A FEW OF THE THOUSANDS OF THE CASES THAT WE HAVE WON
Since we opened our office in 1995, we’ve had the great privilege of having helped thousands of people who were injured as a result of auto accidents, truck/trailer accidents, pedestrian accidents, etc., to obtain the compensation that they deserve. We’ve also helped thousands of others who had immigration problems because they were in deportation/removal proceedings, had deportation/removal orders, wanted an immigration benefit, such as a green card, American citizenship, a waiver for a crime, or for a violation of the immigration laws, etc. We’re including summaries of a few of these cases. Although we won all these cases, we can’t guarantee the same results for any case in particular that we might handle in the future. All we can guarantee is that we’ll continue to fight with tireless dedication, as we always have, for all our clients.
WE WON A CASE FOR A BICYCLIST WHO WAS STRUCK BY A HIT-AND-RUN VEHICLE BECAUSE WE IDENTIFIED THE DRIVER OF THAT VEHICLE AND TRACKED DOWN HER ADDRESS, EVEN THOUGH SHE LIVES IN ANOTHER STATE, AND EVEN THOUGH THE BICYCLIST’S TWO PREVIOUS ATTORNEYS COULDN’T DO IT
On June 2, 2016, while M. Mendoza was crossing the street on his bicycle inside a pedestrian cross walk, a vehicle struck his bicycle. Then, without stopping to give her information to Mendoza, the driver left the scene in her vehicle. Mendoza sustained injuries for which he was treated at a hospital. A few days later, Mendoza retained an attorney to help him file a claim against the driver. However, since that attorney couldn’t identify the driver nor track down her whereabouts, even though that attorney had the case for over six months, Mendoza, retained another attorney. Unfortunately, that second attorney didn’t do anything either. After seeing our office’s web page on the internet, Mendoza asked us for help. Using information about the vehicle that a witness provided to Mendoza, about three months later, our office obtained the driver’s identity and tracked down her address, even though she lived in Wisconsin. We also found out that her vehicle had insurance. About nine months after Mendoza came to our office, we obtained $20,500.00, from the insurance company as compensation for Mendoza’s injuries.
WE WON A CASE INVOLVING A COLLISION BETWEEN TWO TRACTOR TRAILERS FOR A HARDWORKING TRUCKER WHO CAME TO US BECAUSE HER PRIOR ATTORNEY DIDN’T HAVE TIME FOR HER CASE BECAUSE HE SPENT A LOT OF HIS TIME MAKING TV COMMERCIALS
In 2012, while G. Garcia, a hardworking truck driver, was unloading a tractor-trailer at the Port of Long Beach, another tractor-trailer collided with it. As a result, one of Garcia’s fingers was crushed so badly that it had be to amputated. To file a claim against the owner of the other tractor-trailer, she retained the office of an attorney whom she saw on many TV commercials. But those were the only times that she ever saw him because Garcia never met him and he never talked to her. All her dealings with that attorney’s office were with assistants who often didn’t return her calls. Since that attorney wasn’t paying attention to her case, Garcia thought that it wasn’t worth very much. On a recommendation by one of our clients, she came to our office, and spoke to Mr. Bañuelos who assured her that her case was worth fighting for. In less than two years after that, we obtained $285,000 for Garcia’s case which will pay for her medical bills, for her future medical care, for a prosthetic device for her finger, etc. The check that we obtained for Garcia can be seen by clicking here.
EVEN THOUGH THE POLICE BLAMED HIM FOR THE ACCIDENT, WE OBTAINED A SMALL FORTUNE FOR A HOMELESS MAN THAT CHANGED HIS LIFE FOR GOOD AND THAT OF HIS FAMILY WHO WAS ALSO HOMELESS
In 2012, J. Torres, a homeless man, was injured when he was struck by a car while crossing the street on his bicycle. To file a claim against the owner of the car, Torres consulted several lawyers but none of them wanted to take his case because, they said, it was a lost cause. However, he suspects that none of those attorneys took him seriously because he was homeless. Then, the car’s insurance company offered him $500 for his claim. Because Torres suffered injuries that required hospitalization, he thought that his claim was worth a lot more than that. Hoping to find someone that could help him get fair compensation for his claim, Torres came to our office on a recommendation by one of our clients. Nine months later, even though the police blamed Torres for the accident, we convinced the motorist’s insurance company to pay $15,000, the maximum amount available under that insurance policy. Moreover, with the discounts that we obtained for his medical bills, Torres ended up with more than $8,400. With that money, he rented an apartment where he went to live with his two sisters, and their young children, all of whom had been homeless as well. The $15,000 check that the insurance company paid can seen by clicking here.
