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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 particularly privileged because some of those were 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.

ACCIDENT CASES

CASE #1
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 a street on his bicycle in Los Angeles, a car struck his bicycle. By the time the police arrived at 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 serious injuries which required hospitalization. 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 pay his case any attention because he was homeless. After seeing our office’s webpage, Munguia asked us for help. The first thing that we did is to track down a witness to the accident, and with information from that witness, we tracked down the driver, even though she lived in Wisconsin. We also found out that the driver’s car was insured. Nine months after Munguia came to our office, we convinced the driver’s 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.


CASE #2

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 bit 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 that insurance for 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, Coreas rented an apartment and obtained a steady job.


CASE #3
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 her 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.  Less than two years later, we obtained $285,000 for Garcia’s case which paid for all her medical bills, will pay for all her future medical care, etc. The check that we obtained for Garcia can be seen by clicking here.


CASE #4

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, while J. Torres, a homeless man, was crossing a street on his bicycle in Los Angeles, a car struck his bicycle. As a result, J. Torres sustained serious injuries which required hospitalization. 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’ injuries were serious, he thought that his case 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 car’s insurance company to pay $15,000, the maximum amount available under the insurance policy to Torres as compensation for his injuries. The $15,000 check that the insurance company paid 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.


CASE #5

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.


CASE #6

WE WON SEVERAL FEROCIOUS BATTLES FOR THE WIFE AND THE THREE YOUNG DAUGHTERS 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)

CASE #7

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. That same year, she fell into a drug habit. During the next two years, she had four drug-related convictions. In 2000, 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. With the help of a drug treatment program, she quit her drug habit and started a 6-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 Los Angeles 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. In 2008, Beltran came to our office and asked us to defend her against removal to Mexico because ICE had placed her in removal proceedings after she had applied for US citizenship with that attorney’s help; her drug convictions had made her subject to removal from the U.S. During the next eight years, to keep Beltran from being removed to Mexico, our office filed two appeals with the BIA. The appeal cases can be seen by clicking here. In 2014, while the second appeal was pending, the law changed in Beltran’s favor. On Sept. 22, 2016, following a trial in the Los Angeles Immigration Court, the Court approved the petition for a pardon of her convictions that we had filed for Beltran that she needed to keep her green card. The approval can be seen by clicking here.


CASE #8
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

ICE placed J. Diaz, a green-card holder since 1990, in removal proceedings because of his criminal past. Diaz came to our office after the Los Angeles Immigration Court 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. Five years later, on Nov. 17, 2011, following a trial in the Los Angeles Immigration Court, the Court approved the petition for a pardon of his criminal past that we had filed for Diaz which allowed him to keep his green card. The Court approved the pardon because we proved that Diaz had: a) donated a kidney to his sister, Maria, which 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 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 earn the pardon that he needed to keep his green card.


CASE #9

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 removal proceedings because of a felony drug conviction. Then, the Los Angeles Immigration Court ordered his removal. We appealed that order to the BIA. The law changed and the BIA sent the case back to the Los Angeles Immigration Court. The Court ordered his removal again. Again, we appealed. The law changed again. On Dec. 1, 2006, after an 11-year battle and following a trial in the Los Angeles Immigration Court, the Court approved the petition for a pardon of Ochoa’s drug conviction that we filed for him and that he needed to keep his green card because we proved that Ochoa: a) had been a long-time green card holder; b) had a US citizen wife and children; and c) was a hardworking, and responsible family man. 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 studies to work full time to support themselves, and to save 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 careers as professionals.


CASE #10

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 in 1981 as legal immigrants. 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 San Pedro Immigration Court arguing that since his mother had naturalized before he turned 18, he had become a US citizen automatically, and, therefore, could not be removed to Mexico. The Court denied the motion because Reyna’s parents were not legally separated back then, and ordered Reyna’s removal to Mexico. We appealed that order to the BIA. While the case was on appeal, the Los Angeles Superior Court issued retroactive orders which established that Reyna’s parents had legally separated before he was 18, and that his mother had custody of him until he was 18. Using a then 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 San Pedro Immigration Court, arguing that the Superior Court’s orders had given Reyna a solid legal to claim US citizenship through his mother. The BIA granted our petition. The BIA’s return order can be seen by clicking here. We then filed a motion with the San Pedro Immigration Court to terminate the case against Reyna. On Nov. 30, 2005, the court granted our motion. The order terminating the case can be seen by clicking here.


