Lee & Garasia, LLC
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Experience, Accessibility, and Excellence for Over 20 Years
  • "Lee and Garasia are excellent lawyers, punctual and professional. They are dedicated to going above and beyond the usual level of service to meet your client's needs. Their staff is very knowledgeable, friendly and polite. I would highly... recommend this firm to anyone." Read More

  • "I would definitely recommend Mr.Lee and Garasia as an immigration attorney because they did a great job with my case i.e. of Adjustment of Status (i-485). Mr. Lee helped us in each and every detailed information and prepared to the best of it. It was all well done and would like to appreciate." Read More

  • "I would like to thank my lawyer Mr Lee & Garasia and the staff for all immense help and patience throughout this entire process, I really appreciate your constant attention to my case, as well to my questions and my concerns. You've really made this process much more comprehensive to me, which I greatly appreciate." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee and Ms. Garasia did a great job with my renewal of my permanent residence application. They help prepare the paperwork with such a great attention to details and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee did a great job with the renewal of my permanent residence application. My case was very time sensitive and they worked really fast on my case with great detail and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "I would recommend Attorney Paris Lee for anybody who needs immigration consultation. Mr. Lee is THE lawyer who respects and cares clients. Mr. Lee is professional and honest. Bottom line, preparation for the results and NO BS!" Read More

  • "Stalin - Lee did a wonderful job, Got my wife her visa in one year. He is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend him for all your immigration needs." Read More

  • "Hello. I appoint him as my immigration lawyer and that way he solved my cases was truly amazing. He was so honest and knowledgeable for his work.He solved my all family imigration issues and because of his effort we were able to get done our immigration work done successful. Thank you lee and garasia." Read More

  • "Lee & Garasia stand for accountability and responsibility. They are reliable, honest and are always constructively looking for a solution.. A big thanks :)" Read More

July 2011 Archives

Clifton Immigration Lawyer Sworn In as a New Jersey Superior Court Judge in Passaic

This past Tuesday, one of the most respected immigration lawyers in New Jersey was sworn in as a Superior Court Judge in Passaic County. Sohail Mohammed--now, The Honorable Sohail Mohammed--was administered the oath of office in the very same courtroom where he appeared for jury duty many years ago. Judge Mohammed is now the first Indian-American judge in the State of New Jersey. What an inspiring success story and illustration of the American Dream. Judge Mohammed immigrated to America from India at the age of 17, and actually held a full-time job while attending Seton Hall Law School at night, after a jury duty experience sparked a fire for the law. He subsequently graduated, opened up his law practice in Clifton, and handled a variety of cases before becoming recognized as an immigration lawyer after 9/11. Although the immigration bar has now lost one of its most sapient practitioners, the State of New Jersey has a whole lot to gain with such a tremendous talent on the Bench.

New Immigration Policy on Request for Evidence

Very recently, USCIS issued an interim memo regarding time-frames in which to respond to Requests for Evidence. The memo sets forth a binding policy change that is quite beneficial for the public. Applicants and petitioners will now apparently have a standard 84 days in which to respond to Requests for Evidence; in the case of responding to a Request for Evidence for I-539s, applicants will have 30 days. Not only is this time-frame generally longer, but it is now mandatory. Officers will have to get supervisor approval if they wish to impose a shorter time for applicants to respond. This is a positive development because it regularizes the process and reduces irregular and unfair situations where some people are given only thirty days and others, 87 for essentially the same type of deficiency. A standard 84 days is fair and appropriate for most types of cases. It will certainly be good news to many of our Indian immigration clients in New Jersey who need more than a couple of months some times to secure birth affidavits and school leaving certificates from outside the country.

New Jersey and Philadelphia Immigration Courts Backlogged

An interesting article came out last week on the net about how local immigration courts are absolutely clogged with cases. New Jersey, with its nine immigration judges, reportedly has 9100 cases! The article is pretty insightful in that it sheds light on two issues that naturally grow out of this: one obvious problem is that given the backlog, "respondents" may have to wait a very long time for their day in court. If someone is out on immigration bond, and perhaps has little or no relief, the wait could arguably be a good thing, but what about the person who is stuck in detention? This molasses-like backlog impacts this class of people the most because their liberty and freedom of movement are very much restrained while awaiting proceedings.