WE WON A TOUGH BATTLE FOR A MAN WHO SUFFERED SERIOUS FRACTURES WHEN HIS VEHICLE COLLIDED WITH A TRUCK THAT MADE A LEFT TURN IN FRONT OF HIM
In 2009, our office filed a court action for A. Velazquez, who sustained very serious fractures when his vehicle collided with a large truck that made a left turn in front of him. After litigating in court for more than two years against one of the best law firms in Los Angeles, our office obtained a settlement in the amount of $650,000.00 for Velazquez. At the end of the case, the lead defense attorney, the distinguished Robert G. Harrison, graciously congratulated Mr. Bañuelos for his tenacity, hard work and ethics. Mr. Harrison’s letter can be seen by clicking here.
WE WON SEVERAL FEROCIOUS BATTLES FOR THE WIDOW AND THE THREE LITTLE GIRLS OF A MAN WHO WAS KILLED ON HIS WAY TO WORK AFTER HE WAS RUN OVER BY A TRACTOR-TRAILER
In 1993, a California Court of Appeal issued a decision in favor of the Gamboa family which consisted of a widow and her three little girls, who were represented by Mr. Bañuelos. This case started with a wrongful death action that was filed by Mr. Bañuelos on behalf of that family because the head of that family was killed when he was run over by a tractor trailer while he was riding his bicycle to work. After ferocious and drawn-out battles against highly skilled and experienced attorneys, Mr. Bañuelos obtained a settlement in excess of $475,000.00, for the bicyclist’s family, even though the police blamed the bicyclist for the accident. This settlement was enough to provide economic security for the widow for a long time, for her daughters until they reached the age of 18, and to pay for their college education whenever they were to start that undertaking. The court of appeal’s opinion on this case can be seen by clicking Gamboa vs. Conti Trucking.
CASES WITH THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS (BIA)
OUR EIGHT-YEAR IMMIGRATION COURT BATTLES HELPED A HARD-WORKING, SINGLE MOM, WHO QUIT A SERIOUS DRUG HABIT AND BECAME A NURSE BY GOING TO NIGHT SCHOOL, TO GET THE WAIVER SHE NEEDED TO KEEP HER GREEN CARD
C. Beltran received her green card in 1988. Later that same year, she fell into a drug habit. During the next two years, she had four drug-related convictions. With the help of a drug treatment program, she quit her drug habit. In 2000, when she was a single Mom, she was convicted of stealing clothes from Kmart for her two young children. That incident convinced her that, for her children’s sake, she had to change her life. As are result, she started a six-year, night school nursing program. In 2007, she received her license and got her dream job as a nurse in a hospital. That same year, an immigration attorney convinced her to apply for US citizenship even though he must have known that her convictions made her ineligible for citizenship, and that if she were to apply, she would be placed in removal proceedings. In 2008, Beltran retained our office to defend her against removal proceedings that had been started against her because of the convictions. During the next eight years, our office fought to keep Beltran from being removed to Mexico. In her defense, our office filed two appeals with the BIA. The appeal cases can be seen by clicking here. Finally, on Sept. 22, 2016, because in 2014, while our second appeal was pending, the law changed in Beltran’s favor, an immigration judge granted the application for a Section 212(c) waiver of her convictions that we had filed on her behalf, and that she needed to keep her green card. The order approving the waiver can be seen by clicking here.
WE HELPED A MAN TO AVOID DEPORTATION BECAUSE HE WAS A US CITIZEN, ALTHOUGH HE DIDN’T KNOW IT
A. Reyna and his family came to the US from Mexico legally in 1981. In 1986, his father abandoned the family. In 1987, his mother became a US citizen. In 2005, the INS put Reyna in removal proceedings because of his criminal past. We filed a motion to dismiss with the immigration court arguing that since his mother had naturalized before he was 18, he, as a US citizen through his mother, could not be deported. The court denied the motion because his parents were not legally separated and ordered Reyna’s deportation. We appealed to the BIA. While the case was on appeal, the Superior Court of Los Angeles issued an order of legal separation between Reyna’s parents which established that his mother had had sole custody of him before he was 18. For this reason, the BIA returned the case back to the immigration court. The return order can be seen by clicking here. The court then approved our motion to dismiss. The approval can be seen by clicking here. A short time later, Reyna applied for, and received, a US passport.
