A FEW OF THE THOUSANDS OF THE CASES THAT WE HAVE WON
Since we opened our office in 1995, we’ve 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 other people who had immigration problems because they were in deportation/removal proceedings, had deportation/removal orders, wanted or needed an immigration benefit, such as a green card, American citizenship, a waiver for a crime, or for a violation of the immigration laws, etc. Although we are very proud to have been able to help so many people, we feel especially privileged because some of those were seriously disadvantaged because they were homeless, disabled, etc. We’re including summaries of a few of the cases that we have won. We can’t guarantee those same results for any case in particular that we might handle in the future. All we can guarantee is that we’ll fight with tireless dedication, as we always have, for all our clients.
WE WON A CASE FOR A HOMELESS 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 FIND HER
On June 2, 2016, while M. Munguia, a homeless man, was crossing the street in Los Angeles, a car struck his bicycle. By the time the police arrived to the accident scene, the driver of the car had driven off without giving her information to Munguia. As a result of the accident, Munguia sustained injuries for which he was treated at a hospital. After Munguia was released from the hospital, he retained an attorney to file a claim against the driver. Because that attorney couldn’t find her, even though he had the case for over six months, Munguia took his case to another attorney. That attorney didn’t do anything either. Munguia suspects that those attorneys didn’t take him seriously and didn’t give his case any attention because he was homeless. After seeing our office’s webpage, Munguia asked us for help. We tracked down a found a witness to the accident, and with information from that witness, we tracked down the driver, even though she lived in the State of Wisconsin. We also found out that her car had insurance. Nine months after Munguia came to our office, we convinced the insurance company to pay $20,500 for his case. The document that finalized this case can be seen by clicking here. With his share of the settlement, Munguia rented an apartment and left the life on the street.
WITH THE SETTLEMENT THAT WE WON FOR A HOMELESS MAN, WHO WAS ATTACKED BY A GERMAN SHEPHERD, HE RENTED AN APARTMENT, LEFT THE LIFE ON THE STREET, AND OBTAINED A STEADY JOB
In October of 2016, while L. Coreas, a homeless man, was walking down the street, a German Shepherd dog ran out of a yard and attacked him. As a result of the attack, Coreas ended up with two very deep bites above his left ankle for which he was treated at a hospital. After he was discharged by the hospital, Coreas asked us for help in filing a claim against the owner of the house where the dog lived. The owner refused to tell us if he had insurance that would cover this incident. However, we found the information, through our own resources, about that insurance company and filed a claim with it in favor of Coreas. After several months of negotiating with that insurance, we managed to get $30,000, for Coreas’ case. The document that finalized this case can be seen by clicking here. With his share of the settlement, Corea rented an apartment and obtained a steady job.
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 hard-working 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. 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, etc. The check that we obtained for Garcia can be seen by clicking here.
WE WON A SMALL FORTUNE FOR A HOMELESS MAN THAT CHANGED HIS LIFE FOR THE BETTER AND THAT OF HIS FAMILY WHO WAS ALSO HOMELESS, EVEN THOUGH THE POLICE BLAMED HIM FOR THE ACCIDENT
In 2012, J. Torres, a homeless man, was injured when he was struck by a car while he was crossing the street on his bicycle in Los Angeles. To file a claim against the driver 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. Desperate, Torres came to us on a recommendation by one of our ex clients. Nine months later, even though the police blamed Torres for the accident, we convinced the auto’s insurance company to pay $15,000, for Torres‘ case, the maximum amount available under the insurance policy. The $15,000 check that the insurance company aid can seen by clicking here. With the money that he received from the settlement, Torres rented an apartment where he went to live with his two sisters, and their young children, all of whom had been living on the street.
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, we 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, we obtained a settlement in the amount of $650,000, for Velazquez’s claim. 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 YOUNG 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 young 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, 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. 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. 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. With the help of a drug treatment program, she quit her drug habit. Then, 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, a very famous immigration attorney convinced Beltran to apply for US citizenship even though he must have known that her drug convictions would make her ineligible for citizenship, and that if she were to apply, she would be placed in removal proceedings. In 2008, Beltran asked us to defend her against removal proceedings that had been started against her because of the convictions after she applied for citizenship with help of that famous attorney. During the next eight years, to keep Beltran from being deported, our office filed two appeals with the BIA. The appeal cases can be seen by clicking here. On Sept. 22, 2016, because in 2014, while the second appeal was pending, the law changed in Beltran’s favor, the immigration court approved the application that we had filed for her for a Section 212(c) waiver of her convictions that she needed to keep her green card. The approval can be seen by clicking here.
