The following presentation is just a screening in the immigration practice category:
1. Adjustment of Status and Residency.
Adjustment of status refers to the process of becoming a lawful permanent resident. The most popular form of adjustment is family based. The beneficiary must have a qualifying relationship with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
One of the most common family based categories or relationships are spousal and parent-child. In this situation, if a U.S. citizen spouse or parent sponsors the beneficiary, then the beneficiary may qualify as an immediate relative for whom a visa is immediately available. Adjustment of status can also be applied for during removal or deportation proceedings as a defense in those proceedings. One must qualify and be otherwise eligible.One must have entered the U.S. legally unless one has qualified for amnesty and timely filed for permanent residency. When an application for adjustment is filed in removal proceedings, the Immigration Judge and not the immigration service will decide whether or not to grant the adjustment.As your attorney in the removal proceedings, the DOLF will prepare and file your adjustment package in immigration court. The DOLFwill then present evidence to the judge at your individual calendar hearing in support of your eligibility. If the judge should approve your adjustment, then you will become a lawful permanent resident and the removal proceedings will be terminated.The DOLF will help you navigate through the immigration tempest.
2. Removal Appeals (Criminal Convictions).
The DOLF handles appeals from denials of adjustment of status by the Citizenship and Immigration Services; appeals from orders of removal issued by the immigration courts because of previous criminal convictions. The DOLF also defends clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies being aggravated or otherwise, always mindful of the immigration consequences that these charges carry. See Criminal Practice.The DOLF will help you navigate through the immigration and criminal tempests alike.
3. Criminal Post-Conviction Relief.
The DOLF will generally file at least one or more of the following motions in representing both citizens and non-citizen clients who have been convicted of crimes having adverse consequences as part of removal and post conviction relief practice:
- Motions to Reduce Felony Convictions to Misdemeanors may eliminate the adverse consequences of felony convictions for all purposes. Reduction can also eliminate the adverse immigration consequences of felony convictions that could have been used for removal/deportation purposes.
- Motions to Modify Convictions may be brought for non-citizens whenever their prior criminal convictions are classified by the Citizenship and Immigration Service as aggravated felonies. Such convictions may result in permanent removal/ deportation from the U.S.
- Motions to Expunge Prior Criminal Convictions may be granted only after successful completion of probation; however, the conviction does remain on your criminal record and does not eliminate adverse immigration consequences.
- Motions to Destroy Records of Persons Factually Innocent may be brought in any case where a person has been arrested and/or prosecuted but where no conviction occurred. This motion requests the court to make a finding that the person is factually innocent of the charges for which he or she was arrested.
- Motions to Vacate Criminal Convictions are among the most important and effective tools that the DOLF has to defend a foreign born client in immigration court removal/deportation proceedings. This motion to vacate is filed in the California state court where the criminal conviction occurred.
The DOLF will help you navigate through the immigration and criminal tempests alike.
3. Deferred Inspection Advice.
Deferred Inspection occurs upon arrival to the United States at designated points of entry, all foreign nationals, including legal permanent residents, are inspected for admission, such as, primary, secondary, and deferred. If the inspector requires more information, then one may be placed in secondary or deferred inspection.A deferred inspection is required when the inspector cannot admit the arriving legal permanent resident at the time of entry because there exist legal problems or suspected violations with the immigration documents.Typical problems involving legal permanent residents returning to the U.S. include remaining or residing outside of the U.S. for too long, or having been convicted of crimes after becoming legal permanent residents that now make their returning inadmissible.If the inspector decides to place one in deferred inspection, there are several options, including taking you into custody if the officer determines that one may be a flight risk, or granting parole to enter the U.S.If granted parole one will then receive a notice from the immigration customs and border patrol for your appointment to appear at your local immigration office for a deferred inspection. You must attend this appointment in order to avoid the consequence of being placed directly into removal proceedings.If this were to happen to you, the DOLF will immediately appear with you at the designated inspecting office to straigthen out your situation and try to prevent your placement in removal proceedings.The DOLF will help you navigate through the immigration tempest.
5. Naturalization (Citizenship).
Naturalization is the process whereby a lawful permanent resident who has resided in the U.S. for five, or three years in the case of marriage to a U.S. citizen, applies for citizenship.In addition to the residency requirements, there is also the requirement that a resident seeking to become a U.S. citizen must demonstrate good moral character. In the case of a resident immigrant with prior criminal convictions, establishing good moral character can be difficult.Remember that the DOLF will file motions in the criminal courts to vacate, modify, or expunge those prior convictions, so that they no longer can be used by the immigration service to deny your naturalization on lack of good moral character grounds.The DOLF will help you navigate through the immigration tempest.
6. Removal and Deportation Defense.
The DOLF will generally employ the following defenses in representing non-citizen clients who have been placed in removal proceedings:
- Elimination of Criminal Convictions may prevent deportation because they provide the basis for removal proceedings, i.e., motions to vacate the convictions. See Criminal Post-Conviction Relief.
- Cancellation of Removal allows for another important legal remedy for both permanent and non-permanent residents who are in immigration court removal proceedings.
- If one does not qualify as a permanent resident, then Cancellation of Removal as a non-permanent resident may still be available to you even if you are not a legal permanent resident.
- Suspension of Deportation requires the use of waivers against excludability, inadmissibility, and deportability such as the recently revived waiver under section 212(c) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act, for relief even from aggravated felony convictions, which occurred before April 1996.
- 212(i) and 212(h) Waivers may be used for those who may have committed fraud or made material misrepresentations in an immigration application process or may have committed crimes involving moral turpitude.
- Adjustment of Status to permanent residence may be used in immigration removal proceedings to avoid deportation, if you have not sustained an aggravated felony conviction after April 24, 1996.
- Asylum applications and Withholding of Deportation may be available if you have a well-founded fear of persecution by the government in your home country.
- Convention Against Torture may provide relief from removal, even if you have sustained an aggravated felony conviction.
- Voluntary Departure may, if granted by the immigration judge, help avoid a removal order and thereby allow you to return to the U.S. without a mandatory five-year bar of reentry, which would otherwise result from a removal or deportation order.
The DOLF will help you navigate through the immigration tempest.
*A self-given title, inspired by the munificence of Prometheus, as evidenced by his sympathy for the plight of humanity, his fidelity to what is "right" requiring his opposition to untested and harsh tyrannical rules