Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC is a full-service immigration law practice that provides legal advice and representation to people and companies in the United States. The firm has over 80 years of combined legal experience among its attorneys and serves its clients from offices in Cleveland, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, Columbus, Minneapolis, and Raleigh. Contact us here to schedule a consultation to discuss your needs.
TABLE OF CONTENTS (CLICK ONE TO VIEW THE STORY):
Young Woman Renews her DACA
Nigerian Man Extra Two Years
Indian Man Granted Green Card
DACA Issued to Canadian Child
Child DACA Second Attempt
Man From Costa Rica Obtains DACA
DACA Approval Saves From Removal
Entered as a Student; Qualifies for DACA
Bright Future for 3 Brothers
DACA Renewal for Mexican Siblings
Successful DACA Renewal
Inspiring Youth to Apply for College
Working Legal with DACA and Work Authorization
Peruvian of Chinese Heritage Wins DACA
Jamaican Youth Cares for Mother
Conviction Vacated – Client Gets DACA
DACA in Under Three Months
Recipient Enjoy Her Growing Family
Legally Looking For Work
Peruvian in US Since Age Seven
After Years of Living in Fear
American Dream No Longer Deferred
DACA For Bright Young Mexican
Guatemalan Daughter DACA Renewal
Two Brothers from Mexico Obtain DACA – Right to Renew Restored
Two brothers crossed the U.S.-Mexican border when they were little boys, unaware that their presence—and their parents’ striving for a better life for them—constituted a crime. Over the past 20 years that they have lived in the U.S., they have experienced an inner battle in trying to know who they are: American or Mexican. The beautiful thing about this country is that one’s nationality, race, sex, age or religion do not prohibit one from achieving the American dream through hard work and persistence—or so the two young men were told growing up. Their diplomas, awards, and years of growing up in the American school system were denied by the fact that their birth certificates don’t reflect their American identity. Obtaining Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was a way of coming up for air after having been underwater all their lives in an ocean of uncertainty. They were able to catch their breath, but they were not yet on a boat back to land. DACA allowed them to work legally, have a Social Security number, open a bank account, and have something as simple as a state ID. Most importantly, DACA provided them with the chance to dream. Their frustrated mother called us at the end of the DACA program last year. We helped her two sons renew their DACA status for the last time. They received their last DACA approval notices in September last year. The road to their American dream was supposed to be built on persistence and hard work. But 20 years after that DACA journey, the two brothers’ dream appeared to be a prohibited one. While in September 2017, the Justice Department rescinded DACA, the January 2018 decision by a federal judge decided the rescinding itself should be blocked until various court cases could be decided. So now our two clients may yet see their DACA renewal.
Young Woman Renews Her DACA in just over three months
Our client, Ms. L, who is a beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, commonly known as DACA, came to our office seeking help to renew her I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and I-765 Application for Employment Authorization. We were glad to help. We worked with her and quickly put together and submitted applications to USCIS. We received receipt notices, and within weeks Ms. L had been scheduled for a biometric appointment. She went in, did her biometrics, and within 87 days, her applications had been approved. Ms. L was delighted with how smooth the entire process was, she would be back in 2018, when her current DACA will be renewed.
We congratulate Ms. L on her successful renewal as well as the hardworking team at Margaret W. Wong & Associates who diligently tend to all the immigration needs of clients. (Back to Top)
Nigerian Man Renews DACA, Giving Himself an Additional Two Years to Build a Better Future
Mr O is a young man who was born in Nigeria but moved to the USA with his family when he was only 2 years old. He was unfortunately not able to maintain a legal status in this country but found a little hope when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival was put in action. He hired our firm on October 2016 to proceed with the renewal of his DACA status. We filed his application on 11/06/2016 and his DACA was renewed on 12/16/2016 for a period of two years. Mr O can continue to study and work in the USA to build for himself a better future. (Back to Top)
Indian Man Granted Green Card Through DACA and Marriage to US Citizen
Mr P. a citizen of India and his US Citizen wife retained our office in April 2015 to file for Mr P. DACA Travel document, and for his Permanent Resident status as the Spouse of a US Citizen. Mr P was born in 1990 in India, and he came to the USA in March 1993. He was a very young child and never left the USA since then. Our firm filed successfully his travel document application and Mr P was able to return to the USA as a DACA parolee. Upon his return, we immediately filed his Petition as a Spouse of a US Citizen and his adjustment of status applications as well. The couple had an interview on September 26, 2016 and the following day, Mr P was granted Legal Permanent Residency in the USA.(Back to Top)
DACA Issued to a Child from Canada
P.K. entered the US in 2004 at the age of four from Canada, which is his Country of birth. He lived with his uncle and started his studies in this country. When he and his father contacted our office on 10/21/2015 to help him file for his DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), he was in the tenth grade.
