Obtaining a green card is challenging enough. And the whole process is made even more challenging when a person is inadmissible due to prior misrepresentations. But for these RMZD clients, the whole process just made them appreciate their green cards even more.
In a recent decision, an Immigration Judge in San Francisco, California granted a waiver of misrepresentation to spouses Ray and Maria Garcia (real name withheld for privacy) who were placed in removal proceedings for misrepresentations in order to immigrate to the USA. The judge then granted the Garcia’s permanent resident status.
Mr. and Mrs. Garcia’s immigration story started about 25 years ago when Mr. Ray Garcia’s mother petitioned him as an unmarried son of a United States citizen in 1986. However, Ray and his girlfriend, Maria, married in the Philippines in 1993, and they never informed their family about their marriage. Ray entered the United States in 1994 as a crewman and never left the U.S after entry. When Ray’s priority date became current in 1998, he applied for adjustment of status claiming that he was single. But an overseas investigation conducted by USCIS discovered his marriage to Maria. He was charged with making a misrepresentation and placed in deportation proceeding. Meanwhile, Maria applied for a tourist visa at the Embassy. Maria also claimed that she was single. She did not disclose that her husband was in the United States trying to adjust to permanent resident status (greencard). Maria entered the United States in 2001 and applied for greencard with her husband based on the approved petition from his mother.
Ray and Maria hired several attorneys to get their greencard and to obtain a waiver. Unfortunately, their case was denied twice by the USCIS district office. The Garcia’s appealed their case with the Administrative Appeal Office (AAO), which also denied their case. They were placed in removal proceedings in February 2008. Frustrated and disappointed, they sought a new attorney and retained Reeves and Associates.
While Ray and Maria have two United States citizen children, unfortunately, children are not qualifying relatives to obtain a waiver. Ray’s mother was his qualifying relative. She was already past her middle years and suffers from several medical conditions. Maria had no qualifying relative in the United States since her husband was also in removal proceedings.
Attorney Flomy Javier Diza, a Partner of Reeves and Associates in the San Francisco Office renewed the Garcia’s adjustment of status and waiver applications in court. He requested the court to hear Ray’s case first, and if his case is approved, Ray would become Maria’s qualifying relative of his wife Maria. Atty. Diza presented a compelling case on behalf of Ray, who has strong family ties to the United States. Atty. Diza demonstrated that if Mr. Garcia were removed, his U.S. mother would suffer extreme hardship due to her medical conditions. Atty. Diza was able to show that despite other family members including Ray’s six siblings in the United States, Ray was the one taking care of his mother who lived with him since his last entry in 1994. When the immigration judge approved Ray’s case, Atty. Diza demonstrated that if Maria is deported to her home country, Ray would suffer severe hardship and will be left alone to take care of a sick mother, and two minor children.
The Garcia’s thanked Atty. Diza and the staff for a job well done. With regard to the Immigration Judge’s Decision, Attorney Flomy Diza commented, “I feel that justice was achieved for this family. These are good law-abiding people who have worked hard, raised their children well, took care of their ailing mother, and paid taxes since they arrived here. Their deportation at this point would have had tragic ramifications for the entire family.”
Client expressed his thanks by saying “Thank you so much, having a good lawyer like you with your expertise in handling our difficult case, good preparation and representation in winning our case meant a lot to us. Our children will now have a better future in this country.”