CASE #11

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 it would get him a green card. Since Huerta came to the U.S. from Mexico looking for work and not for political asylum, the INS denied the petition and put him in removal proceedings. To save Huerta from removal, we filed a petition for adjustment of status (petition for a green card) with the Los Angeles Immigration Court for Huerta which was based on his marriage to his US citizen wife. The Court denied the petition. We appealed that denial to the BIA. On May 16, 2005, Huerta won the appeal, and the BIA sent the case back to the Los Angeles Immigration Court. The appeal case can be seen by clicking here. After that, the Court approved Huerta’s adjustment of status petition and he became a legal permanent resident of the US.

CASES WITH THE ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS OFFICE (AAO)

CASE #12

BECAUSE A MAN’S AMNESTY PETITION FOR A  GREEN CARD WAS SAVED BECAUSE WE FOUND DOCUMENTS THAT NO ONE ELSE COULD FIND, HE 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 a petition for late amnesty with the USCIS. 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 petition because that attorney couldn’t find them either. We appealed that denial to the AAO. Delgado won the appeal because our office found those documents. The appeal case can be seen by clicking here. Thereafter, in July, 2013, the USCIS granted temporary residence to Delgado which placed him  on a path to a green card. The approval can be seen by clicking here. In Sept., 2013, with that temporary residence, he was able to travel 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 when the USCIS approved his green card petition. This approval can be seen by clicking here.


CASE #13

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 US citizen wife, started an adjustment of status process (petition for a green card) with a notario and then retained two different attorneys to continue the process. 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 cheated. Then, due to misdemeanor convictions, the INS denied his adjustment of status petition. 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 traveled to Mexico to realize another one of his dreams, which was to see his father, who was gravely ill, and whom he had not seen in over 15 years. Urbina arrived in Mexico just in time to see his father before he passed away.


CASE #14

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 that 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.


CASES WITH THE  IMMIGRATION COURT

CASE #15

WE HELPED A HARDWORKING, MEXICAN FAMILY MAN WHOSE PRIOR ATTORNEY QUIT HIS IMMIGRATION COURT CASE BECAUSE IT WAS TOO DIFFICULT, AND WHO HAD BEEN CONVICTED FOR ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF DRUGS AND A MILITARY RIFLE, TO GET A GREEN CARD THROUGH A CONSULAR PROCESS

L. Sepúlveda was placed in removal proceedings in 2011 because he was convicted for possession of illegal drugs by the Santa Barbara Superior Court. To fight his removal to Mexico, he hired a famous immigration attorney. However, after a few hearings in the Los Angeles Immigration Court, that attorney quit the case because it was too complicated for him. When Sepulveda came to us, he wanted us to promise him that he wouldn’t get removed to Mexico and that he would end up with green card. Although we didn’t promise him what he wanted because we don’t make empty promises, in 2015, Sepulveda retained us to help him fight against removal and to apply for an immigrant visa through a consular process which was the option open for him to get a green card because he came to the US illegally. Although he met the visa requirements, if he didn’t get a dismissal of his drug conviction, a waiver of his illegal presence in the US, and a dismissal of his removal case, he’d never get it. Therefore, we filed petitions for: 1) dismissal of his drug conviction in the Santa Barbara Superior Court that was granted on Sept. 12, 2018, and can be seen by clicking here; 2) an I-601A waiver of his illegal presence with the USCIS that was approved on Dec. 11, 2018, and can be seen by clicking here; and 3) dismissal of his removal case in the Los Angeles Immigration Court that was granted on April 11, 2022, and can be seen by clicking here. On Aug. 17, 2022, Sepúlveda was interviewed at the American Consulate in Ciudad Juarez on his immigrant visa petition which was based on his marriage to a US citizen. On Sept. 23, 2022, the Consulate approved the visa that can be seen by clicking here. A week later, Sepúlveda returned to the US as an immigrant where his wife and their three children were waiting for him.