His father and mother did not have any status in the US. They lived in Canada, where they had a good business.
One month later both P.K.'s I-821D, the Application for Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and I-765, the Application for Employment Authorization, were filed. Our client is happy today, as his DACA passed and the Employment authorization was issued to him.(Back to Top)
Child from India Gets DACA on Second Attempt
B.P. is a citizen of India who entered the United States prior to 16 years of age. In August 2015, he filed I-821D, Application for Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) with the assistance of his prior attorney. His I-821D application had remained pending since then by the time he retained our office to assist him with the case in early April 2016. His DACA application was previously denied by USCIS in 2015 so this was his second application for DACA.
Our office filed a mandamus complaint with the Federal Court in the Central District of California to compel USCIS to adjudicate the application. After the complaint was filed, USCIS issued a request for additional evidence to which we responded promptly. The application was approved in July 2016.(Back to Top)
Man from Costa Rica Patiently Obtains DACA, Planning to Marry, but Not Ready; Got His Green Card after His Marriage
A young man from Costa Rica entered the United States at the age of eight on a B-2 Visitor Visa. His visitor visa expired and he fell out of status but he remained in the United States his whole life, went to high school and graduated, and fell in love. He knew that, with a lawful admission into the United States, he could obtain a green card after marrying his U.S. citizen girlfriend, but he did not want to rush the relationship to expand his immigration options. We helped him to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) so that he could remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation, and obtain an employment authorization document. His DACA and accompanying EAD were approved, and he was able to obtain a driver’s license and social security card and live without fear of removal from the United States.
A year or so later, he and his girlfriend decided it was time to take the next step in their relationship and get married. We helped his new wife petition for him by filing I-130 Petition for Alien Relative with USCIS. We concurrently filed his I-485 Application to Adjust Status, along with all necessary supporting documents. We helped the couple prepare and feel comfortable for the interview for the marriage-based green card. Before long, the Costa Rican native received his Welcome Notice from the USCIS National Benefits Center, notifying him of his approval for permanent residence, and setting him up to begin his new, rooted life in the United States with his family.(Back to Top)
DACA Approval Saves Young Man from Hong Kong in Removal Proceedings
Mr. W came to the U.S. from Hong Kong when he was 9 years old. He and his family overstayed their visas. Mr. W’s other family members managed to gain green cards or citizenship, but unfortunately Mr. W could not. When he came to Margaret Wong and Associates back in 2009, he was already in removal proceedings. He retained us only to help his Lawful Permanent Resident parents and his U.S. citizen brother file I-130 Immigrant Petitions for him.
While preparing the petitions, it became clear to us that things weren’t going well in Mr. W’s immigration court proceedings. We immediately ordered copies of his court records and took over his case. Our attorneys decided to file a “Non-LPR Cancellation of Removal.” It would be a tough case, but it was Mr. W’s best chance. At the moment, none of the I-130 petitions filed on his behalf had priority dates that would be current any time soon.
Things went along slowly. Sometimes Mr. W became frustrated with the whole process. This was understandable. He could barely remember his few years of childhood outside the U.S. He had grown up here, gone to school here, and even graduated from college in the U.S.