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 placed J. Diaz, a green-card holder since 1990, in removal proceedings because of his criminal past. Diaz came to us after an immigration court had ordered his removal, and after many attorneys had told him that his case was a lost cause. We appealed the removal order to the BIA. Diaz won the appeal. The appeal case can be seen by clicking here. On Nov. 17, 2011, 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 immigration court approved the petition for a pardon that we filed on his behalf that 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
L. Ochoa, a green-card holder since 1978, ended up in deportation proceedings because of a felony conviction. Then, an immigration court ordered his deportation. We appealed that order 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. Finally, on Dec. 1, 2006, after an 11-year battle, because Ochoa: a) had been a long-time green card holder; b) had a US citizen wife and children; c) was a hardworking, responsible, family man; and d) had only that felony conviction on his record, the immigration court approved the petition for a pardon that he needed to keep his green card that we had filed for him. 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 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. Moreover, I would have had to divorce my wife because I would not want to return to live in the US without papers.” Today, Ochoa and his wife are the proud parents of two college graduates with professional careers.
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 turned 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 back then, and ordered Reyna’s deportation. We appealed that order to the BIA. While the case was on appeal, the Los Angeles Superior Court issued orders that the court made retroactive, which established that Reyna’s parents had legally separated before he was 18, and that his mother had sole custody of him before he was 18. Using a new case as authority [Minasyan v. Gonzales, 401 F.3rd 1069 (9th. Circ. 2005)], we petitioned the BIA to send the case back to the immigration court, arguing that, under immigration law, the Superior Court’s orders had to be respected, and as such, they gave Reyna a convincing claim to US citizenship through his mother. The BIA granted our petition. The return order can be seen by clicking here. We then filed a motion with the immigration court to terminate the case against Reyna. On Nov. 30, 2005, the immigration court granted our motion. The order case can be seen by clicking here. A short time later, Reyna applied for, and received, a US passport.
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 through his US citizen wife. The court denied the application. We appealed that denial to the BIA. On May 16, 2005, 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 Huerta’s adjustment of status application.
CASES WITH THE ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS OFFICE (AAO)
BECAUSE A MAN’S AMNESTY PETITION FOR A GREEN CARD WAS SAVED BECAUSE WE FOUND DOCUMENTS THAT NO ONE ELSE COULD FIND, 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
M. Delgado came to the US from Mexico illegally in 1981. In 2005, with the help of a notario he filed an application for late amnesty. Because the notario 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 1982, Delgado retained a very famous attorney who has a lot of radio commercials to find those documents. The USCIS denied the application because that attorney couldn’t find them either. We appealed that denial to the AAO. Delgado won the appeal because we did find the documents. 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 our office, 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 that denial 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 just 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 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 that denial 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, on Jan. 17, 2008, 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.
WE WON THE CASE OF A LONG-TIME MEXICAN GREEN CARD HOLDER WHO WAS PLACED IN REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS BECAUSE OF TWO 2004 CONVICTIONS FOR CHILD ABUSE, AND WHO WAS SO SURE THAT HE WAS GOING TO BE DEPORTED THAT HE HAD MADE ARRANGEMENTS TO GO TO MEXICO TO LIVE THERE FOR GOOD
In July of 2004, M. Viramontes, a man from Zacatecas, Mexico, who has been a green card holder since 1978, was convicted of child abuse in 2004. Based on that conviction, in January of 2016, he was placed in removal proceedings. When he first came to us, we told him that it was possible that he could be deported because he had also been convicted of domestic abuse in 1996. Fortunately, because he has many roots in the US [his wife and all of his children are US citizens; has been a homeowner for almost 30 years; has a history of steady employment of almost 30 years, etc.]; has lived a law-abiding life since 2004; and because his wife and one of his children, who is a CHP officer, testified in court that Viramontes had learned from his mistakes, and had become a model husband and father, on May 24, 2019, the immigration court granted the application for cancellation of removal that we had filed for him, and which saved his green card. The order granting the application can be seen by clicking here. Viramontes was so sure that he was going to be deported that he had made plans to go live in Mexico for good after the hearing of May 24, 2019.
