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Lee & Garasia, LLC
  • Tel: 732-516-1717
  • Toll free: 888-404-5876
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 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

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ICE Archives

123 illegal immigrants arrested by ICE in New Jersey

According to the Associated Press, more than 100 illegal immigrants were apprehended in New Jersey last week as a result of a recent sweep by ICE, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement. According to Mr. Tsoukaris, the vast majority of those caught had criminal convictions, with 82 individuals guilty of felonies and 14 for sex crimes. Most of the arrests were in Essex County, followed by Hudson and Middlesex Counties. These figures underscore just how important it is for any out of status or undocumented alien who is accused of a crime to vigorously contest those charges and retain both qualified criminal and immigration counsel....

DWI, Deportation, and Immigration in NJ

As a member of AILA (the American Immigration Lawyers Association), I have been hearing some horror stories of undocumented aliens being apprehended by ICE in municipal court after appearing for a DWI case. These incidents are not anecdotal rumors by any means: they are certainly happening, especially in South Jersey and Monmouth County. People potentially affected by this need to be aware that notwithstanding all this talk of "prosecutorial discretion," it is ICE's job to enforce and apprehend. The Office of Chief Counsel will make further determination as to whether that person ought to be in Immigration Court, but for all practical purposes, unless the ICE officer is formally trained in prosecutorial discretion or particularly sensitive to the issues, he or she may just be following orders to pick up individuals that appear to be in violation of our immigration laws. Or they may just be executing directions as part of an Operation determined from above. It would still be naive in this day and age to think that ICE will leave an undocumented alien alone because he/she is not a terrorist or "danger to society." While a DWI may certainly not be tantamount to murder, it is nevertheless perceived, whether rightly or wrongly, as a type of offense that presents a grave and serious danger to the community. People need to recognize this instead of hiding their heads in the sand and not taking any precautions. At the very least, an immigration attorney should be consulted before making an appearance in municipal court for a DWI offense in New Jersey.

ICE guidance for Foreign Students on Driver Licenses

There is a very informative memo that may be of some interest to foreign/exchange students here on F, M, or J visas. The memo can be found at www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/bm1112-05-dmv-timing.pdf. The purpose of the letter is to provide guidance to non-immigrants with the aforementioned visas in connection with applying for driver licenses and social security numbers. In brief, the memo advises students to wait at least 10 days after arriving in the US before applying for a driver license or social security number. This gives ample time for the government databases to be updated with each student's information. Secondly, students need to consult with their DSO or RO/ARO advisors to confirm that their status is "Active" before making a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Social Security Administration. If the student's status has just been activated, it is prudent to wait at least two days so that the databases can be updated. Although these best practices may seem common-sense, they are nevertheless worth repeating, as students may sometimes forget them in the midst of getting settled here in the US.

Metuchen Immigration Lawyer and Traffic Ticket Attorney

As an immigration lawyer based in Edison, New Jersey, our office naturally serves a very diverse population of residents living not only in Edison, but also Woodbridge, Iselin, and Metuchen. Metuchen is incredibly mixed. The quaint borough notably has an Asian population of 7.23%. It is not clear whether undocumented aliens are part of this demographic. In any case, it is worth noting that besides being, in my opinion, one of the most scenic towns in the state, Metuchen is also one of the more aggressive in enforcing traffic laws. It is not uncommon for people to be charged with improper passing, DWI, as well as speeding around this area. Why is this significant? Because many people with immigration status problems are under the impression that they will only pop up on ICE's radar if they unfortunately have some sort of criminal history. What is not taken into account is that if traffic tickets are not handled responsibly, people may be incurring motor vehicle points which may in turn lead to license suspension if too many are accumulated. In some cases, people forget or ignore their traffic summonses, leading eventually to bench warrants. If an individual without status has the misfortune of being arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, or picked up on a warrant, he or she could conceivably come to the attention of ICE, the enforcement arm of DHS. The most recent sweep by ICE bears this out in which many people with arrests in Municipal Court were picked up. It goes without saying that individuals with status issues should of course be driving responsibly. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world and mistakes do happen, whether it is the individual's or police officer's error. If you do have the misfortune of receiving a traffic summons, and your immigration status is not certain, make sure that you take care of it.

"Illegal" Aliens Being Picked Up in New Jersey for Deportation Because of Criminal Convictions

According to ICE, "Operation Crosscheck" was a resounding success. Our office had received anecdotal reports of as well consulted with people who were caught up in this recent dragnet, and now the statistics are actually out. According to the Asbury Park Press, the latest ICE sweep rounded up 2901 individuals in one week. In New Jersey, 86 convicted criminals were apprehended. In Monmouth alone, four people were picked up. More than 1600 had felony convictions, but our office received many calls from people who had minor, disorderly persons/misdemeanor type offenses. The point here is that individuals with criminal records, even if they are from municipal court, should definitely consult with a lawyer to determine both the criminal and immigration ramifications. Anyone (assuming that you are not already a US Citizen) who has even been arrested, even if for something like DWI or Driving While Suspended, is potentially vulnerable. It's only a matter of how wide ICE decides to broaden its target efforts. Of course, being arrested and being convicted are two different things, but do you really want to be in court or worse, detention, litigating that difference?

New Case May Affect Interrogation of Illegal Immigrants in New Jersey

Readers should be aware of a very disturbing decision issued by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) last week. The case is Matter of E-R-M-F & A-S-M, 25 I&N Dec. 580 (BIA 2011). The case essentially stands for the proposition that the ICE officers do not have to advise aliens of their right to counsel unless and until a Notice to Appear is issued. The danger, as what happened in the cases decided, is that statements made by aliens during interrogations prior to issuance of NTAs are admissible and may be used in court. Only after subjects have been placed into formal proceedings do they have to be advised of their right to a lawyer and that their statements may be used against them. Practically speaking, by then, it may very well be too late. The case has many ramifications, some of which are too complex for a blog entry, and which may be more appropriate for an article in the future. One notion that is particularly troublesome, though, is that aliens have fewer rights than individuals charged with criminal offenses. Whereas a criminal defendant has the right to be "Mirandized" (advised of the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney), aliens apparently have no such right when they are detained by government officials who are trying elicit incriminating statements from them. They only get told of their "rights" after they have been "formally" charged with an immigration violation.

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.

PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

    • 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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