All In a Week’s Work: Uniting Families

It never ceases to amaze me how some attorneys repeatedly exalt their work by placing photos of their client’s for merely obtaining immigrant visas and other similar basic benefits for their clients. Obtaining these basic benefits is the every day job of an immigration attorney. We at Reeves & Associates have united literally over 10,000 families. However, we don’t brag about these basic achievements which we believe are merely all in a week’s work.

In the area of visa processing, the foremost tool an immigration attorney has is his reputation. This reputation allows for instant rapport with Consular officers around the world, such that the Embassy actually wants to help the attorney obtain his client’s visa. As a dedicated attorney, I know that when I make the telephone calls late at night, half way around the World, the Embassy will take my client’s case seriously.

My office has prevailed in obtaining visas for thousands, including problematic cases in which an initial application was refused before the client retained my office. I am not speaking of the myriad cases where my office has obtained a visa just before a client “aged-out.” “Aging-out” is a term used among immigration practitioners, referring to the loss of immigration benefits upon a person’s attainment of twenty-one years of age. No longer considered a “child” at 21, the visa applicant’s Family petition is reclassified entailing many more years of waiting for a current priority date, or eligibility deriving from a parent’s employment-based petition is lost forever. Facing such grim results, many families choose Reeves & Hanlon, the leading immigration advocates in the United States. (At the last count, my office had obtained 26 visas before an immigrant “aged-out” in 1998 alone). I am speaking of the truly difficult cases, where my office successfully obtained a visa when the situation looked hopeless.

Recently, a client of mine was interviewed in Manila, for a visa he obtained as the spouse of a United States citizen. The client had previously entered the United States as the “fiancee of a different United States Citizen, but failed to marry that woman when the relationship broke down. Due to the incorrect advice of another attorney, the Immigrant had filed for “adjustment of status” based on his new marriage. After waiting nearly two years, he came to see me, and I informed him that he was never eligible to get his green card in the US, since he did not marry the “fiancee” visa petitioner.

Naturally, the Embassy thought the Immigrant was engaged in a scam in which he had used another petitioner merely to enter the United States, only to marry his true fiancee. Foreseeing this concern, I substantiated the bona fides of my clients’ marriage, and argued that but for the bad advice of the prior attorney, my client would have left the country to obtain his visa earlier. After one long telephone call with Chief Immigrant Visa Officer, my client was issued the visa, and entered the United States one week later.

Recently in just one week, we reunited 14 families, naturalized 9 immigrants, won 6 deportation cases, 2 asylum cases, and we top off the week by winning 1 Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case. The foregoing represent a mere handful of cases our office has successfully handled recently. We generally do not make a “big deal” out of simple administrative victories involving visa applications in the newspapers. Since, however, many of our client’s face difficult attitudes at the INS or the Embassy, we are prepared to go to Federal Court in order to protect and enforce our clients’ rights. Dedication, hard work and understanding every aspect of the ever-changing immigration laws is the only way to win the difficult cases.

The results described above are hardly uncommon for the law office. They are the product of the long hours, extreme effort and commitment that go into every case. When someone recently asked me whether the week’s victories were especially memorable, I told him, “It was all in a week’s work.