Then, in 2012, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) passed! Although Mr. W was currently older than 21, he had entered before 2007, and before he was 16 years old. Margaret Wong filed a DACA petition on Mr. W’s behalf, and armed with the new DACA elegibility asked the USDHS to use prosecutorial discretion and administratively close his removal.
Now Mr. W is comfortable with his DACA status. His removal proceedings are closed. He has an EAD card that allows his to work and drive legally while he waits for one of his I-130 petitions to become current so that he can apply for his green card. It’s been tough for Mr. W, since he has been in the U.S. since he was a child, but with his DACA approval there is light at the end of the tunnel.(Back to Top)
Woman from China Entered as a Student; Qualifies for DACA
Our client entered the US on an L-2 visa, which means her parents came to the US legally to work, and she accompanied them, and attended high school here legally. However, after her L-2 visa expired, she didn't seek change of status, nor did she return to China. When she was 20, an immigration judge ordered her removed in absentia, and she entered the realm of being an undocumented resident, a status she continued to hold until President Obama's administration announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for certain people without status who came to the United States as children. She hired our firm at the age of 29, as she qualified for the DACA program. We filed a FOIA requesting all the information the government had on her case, and discovered her final order, for which we immediately filed a Motion to Reopen and Terminate. This motion DHS denied, so we filed a Joint Motion to Reopen, and also filed I-765 Application for Work Authorization and the I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Both filings were transferred to the Nebraska Service Center, which, because it has lower volume of other immigration cases, processes some filing types with relative expedience compared to the overburdened service centers, and within three months both filings were approved. Our client now has her work authorization and DACA deferred action.(Back to Top)
Bright Future for 3 Brothers after DACA
DACA has helped thousands of young immigrants achieve their dreams. DACA recipients receive work permits and can apply for jobs that would have otherwise been out of their reach. They can apply for driver’s licenses. They can live without fear of deportation. They can hope for a better future.
DACA did just that for three brothers in their late teens and early twenties. Originally from Hong Kong, the brothers came to the United States on B-2 visitor visas with their parents in the mid-90s and settled in New York. The brothers all excelled in school and dreamed of career success one day. However, without papers, it was just that, a dream.
Then, in 2012, the Obama administration announced the DACA program. The brothers visited our office New York City with their father. We began gathering documents that proved their eligibility, such as school and tax records, birth certificates, and passports. By Christmas of 2012, they had received their I-821D DACA approvals and work permits. Two years later, we followed up with the brothers and filed for their DACA renewals, much easier this time around as we already knew them so well.
The brothers were grateful to guidance provided by Margaret W. Wong & Associates. They are happy that DACA has provided them with more stability in their lives and a path to a brighter future.(Back to Top)
DACA Renewal for Mexican Brother and Sister
Shortly after President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, two teenagers, a brother and a sister, came to our office to find out if they were eligible. They had been born in Mexico but spent most of their lives in the United States. They were thriving in their school and their community yet the fear of deportation hung over them like a cloud. The United States was the only home they had ever known and they had so many more opportunities here.
Fortunately, the siblings were eligible for DACA. We worked on gathering school and medical records as well as birth certificates and passports to demonstrate their presence in the United States. By Halloween of 2012, both of them had received their I-821 D DACA approvals and I-765 work permits. Two years later we reconnected with the siblings and filed their DACA renewal applications. Once again, the process was smooth and they received their approvals and work permits within two months. The siblings thank Margaret W. Wong and Associates for giving them the opportunity to pursue their own American dreams.(Back to Top)
Successful DACA Renewal
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was started by the Obama administration in June of 2012. DACA applications are approved for a period of two years. That means that many of the applications we had approved in the early stages of the program are now up for renewal, and we are pleased to report that the renewal process is going smoothly.
Ms. B, of Mexico, entered the U.S. without inspection as a child. She’s now in her early 20’s and works in a law office. She was one of our first (of many) DACA applicants back in 2012. She was granted a notice of deferred action and a work authorization card good until November of 2014. We filed her renewal in June of 2014, and it was recently approved.