THE IMMIGRATION COURT ALLOWED A MAN WITH A BLACK PAST TO KEEP HIS GREEN CARD BECAUSE HE DONATED A KIDNEY TO HIS SISTER WHICH SAVED HER LIFE AND BECAUSE HE QUIT THE GANG LIFE
The INS put J. Diaz, a green-card holder, in removal proceedings because of his criminal past. Diaz came to us on a recommendation by one our clients after an immigration court had ordered his removal, and after many attorneys had told him that his case was a lost cause. We appealed to the BIA. Diaz won the appeal. The appeal case can be seen by clicking here. After a five-year battle in the immigration court, because Diaz had: a) donated a kidney to his sister Maria which had saved her life; b) been a long-time green card holder; and c) changed his life for the better (had stopped drinking and using drugs, and had quit the gang life), the court approved the pardon he needed to keep his green card. The approval can be seen by clicking here. Sadly, two months later, kidney problems took Maria’s life, but she died in peace because she lived long enough to realize her dream of seeing her brother win the pardon he needed to keep his green card.
OUR 11-YEAR IMMIGRATION COURT BATTLES EARNED A PARDON WHICH SAVED A MAN’S GREEN CARD, HIS CHILDREN’S FUTURE, AND HIS MARRIAGE
The INS put L. Ochoa, a green-card holder, ended up in deportation proceedings because of a felony conviction. Then, an immigration court ordered his deportation. We appealed to the BIA. The law changed and the BIA sent the case back to the immigration court. The court ordered his deportation again. Again, we appealed. The law changed again. After an 11-year battle, because Ochoa: a) had been a long-time green card holder; b) had a USC wife and children; c) was a hardworking, responsible, family man; and d) made only one mistake, the court approved the pardon he needed to keep his green card. The approval can be seen by clicking here. At the end of the case, Ochoa told Mr. Bañuelos: “you saved my children’s future and my marriage. If we had lost the case, and I had been deported, my two children would have had to leave the university to work full time to support themselves, and to help keep up the mortgage on our family’s home in Oxnard. Moreover, I would have had to divorce my wife because I would not want to return to the US to live without papers.” Today, Ochoa and his wife are the proud parents of two college graduates with professional careers.
WE HELPED A MAN, WHO WAS A VICTIM OF NOTARIO FRAUD, TO OBTAIN A GREEN CARD BECAUSE AN IMMIGRATION COURT HAD ERRONEOUSLY DENIED IT
When E. Huerta was desperate for work, a notario convinced him to file a petition for political asylum because, the notario told him, that that was one of the ways that he could get a green card. Since Huerta came to the US from Mexico illegally looking for work and not for political asylum, the INS denied the application and put him in deportation proceedings. To save Huerta from deportation, we filed an application for adjustment of status (application for a green card) with the immigration court based on his marriage to a US citizen. The court denied the application. We appealed to the BIA. Huerta won the appeal, and the BIA sent the case back to the immigration court. The appeal case can be seen by clicking here. After that, the court approved the adjustment of status application.
CASES WITH THE ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS OFFICE (AAO)
BECAUSE WE FOUND DOCUMENTS THAT ONE ELSE COULD FIND, WE SAVED THE CASE, WHICH WAS ALMOST LOST, A MAN WAS ABLE TO TRAVEL TO MEXICO TO SEE HIS ELDERLY AND SICKLY MOTHER WHOM HE HAD NOT SEEN IN MORE THAN 20 YEARS, AND HIS GREEN CARD PETITION WAS ALSO APPROVED
M. Delgado came to the US from Mexico illegally in 1981. In 2005, with the help of a notary, he filed an application for late amnesty. Because the notary couldn’t find documents that the USCIS had requested which would prove that Delgado had lived in the US during a specific period of time after 1981, Delgado retained a very famous attorney who has a lot of radio commercials to find those documents because the USCIS warned Delgado that it would deny his application if he didn’t find them. The USCIS denied the application because that attorney couldn’t find them either. We appealed to the AAO. Delgado won the appeal because we found the documents that the USCIS had requested, and which no one else had been able to find. The appeal case can be seen by clicking here. Thereafter, in July, 2013, the USCIS granted temporary residence to Delgado which put him on a path to a green card. The approval can be seen by clicking here. In Sept., 2013, he traveled to Mexico to realize his dream of seeing his 90-year old, gravely-ill mother, whom he had not seen in more than 20 years. Then, on Sept. 17, 2015, another one of Delgado’s dreams was realized because the USCIS approved his green card petition. This approval can be seen by clicking here.
