Lee & Garasia, LLC
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  • "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

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Immigration Court Cases Archives

Even If Divorced, K-1 Adjustment Applicants Still Required To Submit I-864 Affidavit

In recent months, many of the more notable immigration developments have concerned the public charge ground of inadmissibility. The first rumblings occurred when the Department of State began implementing new guidelines vitiating the presumptive weight of an approvable I-864 affidavit of support. Even if a petitioner's income met or exceeded 125% of the federal poverty guideline, adjudicators were vested with greater authority to look beyond the affidavit and explore traditional factors in more detail. These traditional factors-health, age, education, income and resources-will undergo more scrutiny in determining whether an immigrant is likely to become a financial burden on the government.

False Claims to US Citizenship To Get Private Job Must Be Proven on I-9 Form

The Ninth Circuit recently issued a precedential case that is instructive, and potentially helpful, to individuals accused of making false claims to US citizenship. In Diaz-Jimenez v. Sessions, No. 15-73603 (9th Cir. 2018), the court confirmed that obtaining private employment did fall within the scope of false claims; however, the court also ruled that for purposes of 1182(a)(6)(C)(ii)(I), a person can only be considered to have made a false claim of citizenship in connection with private employment only when such representation is made on Form I-9. In the case at hand, there was no evidence of an I-9 form to sustain the government's claim that Mr. Diaz-Jimenez misrepresented his citizenship status to secure a job, resulting in the court reversing the BIA's finding and remanding the case.

New Ruling Curbs Immigration Court's Power to Dismiss or Terminate Deportation Cases

On September 18, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued Matter of S-O-G & F-D-B, 27 I & N Dec. 462 (A.G. 2018), the latest in a trifecta of cases curtailing the authority of immigration judges. Under this new ruling, judges are strictly prohibited from terminating or dismissing cases "for reasons other than those expressly set out in the relevant regulations or where DHS has failed to sustain the charges of removability." As it stands, the regulations set out only a limited number of circumstances under which the court may dismiss proceedings. On motion by DHS government counsel, a judge may dismiss proceedings where

NJSA 2C:29-9 Contempt of Court | Restraining Order Immigration Consequences

The Board of Immigration Appeals recently issued an important decision that should be of interest to any individual charged with domestic violence, contempt of court, and violating a restraining order in NJ. One common New Jersey statute implicated includes NJSA 2C:29-9b. In Matter of Medina-Jimenez, 27 I & N Dec. 399 (BIA 2018), the court held that the categorical approach does not apply when considering whether violating a restraining order disqualifies a person from applying for cancellation of removal, one of the most sought-after forms of relief in immigration court. Instead, an Immigration Judge is allowed to consider any probative and reliable evidence in connection with what the prosecuting authority has found about the individual's violation. The court must only find two things: one, that the offense resulted in a conviction under INA 101(a)(48)(A); and two, whether the State court that heard the matter determined that "the alien engaged in conduct that violates the portion of a protection order that involves protection against credible threats of violence, repeated harassment, or bodily injury to the person or persons for whom the protection ordered was issued." In short, the court need not engage in a strict categorical analysis to determine whether the elements of the offense in question match the federal rubric under INA 240A(b)(1)(C). As long as the immigration court is reasonably satisfied that there was a finding or admission of guilt along with some measure of punishment, and the "conviction" was based on conduct that violated a restraining order, the individual will not be eligible for cancellation of removal. What the court is essentially saying is that since the deportability section regarding restraining orders does not require a conviction, it would not make sense to require a conviction for cancellation of removal purposes.

Immigration Judges No Longer Allowed To Postpone Cases Without "Good Cause"

Following on the heels of Castro-Tum, the Attorney General has issued another ruling that erodes the judicial independence of our immigration judiciary and further mechanizes the courtroom into an assembly line. In Matter of L-A-B-R, 27 I & N Dec. 405 (A.G. 2018), AG Sessions ruled that continuances may only be granted for "good cause." Instead of allowing judges to exercise their own discretion, the ruling constrains them to push cases forward, prioritizing administrative efficiency over due process and substantive relief. 

Will Divorce Cause My Case To Be Cancelled? | Effect of Divorce on Immigration Marriage Case

In a family-based context, the I-130 is the foundation of any permanent residence case. Whether a person is applying for adjustment of status domestically or an immigrant visa abroad, there must be an underlying approved petition for family member to support the file. Conversely, if an I-130 is denied, any application that is predicated upon its approval will be denied. So, for example, if USCIS denies an I-130 filed by a US Citizen for a foreign national spouse, the I-485 application will also be denied. What is less known is that an approved I-130 does not always stay approved. In other words, there are circumstances and situations under which a relative petition may be automatically revoked.

No More Administrative Closure for Immigration Court Cases

In a previous article, we briefly discussed the differences between administrative closure and judicial termination of an immigration court case. Just last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rendered his ruling in Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I & N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018). When AG Sessions certified the case to himself a few months ago, the immigration bar was understandably apprehensive, and now it looks like some of those fears have materialized. The decision essentially strips immigration judges of their authority to administratively close cases, when warranted, in the interests of judicial efficiency.

Closing My Immigration Court Case | Administrative Closure vs. Termination

While immigration court hearings are commonly regarded as relatively informal civil proceedings, nothing could be further from the truth. Removal defense practice and effective lawyering, especially in this climate, can be daunting. Even the terminology can be deceptive. "Administrative closure," for instance, is one term that has caused a lot of confusion and for some, maddening frustration.

Can Using a False (or Someone Else's) Social Security Number Get You Deported?

An interesting case out of the Seventh Circuit came out last week that may be of interest to those undocumented immigrants who may have or who are currently using false or fake social security numbers. The decision, Arias v. Lynch, concerns whether Ms. Arias, who is currently in removal proceedings, is deportable on the basis of her conviction for using a fake social security number to work. In more technical terms, the issue is whether this crime, found in 42 U.S.C. 408(a)(7)(B) constitutes a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude ("CIMT") which would not only pose a ground of deportability but also prevent her from applying for cancellation of removal. Although this case is from a different jurisdiction, the Court's analysis of the issue is quite insightful and trenchant in exposing the arbitrary nature of CIMTs and how even educated attorneys and judges can make critical errors that directly impact the lives of people who have lived here for decades.

Five Year "Garcia" Rule and Applying for Citizenship in New Jersey

Following up on the heels of our last post, the Third Circuit of Appeals issued two precedential decisions affirming a denial of US citizenship to two different parties who had acquired their permanent residency through false statements or fraud. The two cases were decided by two different panels but interestingly, arrived at the same conclusion. The two cases are Saliba v. Attorney General and Koszelnik v. Secretary of Homeland Security. Although the facts are different, the gist of both cases is that the immigrants in question secured their green cards by affirmatively providing false information on their permanent resident applications. One party represented that he was a citizen of Lebanon when he wasn't, and the other omitted the fact that he had an A number and had actually been in court proceedings when applying for their green cards. Both gentlemen's lies were not caught at the green card stage and they subsequently applied for naturalization more than five years later. In both cases, the Court denied their petitions, predicating their decisions largely on the notion that even though the applicants were permanent residents, they were nevertheless not "lawfully admitted" as permanent residents, as required by 8 U.S.C. 1429.

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
    • 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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