romanian Heritage Center in the Chicago area
at: 7777 N. Caldwell Avenue, Suite 103 & 106
Niles, IL 60714
directions and some pictures at: www.Ro-Am.NET
The Cleveland Immigration Court granted ten year cancellation of removal to a Mexican mother of four United States Citizen children. The mother has resided in the United States since she was only fourteen years old. Most of family were already residing in the United States legally when she came to the United States. Her family has been her support system throughout the years. All of her children have health issues. She has very limited ties to Mexico today and, as she has lived the majority of her life in the United States, she knows very little about Mexico and its culture today. For these as well as other reasons, the judge granted ten year cancellation believing the children would suffer exceptional hardship in Mexico as the mother could not be able to provide for them there.
A Guatemalan father of a severely disabled child with a final order of removal was granted a stay by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The father is being released from ICE custody and will be under an Order of supervision. In granting the stay, ICE recognized the importance of allowing the father to remain in the United States for the sake of his disabled child. Our thanks goes out to all the ICE officers here in Cleveland for their compassion, understanding and hard work in this matter.
The Material on this Website is intended to be for educational and entertainment purposes only. This information does not constitute legal advice. The law is constantly changing and the information may not be complete or correct depending on the date of the article and how it may affect your particular legal problem. Each legal problem depends on its individual facts. You should not act or rely on any information on this Website without seeking the advice of a competent attorney licensed to practice law for your particular problem.