Musings on Immigration

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Here is Another Reason why you Should Hire an Attorney to Represent you in an Immigration Interview!


Here is another reason why you should hire an attorney to represent you in an immigration interview: several Atlanta USCIS immigration officers, including supervisors, had taken the position that a conviction for a DUI with a sentence of 12 months confinement served on probation was an aggravated felony under the immigration laws and therefore, made an individual deportable or inadmissible.
 
Is this correct?  NO!  Under the immigration laws, an individual has committed an aggravated felony if she/he has been convicted of a crime of violence and sentenced to 12 months confinement.  DUI is NOT a crime of violence and therefore, CANNOT be an aggravated felony.
 

During a green card interview this week, an immigration officer was about to deny our client’s application due to the mistaken belief that a DUI was an aggravated felony.  After advocating for our client and explaining what the law really says about aggravated felonies, the immigration officer realized he was wrong and admitted to having denied several applications based on his incorrect interpretation of the law.  Now I cannot help but wonder how many people have been wrongfully denied due to an immigration officer’s lack of legal knowledge and proper training, causing applicants extra legal costs, headaches, and even deportation orders.  Sadly, several applicants have decided not to do anything about those wrongful denials thinking the officers were correct.  Applicants should understand that immigration officers are not attorneys and often lack profound knowledge of the immigration laws and procedures. 

As such, having an attorney during an immigration interview is very important, as it can prevent an officer from taking a wrong decision based on an incorrect interpretation of the law that could literally change your life.  If you believe that your application could have been wrongfully denied, contact an immigration attorney immediately.

Shirley Zambrano, Associate Attorney
404-949-8177
szambrano@immigration.net

 

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