A MAN WHO WAS ABOUT TO GIVE UP ON HIS DREAM OF HAVING A GREEN CARD, AND WHO WAS READY TO RETURN TO MEXICO FOR GOOD BECAUSE HE WAS TIRED OF BEING DEFRAUDED BY NOTARIES AND ATTORNEYS, TOOK A CHANCE ON OUR OFFICE AND REALIZED HIS DREAMS
V. Urbina, who had been petitioned by his wife, started an adjustment of status process (application for a green card) with a notario and continued it with several attorneys, but all they did was to take his money with false promises. When Urbina came to us, on a recommendation by one our clients, he told Mr. Bañuelos that he was his last hope because he was tired of being defrauded. Then, due to misdemeanor convictions, the INS refused to issue him a green card. We appealed to the AAO arguing that those convictions didn’t disqualify him for a green card. While the case was on appeal, Urbina told Mr. Bañuelos that he wanted to return to Mexico for good because he was tired of waiting. Mr. Bañuelos asked him to wait a little more. A month later, Urbina won the appeal. The appeal case can be seen by clicking here. A short time later, one of Urbina’s dreams was realized when he received his green card. As soon as he received it, he went to Mexico to realize another one of his dreams, which was to see his father, who was very sick, and whom he had not seen in over 15 years. Urbina arrived in time to see his father before he passed away. In Oct., 2012, Urbina became a US citizen, which was another one of his dreams.
IN A RACE AGAINST DEATH, THIS TIME DEATH DIDN’T WIN
The INS didn’t want to give N. Delgado, who had been petitioned by her mother Maria, a green card because Delgado had had a negative encounter with the INS at the border in 1990. She came to us because the only thing her prior attorney did was to take her money with false promises. At first, the INS denied the petition for the pardon that she would need for the 1990 incident before she would be eligible for a green card. We appealed to the AAO. While the appeal was pending, Maria was diagnosed with an incurable cancer. We filed a second petition for a pardon with the INS. Finally, for humanitarian reasons (Maria’s cancer), the INS approved the pardon and issued a green card to Delgado. The green card can be seen by clicking here. Sadly, three months later, the cancer took Maria’s life, but she died in peace because she lived long enough to realize her dream of seeing her daughter with a green card.
CASES WITH THE IMMIGRATION COURT
BECAUSE WE HELPED A 76-YEAR OLD SALVADORAN WOMAN, WHO HAD BEEN DEFRAUDED BY NOTARIES AND LAWYERS, AND WHO HAS WORKED ALL OF HER LIFE AS A DOMESTIC, TO GET A GREEN CARD UNDER NACARA, SHE STOPPED WORKING BECAUSE, AS GREEN-CARD HOLDER, SHE QUALIFIES FOR SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT BENEFITS
E. Garcia, a Salvadoran, was detained by the INS when she tried to enter this country illegally in 1990, and was placed in deportation proceedings. Then, although the immigration court sent her a notice of a hearing regarding the deportation proceedings, she didn’t received it because the court sent it to the wrong address. As a result, on April 11, 1990, the immigration court issued a deportation order against her because she did not appear for that hearing. The deportation order can be seen by clicking here. In 2006, Garcia a TPS holder, applied for a green card through NACARA, but her application was denied because of the deportation order. To try to get rid of it, Garcia went to several notaries and lawyers. But all they did is to take her money with promises they never kept. Then, Garcia came to our office on an ex-client’s recommendation. Our office filed a motion to reopen the deportation case, which was granted. The order granting the motion can be seen by clicking here. On July 28, 2018, the immigration court approved Garcia’s application for a green card under NACARA that we had filed on her behalf. The order granting the application can be seen by clicking here. As a result, Garcia, who is 76 years old, was able to stop working as a domestic, which she has done all her life, because, as a green-card holder, she qualified for, and has already started receiving, Social Security retirement benefits.
