By Attorney Lorella Hess
Our clients were somewhat surprised that the advice they were given by prior attorneys was incorrect. But now that they have received their green cards, they are sure thankful that RZMD took the time to understand the unique facts of their case.
Over the years Daniel & Rebecca consulted several attorneys who couldn’t figure out how to help them—one led them on a wild-goose chase for employment authorization and even lost their passports. Rebecca got an approved petition from her employer in 2009, but her application for a green card was closed by USCIS for lack of jurisdiction, because of the removal order from back in the 1990s. They went to other attorneys, who said they would just have to wait for a change in the law.
Finally, Daniel made an appointment for the family with Robert Reeves, RMZD’s late founder, who told them that their old removal order could be reopened and dismissed so they would be eligible for green cards. As a first step, we submitted petitions for both parents from Benjamin, who had by then turned 21. Once those petitions were approved, we started to investigate the prospects for reopening.
It was somewhat challenging to reconstruct exactly what had happened in this case over the years, particularly because Daniel & Rebecca had at times just been following directions from prior attorneys without really understanding what steps they were taking. Eventually, however, RMZD staff figured out that Daniel & Rebecca had actually left and re-entered the US shortly after their grant of voluntary departure expired, which executed the old order and removed the jurisdictional barrier to their green card applications.
This opened up a faster and cleaner route to permanent residence for Rebecca & Daniel, and RMZD’s representation shifted from trying to reopen their removal order to submitting new and improved green card applications, arguing that Rebecca’s earlier denial was based on a faulty premise because there was no active removal order against her. Convincing USCIS to approve the new applications posed another challenge, but with careful preparation and close attention to detail the RMZD team was able to help Rebecca & Daniel carry the day. Now Daniel & Rebecca have green cards at last, and with secure prospects for their own future in the United States they are happy to shift their focus to preparations for Benjamin’s wedding.