[Please note: The Client’s name and case key details may have been altered to preserve the identity of the client. This Success Story is not intended to be an offer of service or case plan. Every case is unique. The Success Story is presented for information purposes only.]
In 1992, when he was eighteen years old, Dathan fled El Salvador due to gang warfare. He then trekked to the United States where he sought refuge as an EWI (entry without inspection) and eventually established a home in Boulder, Colorado.
In 1994, Dathan filed for asylum based on him getting shot in the leg when he was only sixteen, but his application was denied a year later based on the belief that the turmoil in El Salvador had ended and he would be safe if he returned. Therefore, Dathan was instructed to return to his homeland within a very short time.
For sure, Dathan appealed the decision, particularly since he had just become the father of a beautiful daughter named Annette, born in Boulder and therefore a United States citizen.
To no surprise, the appeal was denied but for Annette’s sake and for his own safety, Dathan chose not to abide it. Instead, he stayed in Colorado so he could continue to see Annette and provide support to her and her mother.
In 2001, Dathan applied for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) which was granted to him because conditions in Central America had considerably worsened. Over the years, Dathan’s TPS, along with his employment authorization document, was continually renewed, so he settled into a peaceful existence and got a good job in propane distribution.
To be sure, he was in constant touch with Annette who had moved to Cleveland to take advantage of an employment opportunity. After Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, Annette was very worried for Dathan due to the President’s heated rhetoric about undocumented immigrants.
Therefore, in 2017 when she was twenty-two, Annette filed an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) for her dad and urged him to seek the services of Ms. Margaret W. Wong because she had just read Ms. Wong’s book, “The Immigrant’s Way” and knew several people who had been assisted by her team.
Accordingly, Dathan contacted our Cleveland office and had several meetings with our team via zoom. Upon hearing Dathan’s story, we told him that we would first have to work on his EWI status before we could approach the issue of legal permanent residency especially since this removal order had never been officially cancelled.
On this matter, we believed that the best pathway for Dathan would be advance parole which would allow him to leave the United States for a little while and legally return, thus easing the deportation order.
This was fine with Annette who had planned a vacation to Central America to finally meet relatives on Dathan’s side of her family, particularly her grandmother whose health was declining. She thus urged Dathan to accompany her.
Along these lines, we also suggested to Dathan that he, himself, locate to Cleveland because, due to complicated regulations regarding the circuit courts, a TPS recipient cannot apply directly for a green in Colorado but she/he can in Ohio.
After some consideration, Dathan decided to re-locate to Ohio which because he did want to live near Annette and his employer had connections in Cuyahoga County who were all-too willing to have Dathan join the staff.
So Dathan moved to Cleveland in June of 2018 and in July he provided us with a letter from his mother’s doctor pertaining to the fragile condition of her health.
Immediately thereafter we incorporated the doctor’s letter into our I-131 (Application for Travel Document) which was approved in October and in early November, Dathan and Annette departed for El Salvador where they connected with their family in a very secure locale.
After two weeks, they returned to Cleveland and Dathan experienced no problems when he re-entered the United States.
In February of 2019, we proceeded with our plan and filed a package that included an I-485 (Application for Legal Permanent Residency) and an I-864 (Affidavit of Support) wherein Annette, who had an excellent job, was Dathan’s sole sponsor.
Due to the backlog of cases, compounded with the Covid-19 pandemic, we experienced a slowdown which resulted in Dathan’s USCIS hearing being postponed until August of 2020, but we extended his EAD so that he was able to progress at his job while seeing a lot of Annette who had just become engaged to a man named William who got along great with Dathan.
In fact, on the day of the USCIS interview William accompanied Dathan, Annette, and a member to the Margaret W. Wong legal team to the long-awaited event.
When we sat down with the ISO, we reminded her that USCIS has jurisdiction over Dathan’s adjustment of status because of his recent advance parole into the United despite the removal order.
From there, the interview went smoothly because the ISO was well-versed in TPS and advance parole issues. She told us that she would have to review the matter with her superiors but indicated that all would be well.
And it did go well because in August of 2020, we received word that Dathan’s green card had been approved and he started making plans to purchase a home with a backyard big enough for his future grandchildren to play in.