IMMIGRATION – ASYLUM APPEAL
Recently I appeared before the Ninth Circuit for oral argument on a immigration appeal where my client was originally granted asylum, but the case was reopened on a motion by the government and subsequently the trial court found he had filed a frivolous asylum application but still granted him withholding of removal. After appeals by both my client and the government, the Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed the frivolous asylum filing but overturned the withholding of removal grant, which led us to the Ninth Circuit. Right now it is uncertain how the Ninth Circuit will rule. But the main lessons from this case? Use a competent immigration attorney to prepare your immigration documents and know what is in your document before you sign it.
In the situation above, the problem was that when my client first decided to apply for asylum, he didn’t know anyone, so he was referred to a “service” that helped prepare asylum applications. My client provided a statement, but the company decided to alter it and then told him he had to abide by the altered statement or else. My client, a new immigrant, was terrified and didn’t know to whom to turn, and thus, from fear, did what he was told to do.
In the end, the principals of that “service” went to jail for a some years, and my client…faces a lifetime ban on living in the United States with his U.S. citizen wife and U.S. born child. All this because he relied on a “service” that skirted the laws and didn’t really care about the effects on those it was supposedly there to help.
And that is why for any immigration issues you need to use a competent immigration attorney. The attorney has his own license and reputation to worry about. Because of that he is going to honest and open with you and do what is necessary for your case, without putting you in a position where they can lose everything, as happened in this.
In the end the victim of persecution has become a victim of those who are supposed to be helping him, possibly preventing him from even finding any legal alternative to obtaining lawful status in the United States.