FALSE IMMIGRATION RUMORS IN NJ


Two inaccurate, if not false, rumors circulating throughout immigrant communities in New Jersey concern the 4th preference category and the ability of derivative children to immigrate even if they are over 21. Many of our Indian clients from Edison, Passaic, and Jersey City have received false information from immigration "agents" (people who are in fact not authorized to dispense legal advice or prepare immigration forms) that USCIS is no longer accepting petitions for brothers/sisters filed by their US siblings. This is not true. Although the 4th category is moving verrry slowly, it is still alive and well. The second misconception circulating out there among immigrant communities is that derivative children over 21 but less than 28 years old are allowed to come with their parents. There is no such rule. If derivative children are allowed to immigrate after turning 21, it is most likely due to the fact that they are protected under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). Our office has handled many cases of this sort and we have successfully helped many families immigrate with their children over 21. However, eligibility under the CSPA is very fact and case sensitive. There is no such automatic law. These false rumors may be motivated by greed, as both of them appear to induce and encourage unsuspecting victims to pay money to file applications out of either fear or false hope.

The Elizabeth Detention Center for Immigrant Detainees


If a foreign citizen or permanent resident is taken into custody and not released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New Jersey, he/she is normally taken to the Elizabeth Detention Center. The Facility is located at 625 Evans Street in Elizabeth, New Jersey 07201. The phone number is 908-352-3776. Although the majority of Removal Proceedings are conducted at 970 Broad Street in Newark, inmates housed in Elizabeth ordinarily have their cases heard before an Immigration Judge at the actual facility. There are currently two Immigration Judges in Elizabeth.

NJ Immigration and Customs Enforcement Lawyer

Of the many agencies charged with enforcing our laws, "ICE" is perhaps one of the most formidable. ICE stands for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is part of the Department of Homeland Security. Along with CBP (Customs and Border Protection), ICE is responsible for enforcing our country's immigration laws. CBP investigates and enforces immigration and security issues at the border, while ICE handles enforcement matters within the United States. Within ICE, there are many different departments, but the three most prominent that an individual may come into contact with are the Office of Investigations (pre-removal), the Office of Chief Counsel (during removal proceedings), and Office of Detention and Removal (pre and post Removal proceedings). The NJ Field Office is located at 614 Frelinghuysen Ave., 3rd Floor, Newark, NJ 07114.

New Jersey Schools and Immigration and Customs Enforcement

ICE just released a new list of approved SEVP (Student Exchange Visitor Program) schools on its website. Only these designated schools are authorized by immigration to enroll foreign students under F and M visas. Given all the rampant fraud going around these days, any prospective foreign student should definitely consult this list to make sure the school they want to attend is on this list.

Revisions to the N-648 Disability Form for Citizenship

Those interested in applying for a medical based waiver of the citizenship test should be aware that there is actually a new, revised N-648 form. (The N-648 Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions is submitted when an applicant for naturalization is seeking to be excused from the English language and history tests due to a physical or development disability or mental impairment.) In fact, the old version of the Form is no longer accepted, and officers at the Newark District Office over at 970 Broad Street definitely enforce this.
Along with the new form, applicants should be aware of some of the recent policy changes that are being implemented, most of which are outlined in a Memo put out by USCIS in December of last year. Perhaps the most prominent operating feature of the revised N-648 process is a shift in perspective. Previous to the revision, USCIS officers often evaluated the medical opinions of the medical professionals themselves who filled out and certified the form. This frequently led to situations where an officer who was not medically trained was discounting the medical opinion of a physician or health care professional who had diagnosed the applicant. Now under the new rules, the immigration officer adjudicating the case must rely on the medical professional's opinion as it pertains to the diagnosis and the applicant's ability to meet the educational requirements. The officer should not "second guess" the opinion of a medical professional who has certified a diagnosis; questions should only be raised, where appropriate, only if there is some issue as to whether eligibility has been established in light of the opinion or if there are factual questions. For naturalization applicants who cannot learn English or history due to their disabilities, this is an extremely important development that will hopefully promote the expedient adjudication of N-648s.

New Jersey Senator Introduces New Immigration Bill

Late last month, New Jersey's own Senator Robert Menendez, along with six other Democrats introduced a new bill titled the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011." The proposed legislation, drafted by Senator Menendez, includes several provisions that aspire to "...fix a broken immigration system that weakens our national security, hurts our workers and falls short of the most basic standard of justice," as Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois puts it.

PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

    • The National Advocates | Top 100 Lawyers
    • Rated by Super Lawyers | Angie Garasia | 5 Years
    • Avvo Rating 10.0 | Superb
    • Client Distinction Award martindale.com | 2016 Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award
    • New Jersey State Bar Association | Paris Lee Chair - Immigration Section 2015-2016
    • Nationaly Recognized | Newsweek Nationwide Showcase | Top Attorneys 2013
    • New Jersey Chapter | American Immigration Lawyers Association | Angie Garasia | Chapter Chair 2015-2016
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Lee & Garasia, LLC
190 State Route 27
Edison, NJ 08820

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