Ms. B’s new notice of deferred action and work authorization are good until late 2016. Remember, if you currently are a DACA recipient and have work authorization, be sure to file for renewal well in advance. USCIS recommends that you file 120 days (but no more than 150 days) before expiration of your current DACA in order to avoid any lapse.(Back to Top)
DACA and Work Authorization Inspires Youth to Apply for College
A young high school student came to see us with his father, interested in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and work authorization. The boy was 15 years old and had come to the United States from India as a two year old. He had lived his whole life in the United States without any status. The young man would soon turn 16 and was hoping to finally get a driver’s license like all of his friends. He and his family were also starting to worry about how he would go to college, with no status and no valid identification, social security number, or anything else one needs to fill out a college application. We worked with them to show that the young man had been in the US for nearly entire life. We filed Form I-821D and I-765 along with numerous supporting documents to show that the boy met the DACA requirements. After about five months, we were able to get him DACA and authorization to work in the United States. We recently filed for renewal of his DACA and work authorization, and were successful. The young man is fulfilling his dreams and applying to college, and his parents couldn’t be happier.(Back to Top)
Macedonian Woman Working Legal with DACA and Work Authorization
A young Macedonian woman came to see us at the age of 21. She had come into the United States on a B-2 visitor visa as a very young girl, but overstayed her visa. She wanted to be able to start her adult life in the U.S. with identification, a social security number, and all of the opportunities these basic things give to so many of us. We determined that she was eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and that, through this, she would be able to get her work authorization. We worked hard with her to show that she had come to the U.S. before 2007 and before the age of 16, as well as to show she had remained present in the US since that time. We were able to get her DACA as well as work authorization within 6 months. She was able to then go on to obtain a job that matched her education level. We recently helped her obtain a renewal of her DACA and work permit. She was a bit nervous about the process, but was so excited to see that, yet again, we were able to get her the immigration relief she needed.(Back to Top)
Peruvian of Chinese Heritage in US Most of His Life Wins DACA I-821D Approval
A young ethnically Chinese man from Peru came to see us in our New York office with his parents. He had initially entered the U.S. on a B-2 visitor visa with his parents and overstayed. Now, he was in high school, and having known the U.S. as his home for nearly his whole life, wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to obtain Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). We worked with him, his parents, and his school, to obtain everything we needed to file the I-821D and I-765 applications with the necessary supporting documents. In just two months, the DACA I-821D approval and work permit arrived. The young man and his family were extremely happy.(Back to Top)
Jamaican Youth Cares for Mother Back Home; Still Wins DACA Approval
A young man from Jamaica, who had lived in the United States since age nine, came to us for help filing for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Work Authorization. He had a difficult case, as he had spent approximately one year outside of the United States, while DACA requires the person have been physically present in the US continuously since June 15, 2007. His case received a Request for Evidence (RFE) from USCIS due to this issue. We were able to gather documents and evidence showing that he had spent the time in Jamaica helping his sick mother, and that he returned to the U.S. to finish high school immediately thereafter. This meant we could show that his departure from the U.S. during that time period was “brief, casual and innocent,” making him nonetheless eligible for DACA. Within a week of submitting our response to the Request for Evidence, his DACA was approved and he also received his work permit.(Back to Top)
Conviction Vacated Due to Lack of Immigration Advisement - Client Gets DACA
Our client came to us to file for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA"). However, he was ineligible due to a recent DUI. We filed a motion to vacate the conviction arguing that the Court did not comply with the Ohio statute requiring the court to give the immigration advisement. Although the possible immigration consequences were set forth on the plea form signed by our client, we argued that the court must personally give the advisement. The judge ultimately agreed with our position. In January 2013, the court granted our motion to withdraw the plea. Scott Bratton handled the case.(Back to Top)
DUI Vacated, Foreign Born Woman Now Enjoys DACA
Our client came to us to file for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA"). However, she was ineligible due to a recent DUI. We filed a motion to vacate the conviction arguing that the Court did not comply with the Ohio statute requiring the court to give the immigration advisement. In February 2013, the judge agreed that the plea should be vacated and granted our motion. Scott Bratton and Chela Marquez handled the case.(Back to Top)
Columbus, Ohio, Woman from Mexico Was Approved for DACA in Under Three Months