IN 2004, AND THEN AGAIN IN 2017, OUR OFFICE CONVINCED THE IMMIGRATION COURT TO DISMISS DEPORTATION PROCEEDINGS AGAINST A LONG-TIME GREEN CARD HOLDER
S. Linares, a Salvadoran, became a green card holder in 1992. In Feb. of 2004, upon his return from a trip to El Salvador, he was detained by the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] at the Los Angeles International Airport [LAX], and placed in deportation proceedings on the grounds that a conviction in 1996 for possession of burglary tools, and one in 1997 for receiving stolen property had made him deportable. On Dec. 10, 2004, the Los Angeles Immigration Court granted our office’s motion to terminate which argued that the DHS could not prove the 1997 conviction, and could not prove that the 1996 conviction had made him deportable. The Court’s 2004 order granting our motion to terminate can be seen by clicking here. In April of 2016, upon his return from another trip to El Salvador, Linares was, again, detained by the DHS at the LAX and was, again, placed in deportation proceedings on the grounds that his 1996 conviction for possession of burglary tools, and a 2007 conviction for soliciting prostitution had made him deportable. On Oct. 16, 2017, the Los Angeles Immigration Court, again, granted our office’s motion to terminate which argued that the DHS could not prove that Linares’ convictions in 1996, and in 2007 had made him deportable. The Court’s 2017 order granting our motion to terminate can be seen by clicking here.
A MAN WITH TERMINAL CANCER DIED AT HOME, WITH HIS FAMILY, AND IN PEACE BECAUSE AN IMMIGRATION JUDGE WAS MERCIFUL
In 2009, the INS detained C. Amaya, a green-card holder, and was set to deport him because in 1997, an immigration court had ordered his deportation when he didn’t show up for a hearing. The INS had placed him in deportation proceedings because of his criminal past. To stop his deportation, we filed a motion to reopen with the immigration court that was approved. The approval can be seen by clicking here. Then, to save his green card, we filed a petition for a pardon with the immigration court. In April, 2012, while Amaya was waiting for a trial on that petition, he was diagnosed with an incurable cancer. In Nov., 2012, on humanitarian grounds, the court approved our motion to close the case so that Amaya could spend his remaining days in peace. The approval can be seen by clicking here. Even though Amaya was going to continue fighting the cancer, he knew that he could die very soon. But he found comfort in knowing that if that came to be, he would be at home with his wife and their children. Sadly, on May 27, 2013, that came to be.
BECAUSE WE HELPED A MAN TO SAVE HIS GREEN CARD WHO ALMOST LOST IT BECAUSE OF NOTARIO FRAUD, HIS CHILDREN’S FUTURE WAS SAVED, AND HE REALIZED HIS DREAMS
In 1996, when M. Lopez was 17 years old and desperate to find work, he received a work permit from the INS after he let a notario file applications for political asylum and for a work permit for him. In 2002, through his marriage to a US citizen, Lopez obtained a green card. In 2011, the INS was set to deport him because there was a 1997 deportation order against him that he did not know about because the notario used false addresses in the applications that he filed for Lopez. To stop Lopez’s deportation and to save his green card, we filed a motion to reopen with the immigration court that was approved. The approval can be seen by clicking here. Then, because Lopez: a) had been the victim of notario fraud; b) had a USC wife and children; and c) was a hardworking, responsible family man, the court granted our motion to dismiss. The dismissal order can be seen by clicking here. In July, 2013, Lopez became a US citizen, another one of his dreams.
A MAN WITH A BLACK PAST EARNED A GREEN CARD BECAUSE HE QUIT THE GANG LIFE AND BECAME A MAN OF GOOD
R. Salazar, a Salvadorean and TPS holder, applied for a green card under NACARA. However, due to his criminal past, the INS denied his application and put him in deportation proceedings. To fight his deportation, he retained a very famous attorney who didn’t know what to do with the case. Then, the INS took him into custody to deport him because in 2001 an immigration court had issued a deportation order against him when he did not show up for a hearing. To stop the deportation, we filed a motion to reopen with the immigration court that was approved. The approval can seen by clicking here. Then, we persuaded the court to let Salazar file an application for adjustment of status on the basis of his marriage to his US citizen wife. After a five-year battle, because Salazar: a) had changed his life (had stopped drinking and using drugs, had quit the gang life, had become a hardworking, responsible, family man); and b) his wife and children were US citizens, the court approved the adjustment of status application. The approval can be seen by clicking here.
WE HELPED A MAN TO SAVE HIS GREEN CARD WHO ALMOST LOST IT FOR DOING A FAVOR FOR A TRUSTED FRIEND FROM HIS CHURCH
For doing a favor for a close, trusted friend from his church, when M. Nevarez, a green-card holder, was returning to Los Angeles from a trip to Mexico, he was detained at the border by the INS when the INS discovered that a passenger in his vehicle was undocumented even though his friend had assured him that that person had “papers.” For this violation of the immigration laws, the INS put Nevarez in removal proceedings. To fight his removal, Nevarez hired a highly recommended attorney. After one immigration court hearing, that attorney quit the case because, according to him, the case was too difficult. To save his green card, we filed a petition for a pardon. After fighting the case for four years, because Nevarez: a) had been a long-time green card holder; b) had a wife and children who were either US citizens or green card holders; and c) was a hardworking, and responsible family man, the court approved the pardon he needed to keep his green card. The approval can be seen by clicking here.
