Today we had a huge victory for a great client!
It was a long journey, but we were able to prove to the judge that he deserved to be forgiven for his mistake. As a result, he was eventually approved to stay in the U.S.
We spent many many hours preparing for his trial and making sure he was ready to face the judge. Thankfully, our hard work paid off. He is now out of immigration court and on his way to becoming a US citizen.
Here are some lessons to be learned from this experience:
- Beware of bad legal advice. Our client was told by a different attorney that his wife was barred from entering the United States for 10 years. Desperate to be with her, he decided instead to sneak her in. But the advice that other attorney gave him was wrong. His wife would have been eligible for her green card right away. If he had come to us sooner, he never would have found himself in immigration court. Save yourself the trouble and consult with a knowledgeable, top-knotch attorney. And never be afraid to get a second opinion.
- Always tell the truth. Judges are very skilled at knowing when someone is being dishonest with them because of how often people try to lie. A truthful explanation of what you might have done wrong will help you many times more than a lie ever could. Judges have access to your entire immigration and criminal history. So there is no point in trying to hide anything from them. Just today the judge listed our client’s truthfulness and remorse as one major reason he decided to approve his case.
- Be prepared. Chances are that the judge is working on thousands (yes, thousands!) of other cases, so when your day in court finally comes, you have to be as prepared as possible. That means you should be able to fully answer all of his or her questions. You should also always give the judge any evidence that will be helpful for your case as early as possible, so that he or she has time to review the case. Judges have very little time to spend on your case. Make his or her job as easy as possible.
- Make a great first impression. Hearings are a little like job interviews. You want to make sure the judge knows exactly how important your immigration case is for you. Show them that you care by showing up on time and dress appropriately.
When our client came to our office, he was very distraught. He wasn’t sure if he would be able to keep his green card and whether he could continue living with his family here in the United States. Today, he could finally let go of the anxiety that had been haunting him for several years. And soon he will be a US citizen!