Thursday, July 8, 2010

Beware! Checking Your Mail Could Get You Deported


Reynaldo came to the U.S. from the Philippines nine years ago on a tourist visa and never went back. He left in the Philippines five children and a wife, and decided to work here to support them. Though sad without his family, he sacrificed being with them so he could give them a better life in the Philippines.

Year after year, he worked long hours and saved all the money he could, living humbly in a rented room. Every month for nine years he has sent money home to his family. Because of his sacrifice, his family lives comfortably and his two oldest daughters are in nursing school in the Philippines.

But last month, Reynaldo’s loving daughter unknowingly caused her dad’s deportation when she sent him a package from the Philippines. The package went through customs at the airport in San Francisco, and Reynaldo went there to pick it up. When trying to retrieve the package from the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, he was asked for his ID. When he couldn’t produce a valid ID, he was questioned regarding his immigration status in the U.S.

This questioning led to Reynaldo being placed in deportation proceedings because he has no legal status here in the U.S. He faces certain deportation because he does not qualify for any relief from deportation. His daughters’ nursing careers are now uncertain, and his family will suddenly be without income.

Beware, if you or someone you know has overstayed a required deadline to leave the U.S. and is here illegally, think carefully about coming into contact with the Department of Homeland Security. The consequences could be severe if you have no relief from deportation.
If you are placed in deportation proceedings, immediately seek help from a knowledgeable immigration attorney to see what defense you might have from deportation. It could make all the difference in your future.

Attorney Beverly Byrd graduated from the prestigious Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D.C. with a Master’s in International Law, and has been exclusively practicing U.S. immigration law for over 10 years at Byrd & Associates. She has offices in San Jose and San Francisco. For a limited time, a consultation with Atty. Byrd is free, and all immigration services at Byrd & Associates are 25% off to Manila Mail readers. To schedule a consultation, see our contact information below.

San Jose office
(408) 995-3268
San Francisco office
(415) 362-2285

Immigration Policy Allows Asylum for Battered Women


QUESTION: Is it possible for a woman to get asylum in the United States if she was abused by her spouse in her home country?

ANSWER: Yes. The Obama administration has just granted a new policy that allows foreign women to receive asylum in the United States. This new policy applies to women who are victims of severe domestic beatings and sexual abuse. The Obama administration has opened the door to the protection of women who have suffered severe violations.

QUESTION: What must an applicant for asylum show in order to get his/her case granted?

ANSWER: An asylum applicant must demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Thanks to the Obama administration, battered women will now be included in this list.

QUESTION: What requirements need to be met in order to be granted asylum under this new category?

ANSWER: In addition to meeting the conditions of asylum, abused women also need to show that they are treated by their abuser as subordinates and little better than property, and that domestic abuse is widely tolerated in their home country. The abused woman must show that she could not find protection from institutions in their home country or by moving to another location within that country.

QUESTION: How did this new policy come about?

ANSWER:The Obama administration laid out its position in an immigration appeals court case of a Mexican woman who applied for asylum in San Francisco, stating that she feared she would be killed by her common-law spouse in Mexico. This woman was repeatedly raped by her him at gunpoint, was held captive, and was stolen from. More shocking, her common-law spouse had broken her nose and tried to burn her alive when he had found out that she was pregnant. This woman had asked for her from her local police but the reports were dismissed of violence as a private matter. Finally, in 2004, she fled to the United States with her three children (abuser was the father of all three children).

QUESTION: Does this new policy apply to women fleeing genital mutilation?

ANSWER: No, this policy only applies to battered women in domestic relations. Each case is highly fact dependent and requires scrutiny of the threats that an applicant has faced and will continue to face if she is returned to her home country.
For more information, you may contact us for a consultation.
MONICA GANJOO is an immigration attorney with offices in San Francisco and San Jose. Ganjoo Law Office currently offers $25 consultations in San Francisco, San Jose, or through the telephone. To obtain a consultation in San Francisco, call (415) 495-3710. To obtain a consultation in San Jose, call (408) 975-0500.

870 Market Street
Suite 340
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 495-3710

111 West St. John Street,
Suite 513
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 975-0500

What Happen If Your Adjustment of Status is denied?


Question: What happen if my adjustment of status based on my marriage to a U.S. citizen is denied by the Immigration Officer?

Answer: If you received a denial of your adjustment of status, the I-130 immigrant petition is also denied. You can appeal your case with the Board of Immigration Appeal (BIA) or file a new I-130 petition. Denied adjustment of status is usually referred to the Immigration Judge for removal proceedings. They will send you a Notice to Appear to the Immigration Court within a few months after the denial.

Question: What are my chances on appeal or by filing a new I-130 petition for me based on the same marriage?

Answer: The inconsistencies and findings during the interview should be properly addressed. Both the petitioner and the beneficiary must prove that the marriage was not entered into to obtain immigration benefit. The proof should be more than preponderance of evidence to overcome any finding of sham marriage. If all the findings in the interview can be overcome there is a good chance that the petition will be approved.

Question: What is the evidence needed to overcome the finding of sham marriage?

Answer: The evidence may take the form of testimonies regarding the parties’ courtship and shared residence. Testimony may come from the parties themselves, and their relatives and friends who are witnesses to their courtship and shared life. Documents may include insurance policies, lease agreement, income tax returns, bank accounts, utility bills and other forms showing the names of the petitioner and beneficiary together. Numerous photos of the couples’ shared experiences should also be submitted.

Question: What is the best way to deal with this situation?

Answer: Getting a green card or having a denial can happen in this case. This will be one of your major life decisions. You need to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to help you.

Immigration News

1. The Ninth Circuit Court decided that the death of U.S. citizen parent will not be a hindrance to seek waiver of misrepresentation.
2. Arizona immigration law is just the start of States legislating on immigration. It is time to work on your papers now.
3. On March 17, 2010 we received an approval in Immigration Court of adjustment of status for a conditional residence whose status was terminated before.
4. On January 5, 2010, we received an approval in Immigration Court of an adjustment of status based on good faith marriage despite an age difference of 18 years.
5. On Dec. 7, 2009, our client Ms. E was approved for a waiver of misrepresentation in the Immigration Court. In another case, on October 29, 2009, our request for waiver of misrepresentation for entering as single but actually married for our client Mr. D in Fresno, CA was approved by the Immigration Judge.

Tip of the Week

1. Petitioner’s death is not a problem if the beneficiary is in the U.S. when the petitioner died and at the time of adjustment of status.
2. Abused spouse of U.S. citizen or permanent residents can self petition even if there is a problem with the entry documents.
3. Denied I-751 application to remove condition on residence may be renewed in Immigration Court.
4. Income tax filing is required in the proposed legalization. Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) can be used for filing tax returns and is required before bank accounts can be opened. It is also needed by employers to charge to expense payment for contractual job. Our office assists clients in obtaining ITIN.

Crispin Caday Lozano is an active member of the State Bar of California and he specializes in immigration law. He earned his Juris Doctor at Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California. He is also a CPA and a Bachelor of Business Administration Cum Laude graduate. His offices are located at 1290 B Street, Suite 203, Hayward, California 94541; at 17057 Bellflower Blvd. Suite 205, Bellflower CA 90706 and at 777 N. First St., Suite 333, San Jose, CA 95112. You can contact him at telephone number (510) 538-7188. Visit our website at,