CASE #16

WE WON THE CASE OF A HARDWORKING, MEXICAN FAMILY MAN AND A GREEN CARD HOLDER SINCE 1978, WHO WAS PLACED IN REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS BECAUSE OF CHILD ABUSE CONVICTIONS IN 2004, AND WHO WAS SO SURE THAT HE WAS GOING TO BE DEPORTED THAT HE MADE ARRANGEMENTS TO RETURN TO MEXICO TO LIVE THERE FOR GOOD

M. Viramontes, a green card holder since 1978, was placed in removal proceedings in 2016 because of child abuse convictions in 2004. When he first came to our office, we told him that because he had also been convicted of domestic abuse in 1996, there was a good chance that he would be removed to Mexico. In order to try to prevent his removal and to save his green card, we filed a petition for cancellation of removal with the Los Angeles Immigration Court for Viramontes. Thereafter, the Court scheduled a trial on that petition for May 19, 2019. Weeks before the trial, Viramontes bought a plane ticket to return to Mexico for good after the trial because he was convinced that the Court would deny his cancellation of removal petition and order his removal. However, after the trial, the Court approved the cancellation of removal petition because we presented proof that Viramontes had many very strong roots in the US [his wife and all of his children are US citizens; had been a homeowner for 30 years; had a history of steady employment for 30 years, etc.]; 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 good husband and father. That approval saved Viramontes‘ green card, and saved him from removal. The order granting the petition can be seen by clicking here.


CASE #17

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 Los Angeles 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, after a trial in the Los Angeles Immigration Court, the Court approved the application for a green card under NACARA that we had filed for her. The approval can be seen by clicking here. As a result, Garcia, who was 76 years old, was able to stop working as a domestic, which she had been doing since she arrived in the US, because as a green-card holder she qualified for, and started receiving, Social Security retirement benefits.


CASE #18

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 ICE at LAX, and placed in removal proceedings on the grounds his 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 motion to terminate which argued that the ICE could not prove the 1997 conviction, and could not prove that the 1996 conviction had made him removable. 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 removal proceedings on the grounds that his 1996 conviction for possession of burglary tools, and a 2007 conviction for soliciting prostitution had made him removable. On Oct. 16, 2017, the Los Angeles 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 removable. The order granting our motion can be seen by clicking here.


CASE #19

A MAN WITH TERMINAL CANCER DIED AT HOME, WITH HIS FAMILY, AND IN PEACE BECAUSE AN IMMIGRATION JUDGE WAS MERCIFUL

In 2009, ICE detained C. Amaya, a green-card holder, and was set to remove him to Mexico because in 1997 the Los Angeles Immigration Court had ordered his removal to Mexico because he didn’t show up for a hearing. ICE placed him in removal proceedings because of his criminal past. To stop his removal, we filed a motion to reopen with the Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles Immigration Court for Amaya. In April, 2012, while Amaya was waiting for a trial in Court on that petition, he was diagnosed with an incurable cancer. In November of 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.


CASE #20

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 a petition 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 in 1997 the Los Angeles Immigration Court ordered his deportation because he didn’t show up for a hearing. He didn’t show up because the notario used false addresses in the asylum petition 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 Los Angeles Immigration Court that was approved. The approval can be seen by clicking here. Then, on July 31, 2012, the Court granted our motion to terminate proceedings because we proved that Lopez: a) had been the victim of notario fraud; b) had a USC wife and children; and c) was a hardworking and responsible family man. The order can be seen by clicking here.


CASE #21

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 petition and put him in removal proceedings. To fight his removal, he retained a very famous attorney who didn’t know what to do with the case. Then, the INS took him into custody to remove him him because in 2001 the Los Angeles Immigration Court  had issued a removal order against him because he did not show up for a hearing. To stop the removal, we filed a motion to reopen with the Los Angeles Immigration Court that was approved. The approval can seen by clicking here. Then, we filed an adjustment of status application (application for a green card) on Salazar’s behalf through his US citizen wife. On April 11, 2011, after a five-year battle, and after a trial in the Los Angeles Immigration Court, the Court approved the adjustment of status application because we proved that Salazar: a) had changed his life (had stopped drinking and using drugs, had quit the gang life, had become a hardworking, and responsible family man); and b) his wife and children were US citizens. The approval can be seen by clicking here.