WE HELPED AN 80-YEAR OLD GRANDMOTHER TO SAVE HER GREEN CARD WHO ALMOST LOST IT FOR VISITING HER GRANDCHILDREN IN MEXICO
In 2006, S. Gomez, a green-card holder, was hospitalized on her return to Los Angeles after visiting her grandchildren in Mexico when she fell ill with high blood pressure, chest pains, shortness of breath, etc., during an interrogation by the INS at LAX. Then, the INS put her in removal proceedings alleging that she had abandoned her green card because during the interrogation she said that she had stayed in Mexico for over a year. To save her green card, we filed a motion to dismiss with the immigration court arguing that, because Gomez became so ill during the interrogation, what she told the INS should be disregarded. Hospital records proved that Gomez’s illness had been caused by traveler’s fatigue, her age-related (she was 80) frail physical and mental state, and the stress of the interrogation. We also proved that her visit to Mexico had lasted less than six months. As a result, the court approved the motion to dismiss, which saved Gomez’s green card. The dismissal can be seen by clicking here.
FOR HIS THREE YEARS OF SERVICE IN THE US ARMY, A MAN WHO COMMITTED IMMIGRATION FRAUD, EARNED A GREEN CARD, WHICH WAS ANOTHER ONE OF HIS DREAMS
One of R. Hernandez’s biggest dreams was to serve in the US Army, but because he didn’t have a green card, he signed up with a fake one. Over time, and while still in the Army, he earned several merit awards. Three years later, the army discovered his fraud. However, because of his good service record, the Army gave him an honorable discharge. After leaving the army, Hernandez took up drinking, which pushed him away from his only daughter who was a US citizen. When she had a son, he reconciled with her and stopped drinking. Then, because of his fraud, the INS put him in deportation proceedings. To stop the deportation, we filed an adjustment of status petition based on his daughter, and a petition for a pardon of the fraud with the immigration court. For his service to the US; because he was hardworking; had stopped drinking; and had re-established a relationship with his daughter, the court approved the pardon and the adjustment of status. The order that realized another one of Hernandez’s dreams can be seen by clicking here.
IMMIGRATION CASES WITH THE INS/USCIS
BECAUSE WE PROVED THAT THE DRUG-RELATED VIOLENCE IN MEXICO WOULD CAUSE EXTREME HARDSHIP TO HER US CITIZEN HUSBAND, HIS WIFE’S I-601A PROVISIONAL WAIVER FOR HAVING LIVED UNLAWFULLY IN THE US FOR MORE THAN A YEAR AFTER APRIL 1, 1997, WAS GRANTED
In 2009, J. Santiago married D. Zaragoza, a US citizen. They have three children. In 2013, Zaragoza’s I-130 family petition that we filed for Santiago was approved. The approval can be seen by clicking here. Since Santiago came to the US illegally, the only way for her to obtain legal permanent status was by applying for an immigrant visa through a consular process. Moreover, because Santiago had lived illegally in the US for more than a year after April 1, 1997, she was subject to the 10-year unlawful presence bar. To overcome that bar, our office filed an I-601A petition for a provisional waiver. With that petition, we filed evidence that if the petition were denied, and Santiago were forced to return to Mexico, Zaragoza would experience a great deal of suffering. If she were to go to Mexico alone, he would have to raise their children by himself here in the US. To do that, he would have to spend as much per month for childcare as he makes, which would leave him nothing to support them. If Zaragoza and his children were to go with Santiago to Mexico, they would go to to Jalisco, where Santiago has family. But since Jalisco has become very dangerous and violent, it would not be a place for Zaragoza to live in, nor to raise their children. Fortunately, on Oct. 6, 2015, Santiago’s waiver petition was approved. The approval can be seen by clicking here. On Jan. 15, 2016, after an interview at the American Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, the Consulate approved Santiago’s immigrant visa petition. Santiago’s visa can be seen by clicking here. On Jan. 20, 2016, after two weeks in Ciudad Juarez, Santiago returned to the US as a legal immigrant.
