By Attorney Flomy J. Diza
RMZD is proud that we were able to help our client finally receive his green card after more than 30 years in the U.S. We did so by relying on a form of relief from deportation that is only available to a very small number of people.
Leonard’s immigration history started more than 32 years ago when he entered the United States with a tourist visa. He left the depressed job market in the Philippines because he was desperate to support his family. Leonard knew that living in the U.S. would allow him to send money home every month for his family.
After arriving in the U.S. in 1985, Leonard became desperate to obtain legal status. He filed applications for several different immigration benefits, but unfortunately all of his applications were denied. The Immigration Service then began the process of deporting Leonard to his native Philippines by issuing him an “Order to Show Cause” in 1987. Leonard failed to appear for his hearing and the immigration judge administratively closed his case.
In 2005, which was 20 years after he arrived in the U.S., Leonard met Eva, a United States citizen. They fell in love and got married. Leonard spent the next several years filing applications for immigration benefits with the wrong government agency, paying attorneys’ fees for legal advice that was not accurate, and losing hope that he would ever be permitted to lawfully stay in the U.S.
Leonard and Eva ultimately decided to consult with RMZD. They were informed that Leonard’s application for adjustment of status could not be approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service because of his deportation case.
Attorney Flomy Diza, a partner of RMZD, re-calendared Leonard’s case with the immigration court and Leonard filed an application for Suspension Of Deportation. Leonard’s case presented challenges because the burden of proving hardship is often difficult. However, Attorney Diza believed that with his experience, legal knowledge and preparation, he would be able to present the facts of Leonard’s case in a compelling way. Attorney Diza did indeed skillfully prepare Leonard’s case by presenting substantial evidence detailing Eva’s hardship if Leonard was removed from the United States, including her medical condition and close family ties she has with relatives in the U.S. Attorney Diza also helped Leonard show positive factors in his case and why his case should be approved.
On December 13, 2017, an Immigration Judge in San Francisco, CA granted Leonard’s application for Suspension Of Deportation. Leonard was very happy that he has finally received his green card after decades of living in the U.S. Now, instead of being deported, Leonard is able to fulfill his dream of remaining in the U.S. with his wife and children.