CASE #22

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 CBP (border patrol) when CBP 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, CBP placed 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 for Nevarez with the Los Angeles Immigration Court for Nevarez. On Nov. 18, 2009, after fighting the case for four years, and after a trial in the Los Angeles Immigration Court, the Court approved the pardon he needed to keep his green card because we proved that 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 approval can be seen by clicking here.


CASE #23

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 mistakenly said that she had stayed in Mexico for over a year. To save her green card, we filed a motion to dismiss with the Los Angeles 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.


CASE #24

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. Then, because of his green card fraud, ICE placed him in removal proceedings. To stop his removal, we filed an adjustment of status petition for Hernandez through his USC citizen daughter, and a petition for a pardon of the fraud with the Los Angeles Immigration Court. On Sept. 26, 2006, following a trial, the Court approved the pardon and his adjustment of status petition because we proved that Hernandez: a) had a good record of service with the US Army; b) was hardworking; c) had stopped drinking; and e) had re-established a relationship with his daughter. The order that realized another one of Hernandez’s dreams can be seen by clicking here.

IMMIGRATION CASES WITH THE INS/USCIS

CASE #25

BECAUSE THE AFFIDAVITS OF SUPPORT THAT WE PREPARED WERE ACCEPTED BY THE CONSULATE, IT APPROVED THE IMMIGRANT VISA PETITIONS OF THE WIFE AND DAUGHTER OF A HARD WORKING MAN WHO HAD GIVEN UP ON HIS DREAM OF BRINGING THEM TO THE U.S. BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN DEFRAUDED BY A NOTARY WHO PRETENDED TO BE AN ATTORNEY, AND WHO PREPARED AFFIDAVITS OF SUPPORT THAT WERE REJECTED TWO TIMES BY THE CONSULATE

Jose M, a hard-working Mexican family man and a green card holder, filed immigrant visa petitions for his wife Josefina and for their young daughter Maria. A notary, who pretended to be an attorney, prepared the visa petitions and the affidavits of support. On Dec. 26, 2018, the American Consulate in Ciudad Juarez denied the petitions because Jose M’s earnings were not high enough to meet the requirements of the law, and because the affidavits had been sloppily done. However, the Consulate said that if they were to file affidavits from a co-sponsor whose income was high enough to meet the requirements, the Consulate might approve their petitions. Then, even though the notary prepared affidavits from a new co-sponsor whose income was sufficient to meet the requirements, those affidavits were rejected because they had prepared improperly. By this time, Jose M had given up on his dream of bringing his wife and his daughter to the U.S. legally. However, as a last resort, and on a recommendation from one of our ex-clients, Jose M came to our office. Our office prepared affidavits from a new co-sponsor which were accepted by the Consulate. As a result, on December 3, 2019, the Consulate approved Josefina’s and Maria’s visa petitions. The visas can be seen by clicking here.


CASE #26

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, applied three times for a green card with the help of three different attorneys, 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 a certain period of time. Although he was here during that time, his attorney didn’t know how to help him to look for that proof. The 2nd and 3rd times were denied because on May 7, 1999, Valencia was convicted of drug possession in the Los Angeles Superior Court. On Nov. 7, 2000, the court dismissed the conviction under Calif. Penal Code § 1203.4. However, that dismissal didn’t eliminate the conviction under immigration law. In Jan. of 2018, when Valencia had already been living and working in the U.S. for forty years, he asked whether we could help him to get a green card so that he could apply for Social Security retirement benefits when he would turn 65 in three years. [only US citizens/green card holders are eligible to receive Social Security retirement benefits] We filed a petition for dismissal with the Los Angeles Superior Court of his 1999 conviction under a California law [Penal Code § 1203.43] that came into effect in 2016. On June 22, 2018, the petition was granted. That dismissal eliminated the conviction under immigration law. 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.