WE HELPED A WOMAN, WHO OBTAINED A CONDITIONAL, 2-YEAR GREEN CARD BECAUSE HER MARRIAGE WAS LESS THAN TWO YEARS OLD WHEN HER GREEN CARD APPLICATION WAS APPROVED, TO OBTAIN A PERMANENT GREEN CARD BECAUSE WE WERE ABLE TO PROVE THAT SHE HAD BEEN ABUSED BY HER HUSBAND, AND THAT SHE HAD MARRIED HIM IN GOOD FAITH
L. Cabanillas married a US citizen on Feb. 11, 2011. On May 5, 2011, her application for a green card, which was based on her marriage, was approved. However, she was given a conditional, two-year green card because her marriage was less than two years old when her green card application was approved. That means that within 90 days of the second anniversary of that green card, she and her husband would have to certify that they were still living together in a viable marriage by jointly filing an I-751 petition to remove that two-year limit on her green card. If that petition were approved, the USCIS would issue her a permanent green card. However, she was not with her husband when it was time to file that petition because about six months into the marriage, his constant physical and emotional abuse forced Cabanillas to leave him. Our office filed an I-751 petition on behalf of Cabanillas in which we argued that because her husband had abused her during the marriage, she should be able to file that petition by herself, without her husband’s certification. We included with the petition proof of that abuse, as well as proof that Cabanillas had married him in good faith. Fortunately, on May 13, 2014, her petition was approved, and she was given a permanent green card. The approval can be seen by clicking here.
BECAUSE WE HELPED A MAN TO GET A GREEN CARD IN ONLY 4 MONTHS, HE WAS ABLE TO TAKE AN EMERGENCY TRIP TO MEXICO BECAUSE HIS FATHER, WHOM HE HAD NOT SEEN IN OVER 24 YEARS, WAS GRAVELY ILL
S. Alanis and his wife came to the US from Mexico illegally in 1989. Over the years, from time to time, Alanis would pass by the INS building in Los Angeles, and would notice that some people seemed very happy as they came out of that building. When he saw them, Alanis dreamed that someday, he and his wife would also get to walk out of that building with a green card. In Aug., 2013, on a recommendation by one our clients, Alanis and his wife came to us to see if we could help them realize their dreams. We found out that they were eligible for adjustment of status which would allow them to apply for a green card without having to leave US. Therefore, on Oct., 2013, we filed their green card petitions which were based on a family petition that was filed by their US citizen daughter. Two months later, their work permits were approved. The approvals can be seen by clicking here. Two months after that, on Feb., 2014, the USCIS approved the green card petitions. Four days later, because he was a green card holder by then, Alanis was able to take an emergency trip to Mexico because his father, whom he had not seen in over 24 years, was gravely ill.
BECAUSE A HONDURIAN WOMAN’S TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS [TPS] MADE HER ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS, WE HELPED HER TO GET A GREEN CARD WITHOUT HER HAVING TO LEAVE THE US
A. Gonzalez came to the US from Honduras illegally in 1986. In 1999, when the USCIS started a Temporary Protected Status [TPS] program for Honduras, it approved Gonzalez’s petition for said program. In 2012, when Gonzalez’s parents in Honduras were gravely ill, she applied for Advanced Parole, which would allow her to reenter the US legally after a trip abroad, that was granted by the USCIS. The Advanced Parole can be seen by clicking here. With that permit, Gonzalez traveled to Honduras several times to help with her parents’ care. On Jan., 2013, when she returned to the US, she entered with her Advanced Parole, as she had done before. Her legal entries made her eligible for adjustment of status, which means that she could apply for a green card without having to leave the US. Therefore, we filed Gonzalez’s green card petition which was based on her US citizen daughter’s family petition. On Jan., 2014, the petition was approved. The approval can be seen by clicking here.
WE OBTAINED A U VISA, AND THEN A GREEN CARD FOR A HARDWORKING, AND COURAGEOUS, SINGLE MOM, WHO WAS THE VICTIM OF A ROBBERY, AND WHO TESTIFIED AGAINST THE ROBBER, EVEN THOUGH HE HAD THREATENED HER WITH DEATH
C. Trujillo came to the US from Mexico illegally in 1994. Since then, she had always worked at less than minimum wage-paying jobs because, without papers, that’s all she could get, and because she was afraid to complain about it. In 2007, she was robbed at knife-point while working in a bakery by a gangster who had been robbing businesses in the area. Trujillo called the police even though the gangster threatened her with death. Then, even though she feared that he might track her down and hurt her two children, she testified against him in court. Thanks to her testimony, the gangster was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to a long prison term. On Oct. 12, 2012, our office filed a U visa petition. On Oct. 3, 2013, that petition, along with a work permit petition, were approved. The approvals can be seen by clicking here. A short time later, Trujillo obtained a better-paying job which has allowed her to help her daughter with her expenses at Sacramento State University where she started her studies in Sept., 2015. On Oct. 17, 2016, because Trujillo had had the U visa for three years, our office filed an application for a green card for Trujillo. On April 13, 2017, the petition was approved. This approval can be seen by clicking here. Because Trujillo was a green-card holder, on June 11, 2017, she returned to Los Angeles from a two-week trip to her ranch in Zacatecas during which she saw family she had not seen in over twenty years, including her grandparents who are so gravely ill that she might not see them again.
