An individual can request asylum in the U.S. if that individual has been persecuted or has a well-founded fear of future persecution in their home country on account of his or her political opinion; religion; race; nationality or membership in a particular social group. Asylum protection can be sought affirmatively before the USCIS/Asylum Office or defensively before an Immigration Judge in removal proceedings. Asylum should be filed within one year of an individual’s entry into the U.S. and an individual’s spouse and children within the U.S. can be included on the application.
The firm has sought and obtained asylum for clients from all over the world, including Iran, Iraq, China, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Vietnam, Mauritania, Somalia, Uganda, Senegal, Cameroon, Kenya, Cuba, India, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Pakistan just to name a few. By maintaining up-to-date resources documenting instances of persecution in specific countries as well as the use of expert testimony, the Firm uses these resources to supplement the testimony of its clients. Before each interview or hearing, an attorney fully prepares the client’s testimony and assembles and files all supporting evidence in a timely and proper manner. The firm has also been successful in overturning previous asylum denials before the Board of Immigration Appeals and Federal Courts of Appeal.
In addition to asylum and the related relief of withholding of removal and protection under the U.N. Convention against Torture, the firm has also successfully sought and obtained other forms of humanitarian relief on behalf of its clients, including, but not limited to the following:
DACA was announced on June 15, 2012 by President Obama and currently remains in effect despite the new administration. DACA provides protection from deportation and employment authorization to certain qualifying individuals, if established that they: arrived in the United States prior to turning 16 years of age; have lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007; were not older than 31 years of age on June 15, 2012. Finally, the applicant must show they are currently enrolled in school or have already graduated from high school or obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged by the United States military. The individual must further establish they have not been convicted of a disqualifying crime including a felony; significant misdemeanor; or multiple (3 or more) misdemeanors. If granted DACA, an individual may in certain limited circumstances seek permission to travel outside the U.S. for a brief visit.
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security may designate certain countries for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent citizens of the country from safely returning. These conditions generally relate to war or civil strife as well as natural disasters. The Firm has helped numerous individuals obtain and renew TPS status, which in turn gives them authorization to remain and work lawfully in the U.S.
The Firm has helped numerous minors obtain lawful permanent resident status through the SIJS program, even when the child has entered the U.S. unlawfully or is in removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge. The SIJS process is a complex, multi-step process which begins with obtaining an order from the appropriate State Court containing very specific findings that are required by USCIS. Our firm is unique in that our attorneys are experienced and can represent these individuals before both the State Court as well as before USCIS and the Immigration Court in pursuit of SIJS.
Under VAWA spouses and children of United States, citizens may file their own petition if they were battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by their United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent. Unlike traditional family-based immigration filings relief under VAWA can be self-petitioned without the involvement of the United States Citizen or LPR spouse. The Firm has helped a number of individuals obtain lawful permanent resident status through VAWA and is extremely well versed in these special cases.
U visas are available for victims of certain qualifying crimes who suffered substantial harm as a result of the crime and who cooperated with law enforcement throughout the investigation and prosecution. Spouses and children can be included as derivatives on a U visa application. U visa holders can pursue adjustment of status, if otherwise eligible, three years after approval of their U visa.