CASE #27

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

M. Cuebas, a hard-working Mexican family man, applied twice for a green card through the amnesty program with the help of two different attorneys, which were all denied because, the USCIS said, he had been convicted of alien smuggling in 1984. In 2001, with the help of another attorney, Cuebas, applied for a green card a third time through his U.S. citizen wife. That petition was denied for the same reason. In 2018, when he had already been living and working in the U.S. for more than 40 years, Cuebas asked our office to help him get a green card so that he could apply for Social Security retirement benefits when he would turn 65 in two years. Our office filed an application for a green card on Cuebas’ behalf through his wife. As part of that petition, we argued to the USCIS that, according to Federal Court criminal records regarding the 1984 conviction, Cuebas was convicted of helping aliens who were already in the US, not of bring them into the U.S. On Jan. 15, 2020, the USCIS approved Cuebas’ petition because it agreed with our argument which was based on a case entitled United States v. Lopez, 484 F.3d 1186 (9th Cir. 2007). This case says that although a conviction for alien smuggling would have disqualified Cuebas for a green card, his conviction for having helped undocumented aliens who were already in the US did not disqualify him. Cuebas‘ green card can be seen by clicking here.


CASE #28

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 received her green card in 1995 which was set to expire in 2015. Since 2005, Segura has been suffering from a number of chronic, and incapacitating illnesses which include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney disease–which required dialysis treatments three times a week.. 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 for 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 attorney to file another renewal application. That application was denied for the same reason. In June of 2018, after Segura’s family asked for our help, we filed another renewal application. At first, the USCIS told us that it was going to deny it because Segura, again, didn’t attend a biometrics appointment. Finally, on January 18, 2019, the USCIS renewed the green card after we obtained, and submitted, a letter from one of Segura’s treating doctors which confirmed Segura’s disability. Segura’s new green card can be seen by clicking here.


CASE #29

BECAUSE WE PROVED THAT THE DRUG-RELATED VIOLENCE IN MEXICO WOULD CAUSE EXTREME HARDSHIP TO HER US CITIZEN HUSBAND, A 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, the American Consulate in Ciudad Juarez approved Santiago’s immigrant visa petition. The visa can be seen by clicking here.


CASE #30

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, Cabanillas 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 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. 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.


CASE #31

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.


CASE #32

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.


CASE #33

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 U.S. 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, while she was working in a bakery, she was the victim of a robbery by a gangster. Trujillo called the police right after the gangster ran out of the bakery even though he had threatened her with death. Subsequently, she testified against him in court even though she feared that he, or his gangsters friends, might track her down and hurt her, or her two children. As a result, the gangster was 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-paying 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, a ranch in Zacatecas where she was born, during which she saw family she had not seen in over twenty years, including her grandparents who were gravely ill and elderly (all were over 90 years old).


CASE #34

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 petition. Then, USCIS requested more proof of Maria’s physical presence in the US because there were time gaps in the documents we filed. Initially, we filed the documents that Maria found that are in USCIS’ list of acceptable proof of physical presence documents. Since Maria’s employers paid her in cash and because 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 that USCIS wanted covered, we filed Maria’s Facebook posts, even though that kind of evidence was NOT in USCIS’ list of acceptable proof-of-physical presence documents. Fortunately, on March, 2013, USCIS approved Maria’s DACA petition which included approval of a work permit. The approvals can be seen by clicking here.


CASES WITH THE US PASSPORT OFFICE

CASE #35

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, they told Macias, J. was already a US citizen because Macias was a US citizen. All J. had to do, the Consulate said, was to file paperwork to formalize that J’s 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 thereafter, we filed a petition for J. to have her American citizenship status formalized, J. which was approved, and which was a dream come true for Macías.


CASES WITH THE AMERICAN CONSULATE

CASE #36

EVEN THOUGH THE AMERICAN CONSULATE IN GUATEMALA DENIED OUR CLIENT LOPEZ’ IMMIGRANT VISA PETITION BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED THAT HE HAD BEEN 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

J. Lopez came to the US illegally from Guatemala in 2001. In Feb., 2016, he appeared at the American Consulate in Guatemala for an interview on an immigrant visa petition which was based on his marriage in 2005 to an American citizen. Unfortunately, without explaining the basis for such an accusation, the Consulate denied the petition because, according to the Consulate, he helped an alien to enter the US illegally. Lopez assured us that he had never done that. Consequently, we filed a motion to reopen with the Consulate 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.

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