Criminal Alien Issues
At Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC, our lawyers have tremendous experience fighting for immigrants charged with crimes. We represent individuals in all aspects of removal proceedings, from hearings before the immigration judge to appeals in federal appellate courts.
In many of our cases, we represent individuals who are in removal proceedings due to criminal convictions. Our immigrant crime lawyers handle every aspect of these cases, representing people during plea negotiations, trials, sentencing and appeal. We also have extensive experience in filing post-conviction motions in both federal and state courts. The cases our office handles ranges from minor traffic violations to violent crimes and federal drug cases.
Removal Hearings before the Immigration Judge
We represent individuals in all aspects of removal proceedings, from hearings before the Immigration Judge to appeals in federal appellate courts. The types of removal cases our office handles include: asylum; withholding of removal; Convention Against Torture; cancellation of removal for lawful permanent residents and non-lawful permanent residents, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) cases; and adjustment of status (including any waivers that may be required). We also represent individuals who are in removal proceedings due to criminal convictions. In addition, we will fight to prevent deportation of those that have erroneously been placed in removal proceedings.
Our office also handles bond hearings throughout the United States. We handle bond cases in all aspects of removal defense, including criminal cases. If we do not obtain the relief we believe is appropriate, we may also be able to challenge the detention of a foreign national in federal court.
We can represent individuals in immigration courts throughout the United States. Although our main office is located in Cleveland, Ohio, we represent clients in cases in immigration courts throughout the country.
Board of Immigration Appeals
Our firm also handles appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals. If an individual loses his/her case before the Immigration Judge, he or she has 30 days to file an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals. This is an extremely important aspect of the case because the Immigration Judge’s decision is not always correct. After we file the notice of appeal, our firm will prepare a comprehensive legal brief in support of our client’s position. Due to the fact that there is rarely oral argument on an appeal to the Board of Immigration, the brief is usually the only opportunity to convince the Board that our position is correct. Therefore, we thoroughly analyze the record, perform extensive research, and write a detailed brief setting forth our legal arguments. This has enabled our firm to win many cases before the Board, including the 2006 precedent decision on Matter of Adamiak, 23 I&N Dec. 878 (BIA 2006).
Petition for Review to the Federal Appellate Court
Our firm also handles appeals from the Board of Immigration Appeals’ decisions in the federal appellate courts. If the Board of Immigration Appeals denies a case, an individual can file a Petition for Review with the federal appellate court having jurisdiction over the person’s removal case. This must be done within 30 days of the Board’s decision. In most cases, a federal appellate court can review the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals. We may also be able to apply for a stay of removal and voluntary departure while the Petition for Review is pending.
If the Board of Immigration Appeals has denied your case, you should immediately contact our office to review your case to determine whether you should file a Petition for Review with the federal appellate court having jurisdiction over the case. There have been many recent favorable decisions from federal appellate courts providing hope even after the Board denies an appeal (see our success stories). Our recent precedent setting victories include Liao v. Rabbett, 398 F.3d 389 (6th Cir. 2005), Singh v. Gonzales, 451 F.3d 400 (6th Cir. 2006), and Iao v. Gonzales, 400 F.3d 530 (7th Cir. 2005). We have also been able to negotiate favorable resolutions in some cases after filing a Petition for Review. Our office represents clients in federal appellate courts throughout the United States.
Other types of removal cases our office handles include:
- Withholding of removal
- Convention Against Torture
- Cancellation of removal for lawful permanent residents and non-lawful permanent residents
- Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) cases
- Adjustment of status (including any waivers that may be required)
Our immigrant crime lawyers represent individuals throughout the United States. Although our main office is located in Cleveland, Ohio, we represent clients in cases in criminal immigration courts throughout the country. We are one of the most prestigious, fastest-growing immigration law firms in the United States, and know how to succeed in even the most complex cases.
Our firm also handles litigation in federal courts outside the removal/deportation context. One issue that keeps coming up is the delay in adjudicating non-immigrant visas, adjustment of status applications, and naturalization applications. Many times, the delay is because the security checks have not been completed. We have taken a proactive approach to the problem. If there has been a delay beyond the normal processing time that does not appear likely to be resolved in the near future, we recommend filing a Complaint with the United States District Court seeking an Order from the Judge to compel US CIS to immediately adjudicate the adjustment of status application. These are commonly referred to as mandamus cases, which refers to one of the federal statutes that we believe gives the district court jurisdiction over the case. We have had a great deal of success expediting cases due to the filing of a federal lawsuit, although each case is different. Many of the cases can be resolved without a court appearance. However, the filing is a civil lawsuit, which may ultimately be resolved with a trial.
In a naturalization case, an applicant can file in federal court if his application has been pending more than 120 days beyond the interview. Once the case is filed in federal court, the federal Judge can retain jurisdiction over the case or remand the case to CIS for a decision on the naturalization application. If the Judge remands the case to CIS, we can ask the Judge to issue specific instructions to CIS for making an expedited decision on the case.
If a naturalization application and the appeal (N-336) have been denied by US CIS, a naturalization applicant can appeal that decision to the United States District Court where he resides. The applicant has 120 days to appeal. An applicant can also request a hearing in federal court on the naturalization application. The District Court Judge will then make an independent decision on the case after hearing all the evidence. We represent individuals who believe that there applications have been erroneously decided and want to appeal to United States District Court.
Our office also represents individuals who believe that US CIS erroneously denied their applications filed with CIS. Although there are restrictions on those decisions that can be reviewed be a federal court, we will evaluate the case and advise you as to whether we believe that the case can be reviewed in federal court. This is an option that should be considered because it is another avenue we use to challenge what we believe is an erroneous decision of CIS.
In our attorneys’ 200 combined years of experience with criminal immigration law, they have achieved some startling successes. In one case, we helped a man put in removal proceedings for a conviction on a weapons charge shortly after he became a lawful permanent resident. Attorney Scott Bratton successfully argued that our client was statutorily eligible for cancellation of removal despite the timing of his prior conviction, and our client is still in the United States and applying for citizenship. See our Criminal Success Stories for other examples.