A Mexico woman came to our Columbus office to inquire about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. After explaining the benefits and eligibility requirements for this program, she retained our firm to file her DACA application. After gathering all of the necessary documentation to prove our client's presence in the United States, we filed the application. Our client's DACA was approved in just under three months. She is very happy, and has enrolled in a cosmetology program, now that she is able to work and save money for school.(Back to Top)
DACA Recipient Can Now Enjoy Her Growing Family, Waiting for Her USC Son to Apply for Her Permanent Residency When He Reaches Majority
In August 2012, a young, Mexican, single mother came to our Columbus office to seek Ms. Wong's help. She had been in the US from a young age but had no legal status. She had crossed the border with her parents and now, as a legal adult, wanted to do something to ensure her presence in the only country she considered home. As her 5 year old son was a US citizen she wanted the security of knowing that she could stay by his side. Ms. Wong advised her that eventually her son would be able to sponsor her for permanent residence, but not until he turned 21. Initially disappointed, Ms. Wong pointed out to her that she qualified for the new Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) policy. She would, however, have to enroll in a GED program. The young woman was already taking classes in cosmetology school and she was convinced that she could pass the GED exam. After helping her locate a good GED program that fitted in with her schedule, our client signed up for the exam. Elated, she contacted our office in late September to tell us she had passed. Over the course of October we put together the filing – compiling evidence of her continuous presence in the US, her presence on June 15, 2012, and her successful completion of the GED. We filed in late October and received the approval in mid-January 2013. The granting of deferred action ensured that our client would remain with her son here in the US and that she could work legally to support him. During the process our client discovered that she was expecting another child, adding to her delight at the decision to seek out Ms. Wong's help in the first place.(Back to Top)
DACA Recipient Now Legally Looking for Work
A client who had been in the US since childhood came to us for help applying for DACA. He had a misdemeanor petty theft charge from when he was a teenager for which he served no time in jail. We worked with the client and his family to prepare his DACA I-821D application packet along with I-765 Application for Employment Authorization and we performed legal research about his past criminal issue. We wrote a brief to USCIS explaining that his criminal misdemeanor did not disqualify him for DACA eligibility. The client's DACA application was approved within two months. He now has been able to get his driver's license and a social security card. He is happily looking for employment now that he is authorized to work legally.(Back to Top)
Peruvian in the US since Age Seven, Approved for DACA, Attending College
An 18 year-old young man originally from Peru came to us for help with his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application. In support of his application, we were able to prove that he came to the U.S. at the age of seven, continuously resided in the U.S. ever since that since. We also showed that he had graduated from high school. We explained the reasons for the client's eligibility for DACA, including that he had no criminal record. We also filed I-765 so that he could receive work authorization. Within a month, the client's DACA and work authorization were approved. He is now a full time student at a well-known state university, and doing very well.(Back to Top)
After years of living in fear, a young Indian man obtains DACA
A 23 year-old Indian client came to us interested in acquiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) but he was very fearful of any immigration consequences. The young man had been detained soon after his entry into the US, and jailed for almost a year, as a young child. His prolonged detention was because of his previous attorney’s ineffective assistance of counsel. The young man had spent his life hiding from ICE, afraid of going to jail again. He even went so far as using a fake name all the time, to protect himself. We were able to help him obtain DACA, although proving his presence in the United States for DACA eligibility was very difficult since he had used a false name on most of his documents proving his presence in the United States. With the use of extensive documentation and several affidavits, we were able to help our client finally win and leave his fear behind, as a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.(Back to Top)
American Dream No Longer Deferred for DACA DREAMer
Exactly two years ago, a twenty year old undocumented foreign born woman, on her birthday, visited our offices, requesting (in Spanish) we seek documentation for her. She had come here as a child, and she wished to establish permanent residency. We told her she may apply under the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, and we would first seek Deferred Action, and then a Green Card. Her mother and grandfather had previously applied for Green Cards with our firm. Her mother had been approved and won her Green Card, but her grandfather had not been approved immediately -- however we appealed the denial, and won him his Green Card fifteen months later.
