Lee & Garasia, LLC
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  • "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 immigration 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

June 2012 Archives

Imagine Arizona's Immigration Law in New York or New Jersey

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled on the controversial Arizona law SB1070. The 5-3 ruling was a generally positive one: out of the four provisions that were challenged by the Obama Administration as being pre-empted by federal immigration law, the High Court agreed and struck down three of them. The three sections that were enjoined were Sections 3, 5(C), and 6. Section 3 criminalized failure to carry "registration" papers or proof of legal status; Section 5 would have penalized immigrants who worked without authorization; and Section 6 would have, in effect, given local police broad authority to arrest any immigrant suspected of having committed a "removable" offense. Thankfully, the Court ruled that Arizona overstepped its bounds in trying to regulate and enforce federal immigration laws. Unfortunately, The Supreme Court did not entirely quash this inimical legislation, unwittingly leaving the door open for potential abuse of power. Section 2(B)--the provision which requires local police to investigate the immigration status of an individual during the course of stop or arrest if there is reasonable suspicion to believe that the person is in the United States illegally--survived the Court's analysis, at least for now. The Majority ruled that striking down Section 2(B) was premature in the absence of any empirical evidence demonstrating how the law was being applied. Should the law be abused or result in constitutional violations, the issue could, however, be revisited. We will have to wait and see how the law is actually applied in Arizona, but the specter of racial profiling is a major and very realistic concern for foreign-born residents. Under this statute, even lawful permanent residents and US citizens may be unnecessarily detained and singled out on account of their appearance, since it may not be so readily apparent that they are lawfully here. In the hands of someone with xenophobic tendencies, this could lead to a police state. Can you imagine how this would go over in New York, where there are so many people of color from a variety of cultural backgrounds?! It is hard to even fathom, but this is what immigrants living in Arizona may soon have to undergo....

"What is the new 2012 immigration DREAM law in New Jersey?"

Since President Obama's historic announcement last Friday, I have a received a flurry of inquiries from interested New Jersey residents (legal and otherwise) about the "new law." First off, we should clarify that there is no "new law." There is no DREAM ACT. The DREAM ACT (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act) has actually been stuck down many times in Congress. Under the original DREAM ACT, individuals who entered the United States before the age of 16, graduated from high school, were present in the country for five years since their arrival, and who had clean records would be given a path to permanent residency. What President Obama ordered last Friday is not the same thing, although it undoubtedly is a tremendous effort to benefit largely the same class of individuals envisioned under the original DREAM legislation. President Obama's announcement was actually a form of executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security to formally exercise "Prosecutorial Discretion" against "Young People Who are Low Enforcement Priorities." In other words, provided that an applicant is able to demonstrate that he/she meets the criteria as lead out in the June 15, 2012 Memorandum, the government will grant that person "deferred status." That is, DHS will not take steps to actively remove the individual, and if economic necessity can be shown, the individual will be permitted to work with authorization. However, the deferred status is not indefinite and will expire after two years, subject to renewal. It is important to understand that this is not a panacea. The grant of deferred action does not absolve or grant amnesty to the individual who is still technically "out of status." It is, in short, a short-term fix. Nevertheless, we applaud President Obama for his courageous move on this very controversial, polarizing issue.

Deferred Action for DREAMers in New Jersey

As announced on Friday by President Obama, the Department of Homeland Security will begin exercising its Prosecutorial Discretion to offer Deferred Action Status to eligible DREAMers. The actual guidelines and procedures have yet to be released. The Administration has ordered DHS to implement the process within 60 days. However, certain things are clear as to who is eligible to apply. It is important to understand that decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis after an individual has passed a background check and demonstrated that he or she warrants prosecutorial discretion. The following criteria are:

Deferred Action Program for DREAMERS

In breaking news, the AILA National Office has indicated that The White House will be making an announcement today regarding DREAMers. "DREAMers" are generally those individuals who came to this country at a young age, and through no fault of their own, may have fallen out of status. The announcement will be made at 1:15pm.
We will post more after we learn the details.

Expungements Do Not Eliminate Immigration Consequences

There is a common misconception out there that when a criminal conviction or arrest is expunged or "wiped out," it is gone. Since the record is sealed, for all practical purposes, it is as if the event never happened. While this is true in many ways, it does not necessarily translate over to the immigration arena. Despite the fact that an expungement does remove the conviction or arrest from public eyes, law enforcement as well as DHS (Department of Homeland Security) still see those records. That means, for example, that when you apply for naturalization and deliberately fail to disclose an arrest or conviction because it was expunged, you will have a lot of explaining to do at the interview when the immigration officer asks why you failed to answer the question pertaining to arrests/convictions accurately. Do not assume that because something is expunged, it no longer has any bearing or weight on immigration status. If you have ever been arrested or convicted of anything--and you are not a US Citizen--you need to do your due diligence and consult with a qualified immigration attorney to determine the ramifications before you even consider leaving the country for a trip or fill out an application for an immigration benefit. The old adage, as trite as it is, is so true: it is better to be safe than sorry, especially these days....


    • 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
    • Nationally 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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