Bad timing & bad luck
Our client, born in Honduras, entered the U.S. in November of 1998 without inspection. Due to bad timing and bad luck, he is the only member of his family living in the U.S. without status. His U.S. citizen sister filed an I-130 petition for him on April 26, 2001, giving our client eligibility to adjust status to permanent resident under 245i, as soon as the quota for his visa category (brother of a U.S. citizen) opened. Unfortunately, it would take many years. In 2009, our client was placed in removal proceedings in Cleveland immigration court. With his priority date still not current, he applied for asylum, withholding of removal and protection under the convention against torture.
Priority date finally arrives
After a full hearing, the judge denied all forms of relief. We appealed the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals, keeping the case alive for as long as possible. Finally, in the summer of 2010, while the appeal was still pending, the visa category opened and we immediately filed a motion to remand the case back to the immigration judge to allow the client to apply for his Green Card through his sister. The motion was granted. Shortly thereafter the priority date retrogressed so the case had to be continued.
At long last the priority date became current and the judge began the case in 2013. Emotions ran high due to the fact that our client’s brother was recently murdered in Honduras. The family was terrified for our client’s safety in Honduras. As the hearing got underway, what was thought to be a straight-forward adjustment hearing became anything but. For example, the DHS attorney questioned our client’s military record and suspected that he was involved in human rights abuses in Honduras without having any evidence to support her suspicions. She also questioned whether or not our client ever claimed to be a U.S. citizen when applying for jobs.
To eliminate any doubt
We obtained proof of our client’s service from the Air Force based in Honduras which DHS then used to verify that he was not involved in any suspicious activity. We also obtained copies of his I-9 forms from his employers proving that he did not make any false claims to U.S. citizenship in obtaining employment. After three hearings, testimony from multiple witnesses, and submitting voluminous documentary evidence in support of our client’s eligibility, the immigration judge GRANTED his application for adjustment of status to permanent resident. Our client and his family can rest easy knowing that he can continue to live safety in the U.S.
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