Now was our newest client's (the daughter / granddaughter of our previous clients) turn to seek her Green Card. Rather than the I-485 Adjustment of Status, the DACA case begins with the I-821D, the "Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,to request that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) exercise prosecutorial discretion in his or her favor under the Deferred Action for Childhood Anivals (DACA) process, including consideration for Renewal of deferred action." We then needed to gather the proof that she had been in country during the time specified. We emailed her an affadavit she could have friends and family use to attest they knew her during that time. She also needed to gather records such as library records showing she had been in the US continuously during that time. She appeared at court for her fingerprints.
Then, right on cue, USCIS requested "evidence" of her residency: Continuous Residence for the previous 5 years; employment records; rent receipts, utility bills, or letters from service companies stating which months service was received; school records from schools attended in the US; military records such as Form DD-214, Certificate of Release, or Discharge from Active Duty; hospital or medical records concerning treatment or hospitalization; religious records showing participation in rites (baptism, first communion, or wedding); and further proof of residence upon a particular date. We got that information assembled and returned within a few weeks. In the meantime, we filed her I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, and she received her approval within a timely period. Within a few weeks more, our client received her approval notice, that states "Deferred Action is an exercise of prosecutorial discretion by USCIS not to pursue removal of an individual from the United States for a specific period (that period being two years).
So the race was on. Now she was temporarily "documented." Within a short time, we filed the I-485 Adustment of Status and the I-131 Application for Travel Document. A short time after that, USCIS sent the I-485 RFE, requesting our Client's Sponsor's tax documents. We gathered those, and sent them in. Within a few more months, we received the I-485 IN -- the Interview Notice.
We then assigned the case to Bao Nguyen, Esq., who prepped the client, during which he tells her what she can expect, assures her to be calm and "just be honest." Bao arranged for a translator to be present, and for our Client's mother to be present, as her mother's father's I-130 on behalf of her mother was approved previously, and our Client's mother was her petitioner. During the interview, the officer had a few questions. Bao assured him it was okay, but the officer was not sure. It was possible our Client could have been a derivative on her mother's I-130, as our Client was not 21 at that time, but the officer was not sure this was true. The officer had to make sure. Bao was right -- everthing was in order. Within two weeks, our Client had her I-485 AN -- Approval Notice, and a few days later, her I-485 WN -- Welcome Notice. And then her Green Card. This was the end of a long journey for this hard-working family.(Back to Top)
DACA for bright young Mexican
A Mexican national was under the age of 16 when she entered the United States. She had gone to school in this country and had even obtained a high school diploma. This bright young individual came to our law firm seeking assistance in her immigration matters. Our firm explained to her that she qualified for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”). She asked our firm to help her and we were retained. The DACA application was prepared and filed. Within a few short months, she received her approval notice. She was so happy to be able to lawfully stay in the United States and to work lawfully as well. Our firm was happy to assist another bright young individual.(Back to Top)
DACA RENEWAL FOR GUATEMALAN DAUGHTER
A Guatemalan family came to our firm in March 2017 in hopes of bettering their status in the United States. The daughter had an upcoming DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) expiration, so we filed an I-821D (consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Every DACA holder is required to apply for employment authorization, so we filed an I-765 for the daughter to obtain her work permit. Both were filed in May of 2017, and one month later, the renewal was approved, allowing the daughter to remain with her parents. We also advised the father on giving him status, so we are currently helping the father apply for 10-year cancellation because had has remained in the United States for more than ten years and has a qualifying relative. The first step to 10-year cancellation is asylum, so we are working hard to prepare the filing for the father, while her daughter safely remains in status. (Back to Top)