(Part 2 in a Series)
One thing that advertising does not reveal is the experience and relationships with government officers and attorneys that develop through the practice of law.
For the past 6 years I have personally handled over more than one hundred federal district court cases and in that time had contact with over thirty United States attorneys, USCIS legal counsel and attorneys with the Office of Immigration Litigation in Washington D.C As a result, I developed relationships with too many officers and U.S. Attorneys to count. These relationships now flourish given our firm principles and values. With Kelly being a former INS Officer and Richard's being a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law, not to mention his hours of public service with the State Bar, the government knows who we are. More importantly, they like us. You'll certainly read more about us in the upcoming articles. In the meantime, let me tell you about one of my recent cases.
I obtained relief for 12 clients because the Department of State and USCIS refused to re-classify the visa category of immigrants and grant legal permanent residency. These immigrants were petitioned by legal permanent resident parents who later naturalized. Their children then had their visa category changed from "F2B" to "F1" which for Filipino immigrants creates, at minimum, a ten-year delay in obtaining a current visa number for processing.
In enacting the Child Status Protection Act, Congress legislated a provision to re-classify upon the request of the immigrant re-classification to F2B status. Upon receiving a request to "re-classify" immigrants, consular officials are obligated to use the "F2B" category processing or priority date and, if it is current, must immediately schedule a processing interview with the client for issuance of the immigrant visa and travel documents. The 12 individuals mentioned above were the victims of the Embassy officials ignoring their requests to re-classify their immigrant visa category and interview the alien for their immigrant visa.
In suing the Department of State and USCIS, I named embassy officials from the Manila Embassy, the Manama Embassy in Bahrain and the London Embassy and demanded that these embassy officials and USCIS employees comply with the statute.
Ultimately, the Department of State was compelled to comply with the law and allow these individuals to enter the United States as legal permanent residents.
In a separate but related case I compelled action from the Immigration Service on behalf of an immigrant who originally filed their petition as F2A son or daughters of legal permanent residents under the age of 21. Here again the Department of State attempted to re-write the law. However upon obtaining a court ordered denial of their Motion to Dismiss which held that this the Department of State may not use this reasoning to deny an immigration benefit that client was also admitted to the U.S. .
Only continued vigilance based upon a knowledge of the law will result in the success of your case. So, don't be fooled by the advertising hype. And, don't be shy. You have the right to ask your lawyer who and what s/he knows.