WE OBTAINED DACA FOR A CLIENT BECAUSE WE PROVED HER PRESENCE IN THE US BY USING HER FACEBOOK POSTS, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE NOT IN THE USCIS’ LIST OF APPROVED PROOF OF PRESENCE DOCUMENTS
Maria D. came to the US from Mexico illegally in 1991. After graduating from high school, her goal was to continue with her education. However, because Maria’s family is poor, she started working to help her parents. In Oct., 2012, we filed Maria’s DACA application. Then, the USCIS requested more proof of Maria’s presence in the US because there were time gaps in the documents we filed. We filed the documents that Maria found that are in the USCIS’ list of acceptable proof of presence documents. Because Maria’s employers paid her in cash and they didn’t want the government to know it, they refused to provide her employment records. As a last resort, to cover the time gaps, we filed Maria’s Facebook posts, even though that kind of evidence is NOT in the USCIS’ list of acceptable evidence. Luckily, on March, 2013, the USCIS approved Maria’s DACA application which included approval of a work permit. These approvals can be seen by clicking here.
CASES WITH THE US PASSPORT OFFICE
ALTHOUGH SHE DIDN’T TRUST ATTORNEYS, FOR HER DAUGHTER, A MOTHER TOOK A CHANCE ON OUR OFFICE AND REALIZED A DREAM
S. Macias, who was born in the US, had a daughter, J., in Mexico whom she brought to Los Angeles illegally when her daughter was a baby. With an attorney’s help, she filed an immigrant visa petition with the US Consulate in Ciudad Juarez on behalf of her daughter because, according to that attorney, that was the only way for J. to obtain legal immigration status in the US. The Consulate denied the petition because J. was already a US citizen because Macias was a US citizen, according to the Consulate. All J. had to do, the Consulate said, was to file paperwork to formalize that status. On her return to Los Angeles, another attorney told Macias to file an immigrant visa petition on behalf of her daughter, which is exactly what she had done before and which led nowhere. After that, Macias didn’t know what to do, nor whom to trust. However, on a recommendation by one of our ex-clients, she took a chance on our office. Shortly after we filed a petition for J. to have her American citizenship status formalized, J. received her US passport, which was a dream come true for Macías.
CASES WITH THE AMERICAN CONSULATE
EVEN THOUGH THE AMERICAN CONSULATE IN GUATEMALA DENIED OUR CLIENT J. LOPEZ’ IMMIGRANT VISA PETITION BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN ALLEGEDLY INVOLVED IN ALIEN SMUGGLING, THE CONSULATE REVERSED ITS DENIAL, AND ISSUED HIM A VISA BECAUSE WE CONVINCED THEM THAT THEY HAD CONFUSED HIM WITH SOME ELSE WHO HAD THE SAME LAST NAME
In January of 2001, J. Lopez came to the US illegally from Guatemala. Dream. In 2005, he married a US citizen and started a family. In Feb., 2016, Lopez appeared at the American Consulate in Guatemala for an interview on an immigrant visa petition that he had filed through his marriage. Unfortunately, without explaining the basis for such a charge, the Consulate denied the petition on the grounds that Lopez had helped an alien to enter the US illegally. Lopez is certain that he never did that. In April, 2016, we requested a copy of the Consulate’s file to find out what evidence it had against Lopez. However, the Consulate didn’t provide those documents to us. In Feb., 2017, because the one-year deadline to do it was running out, we filed a motion to reopen through which we argued, out of desperation and because we didn’t have any information to argue anything else, that since Lopez is a very common surname–especially in Guatemala–that the Consulate had confused him with someone else. Five months later, the Consulate granted our motion to reopen, and informed us that Lopez’s consular visa process would continue. On Oct. 25, 2017, the Consulate granted Lopez an immigrant visa. The visa can be seen by clicking here. With that visa, on Oct. 31, 2017, Lopez returned to the US where his wife and their two young children were waiting for him in Los Angeles.