BECAUSE WE HELPED A 76-YEAR OLD SALVADORIAN WOMAN TO GET A GREEN CARD UNDER NACARA, AND WHO HAD BEEN DEFRAUDED BY NOTARIES AND LAWYERS, AND WHO HAS WORKED ALL OF HER LIFE AS A DOMESTIC, SHE STOPPED WORKING BECAUSE, AS A GREEN-CARD HOLDER SHE QUALIFIES FOR SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT BENEFITS
E. Garcia, a Salvadoran woman, 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 court issued a deportation order against her because she did not appear for that hearing. 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 false promises. Our office filed a motion to reopen the deportation case, which was granted. The approval 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 filed for her. The approval 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 had been doing all her life because, as a green-card holder, she qualified for, and started receiving, Social Security retirement benefits. [Under Social Security laws, only those with legal permanent immigration status may qualify for 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 at the Los Angeles International Airport, and placed Linares 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 immigration court granted our 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 immigration court, again, granted our motion to terminate which argued that the DHS could not prove that Linares‘ convictions in 1996, and in 2007 had made him deportable. The order granting our motion 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 ordered his deportation when he didn’t show up for a hearing. The INS 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 US citizen wife, Lopez obtained a green card. In 2011, the INS was set to deport him because there was a 1997 deportation order against him. He had not received notice of that order previously because the notario used false addresses in the applications that he had filed for Lopez. To stop Lopez’s deportation and to save his green card, we filed a motion to reopen the deportation case with the immigration court that was approved. The approval can be seen by clicking here. Then, on July 31, 2012, 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 immigration court granted our motion to terminate. The 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 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 filed an adjustment of status application on Salazar’s behalf through his US citizen wife. On April 11, 2011, 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 immigration 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, 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 very famous attorney who quit the case after one hearing because, according to him, the case was too difficult. To save his green card, we filed a petition for a pardon with the immigration court. On Nov. 18, 2009, 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, on July 27, 2007, the immigration court approved our motion to terminate, which saved Gomez’s green card. The dismissal can be seen by clicking here.
FOR HIS THREE YEARS OF SERVICE IN THE U.S. ARMY, A MAN WHO COMMITTED FRAUD TO GET IN TO THE ARMY, 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 for Hernandez through his daughter, and a petition for a pardon of the fraud with the immigration court. On Sept. 26, 2006, 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 petitions. The order that realized another one of Hernandez’s dreams can be seen by clicking here.
IMMIGRATION CASES WITH THE INS/USCIS
AFTER WE HELPED A HARD-WORKING FAMILY MAN TO GET A 1999 DRUG CONVICTION DISMISSED UNDER A NEW LAW, WE HELPED HIM TO GET A GREEN CARD SO THAT HE COULD QUALIFY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT BENEFITS EVEN THOUGH HIS PREVIOUS THREE APPLICATIONS FOR A GREEN CARD HAD BEEN DENIED
S. Valencia, a hard-working Mexican, family man, who has lived in the US since 1980, with the help of three different attorneys, applied for a green card three times under the amnesty program, which were all denied. The first one was denied because he didn’t send proof to the USCIS of his presence in the US during certain periods of time. Although he was here during those times, his attorney didn’t tell him how to look for that proof. The 2nd and 3rd applications were denied because on May 7, 1999, Valencia was convicted of drug possession in the Los Angeles Superior Court. As part of his sentence, he completed drug addiction classes. For that reason, on Nov. 7, 2000, the court dismissed the conviction. However, according to immigration law, that dismissal didn’t eliminate that conviction. In Jan. of 2018, Valencia asked our office to help him get a green card so that he could qualify for Social Security benefits because he would be turning 65 in three years. [Under Social Security laws, only those with legal permanent immigration status may qualify for retirement benefits] We filed a petition for dismissal with the Los Angeles Superior Court of his 1999 conviction under a California law [Penal Code, Section 1203.43] that came into effect in 2016. On June 22, 2018, that petition was granted. According to immigration law, that dismissal did eliminate the conviction. The dismissal order can be seen by clicking here. As a result, on Nov. 26, 2019, the green card application that we filed for Valencia through his US citizen daughter was approved. The approval can be seen by clicking here.
BECAUSE WE HELPED A HARD-WORKING FAMILY MAN, WHO HAS LIVED IN THE US SINCE 1974, AND WHO HAD GIVEN UP ON HIS DREAM OF BECOMING A GREEN CARD HOLDER BECAUSE HIS APPLICATIONS HAD BEEN DENIED TWICE BEFORE, TO GET A GREEN CARD, HE WILL NOW QUALIFY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT BENEFITS
In 1989, with the help of an attorney, M. Cuebas, a hard-working, Mexican, family man who has lived in the US since 1974, applied for a green card through the amnesty program. The petition was denied because, the USCIS said, he had been convicted of alien smuggling in 1984. In 2001, with the help of another attorney, Cuebas, again, applied for a green card through his US citizen wife. That petition was denied for the same reason. Two years ago, Cuebas asked us to help him get a green card because he would be turning 65 years old in two years and wanted to qualify for Social Security benefits. [Under Social Security laws, only those with legal permanent immigration status may qualify for retirement benefits] Our office filed an application for a green card on Cuebas’ behalf through his wife. In support of the petition, we pointed out to the USCIS that, according to court records regarding the 1984 conviction, Cuebas was convicted of helping aliens who had been smuggled into the US by someone else. On Jan. 15, 2020, the USCIS approved Cuebas’ petition because it agreed with our argument which was based on an old case [United States v. Lopez, 484 F.3d 1186 (9th Cir. 2007)] which says that although a conviction for alien smuggling would have disqualified Cuebas for a green card, his conviction for helping undocumented aliens who were already here did not. Cuebas‘ green card can be seen by clicking here.
