Margaret W. Wong & Associates - Immigration Lawyers
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Success Stories: Detention

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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 200 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. 


Our client, Mr. N, came to the US illegally from China over 20 years ago. He was ordered removed back to China and his appeal was denied. However, Mr. N continued to live in the United States and pursue his American dream. He got married and became the stepfather of one child and, soon, the father of another. He and his wife ran a restaurant together. Understanding the dangers of his status, he dutifully set on the path to becoming a legal resident. An I-130 petition was filed on his behalf and it was during an interview for this application that he was detained by ICE officers. This news was devastating for the family, who had to run a restaurant, provide and care for themselves, and care for elderly family members without the emotional and financial support of Mr. N.

In their letters supporting his case, his wife described the pain that that his detention has caused her and his two children passionately described a loving father who was absolutely dedicated to them. They wrote that even after Mr. N was tired from a long day of work, he would always find the energy to spend time with them and take them on family outings to amusement parks and to New York City.

Margaret W. Wong & Associates worked with Mr. N’s family to get him released from detention and rejoin his family. He now hopes to file I-212 and I-601A applications as the next step in his immigration process. We will continue to work with Mr. Ni and he may soon be the proud bearer of a Green Card so that he can live in the United States with his loving family.

Man With a Green Card is Wrongfully Detained

It is so rewarding when, after talking to a desperate family so many times, we are finally able to break the good news: “your husband will be released from jail today”. We know the impact of the announcement, and we feel so much joy for the family. Our client and his family had Green Cards. The last time he traveled, upon returning from Mexico they detained him because he had pled guilty of a criminal charge in a Municipal Court more than 10 years before. His detention was a mistake for many reasons: he was an arriving alien with a Green Card who met certain exceptions, so he could have been called to Court while not detained. Also when he pled guilty, he had not been informed about the legal consequences of his plea. In fact he thought it was a minor charge and did not feel guilty at all, but was told this was what he could do to terminate the case.

The family hired us when he was in jail. We immediately filed Habeas Corpus and a release request. We also asked for cancellation of removal, since they had ordered his deportation. We followed up constantly and we went back to the Municipal Court where we asked for a copy of his transcript and filed a Motion to Vacate the guilty plea. We submitted the right evidence to the Immigration Judge about his moral character and his criminal case. A hearing was scheduled for July 22, 2008 and we prepared the client over the phone and the family in our offices. During the hearing we were able to present the case as it was and the Judge agreed that if the criminal case was terminated he would not object to terminate removal proceedings. We attended a hearing in the Municipal Court and were able to have them Vacate the guilty plea, and the criminal case was dismissed. We submitted this decision to the Immigration Judge, who after obtaining an opinion from DHS, finally granted the Motion to Terminate Removal Proceedings. This decision was issued in August 21, 2008. On the same day we requested his immediate release by fax, phone, letter and were able to get an answer from the officer: Our client would be released that same day! That is when we called the family to give the good news and they were very grateful. Our client was so grateful that he gave us more work: “Please help me recover the Green Card and passport that were confiscated.” We did, of course. Scott Bratton handled this case with help of our other attorneys.

Lawful Permanent Resident is Released From ICE Custody

Our client, who was a lawful permanent resident, hired us in May 2008 when he was concluding his federal criminal sentence for four fraud offenses. His convictions were aggravated felonies for immigration purposes. Upon completion of his sentence, he was placed in removal proceedings and transferred to Oakdale, Louisiana. He was in mandatory detention due to the criminal convictions. Our defense to removal was that we would apply to re-adjust status with a waiver under INA Section 212(h). He was eligible for 212(h) despite the aggravated felony because he adjusted status after a lawful admission as a visitor. The adjustment application would be based on our client’s marriage to a United States citizen. We first filed the I-130 petition. The petition was finally approved in 2009. We then filed the adjustment of status application with the Court. The hearing was conducted in January 2010 and consisted of the testimony of our client, his wife, and an expert witness. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Judge stated he needed more time to issue a decision. We then filed a closing brief with the Court. In April 2010, the Immigration Judge announced his decision. He granted the application for adjustment of status and the 212(h) waiver. Our client was released from ICE custody the next day. Scott Bratton handled the case.