WE HELPED A DISABLED, GREEN CARD HOLDER TO RENEW HER GREEN CARD IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN HER ELIGIBILITY FOR GOVERNMENT BENEFITS WHICH WERE PAYING FOR HER MEDICAL CARE
M. Segura, a Mexican woman, became a green card holder in 1995, which was set to expire in 2015. Since 2005, Segura had been suffering from a number of chronic, and incapacitating illnesses including diabetes, high blood pressure, transient reversible neurologic dysfunction, heart disease, and kidney disease which required dialysis treatments three times a week, and 24-hour at-home care. All of Segura’s medical expenses were being paid by Medi-Cal. In order to remain eligible for those benefits, her green card had to stay current. That’s why in 2015, before her green card expired, her family filed a renewal application of that green card with the USCIS. However, that application was denied because, due to her disability, she didn’t attend a biometrics appointment that was part of the renewal process. Segura’s family hired an agency to file another renewal application. That application was also denied for the same reason. In June of 2018, we filed another renewal application for Segura. At first, the USCIS told us that it was going to deny it because Segura, again, didn’t attend the biometrics appointment. Finally, on January 18, 2019, the USCIS renewed the green card after we submitted a letter from one of Segura’s treating specialists which confirmed Segura’s disability. Segura’s new green card can be seen by clicking here.
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 ILLEGALLY IN THE US, WAS GRANTED
In 2009, J. Santiago, a Mexican woman, married D. Zaragoza, a US citizen. 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 a 10-year penalty. To overcome that penalty, our office filed an I-601A petition for a provisional waiver of that unlawful presence. 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 three, young children by himself. To do that, he would have to spend as much per month for childcare as he makes. 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 is a very violent state, it would not be a good place for Zaragoza nor for their children to live in. 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, the American Consulate in Ciudad Juarez approved Santiago’s immigrant visa petition. The visa can be seen by clicking here.
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, Cabanillas was not living with her husband when it was time to file that petition. She had left him some months before because she could no longer stand his abuse. We 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 after that, 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 through 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 IN COURT, 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 jobs because, without papers, that’s all she could get. In 2007, she was the victim of a robbery by a gangster while she was working in a bakery. Trujillo called the police even though the gangster threatened her with death. Then, even though she feared that he, or his gangster friends might track her down and hurt her, or her two children, she testified against him in court. As a result, the gangster was convicted of robbery and sentenced to a long prison term. On Oct. 12, 2012, we filed a U visa petition on behalf of Trujillo. 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 job which has allowed her to help her daughter with her university expenses. 2015. On Oct. 17, 2016, because Trujillo had had the U visa for three years, we filed a green card application for Trujillo. On April 13, 2017, the petition was approved. The approval can be seen by clicking here. As a green card holder, in June of 2017, she took a 10-day trip to El Charco de la Gallina, her ranch in Zacatecas, during which she saw family she had not seen in over twenty years, including her grandparents who were gravely ill and elderly–over 90 years old.
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. Initially, we had 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 give her any of her employment records. As a last resort, to cover the time gaps, we filed Maria’s Facebook posts, even though that kind of evidence was NOT in the USCIS’ list of acceptable proof-of-presence in the US documents. Luckily, on March, 2013, the USCIS approved Maria’s DACA application which included approval of a work permit. The 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 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. In 2005, he married a US citizen. 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 wife. Unfortunately, without explaining the basis for such a charge, the Consulate denied the petition because, according to the information that the Consulate had obtained, Lopez had helped an alien to enter the US illegally. Lopez assured us that he had never done that, and our investigation confirmed that Lopez was telling the truth. Consequently, we filed a motion to reopen through which we argued that the Consulate had confused him with someone else because Lopez is a very common surname–especially in Guatemala. Five months later, the Consulate notified us that it reopened the case because it had accepted our arguments. It then told us that, therefore, Lopez’s consular visa process would continue forward. 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, he returned to Los Angeles where his wife and their two young, US citizen children were waiting for him.