Case Status Update: DACA Approval, EAD Renewal Approval, Expungement Granted
Initial application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Approved - This week we received an approval notice for an initial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application. Our client, (hereinafter. Client “X"), is a native and citizen of China. X submitted the DACA application with out a lawyer in July of 2015. After waiting for almost 2 years for a decision from USCIS, X received a Request For Evidence (RFE) last month. Upon receiving the RFE, X contacted us to represent her in responding to the RFE. We quickly prepared a package of the requested evidence with a cover letter explaining that X was in fact eligible for DACA, and has now submitted all of the required documents evidencing her eligibility. About a month after receiving our evidence package, X’s DACA application was approved! She also now has an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) aka work permit based on her DACA status so she can legally work in the United States. X is currently in Graduate School and is relieved that she can finally work part-time while she finishes up school.
Work Permit (EAD) renewal approved for Cancellation of Removal applicant - We also received an approval notice for our client, (hereinafter, Client “Y”), who is a native and citizen of Senegal. Y entered the country with parole in 2002 and he and his wife have twin U.S. Citizen sons. Y and his wife both applied for Asylum and Withholding of Removal and were placed into Removal/ Deportation Proceedings. Y subsequently applied for Cancellation of Removal based on the extreme hardship to his U.S. Citizen sons. Y and his wife were finally scheduled for an merits hearing in immigration court after being in proceedings for many years, but after Y was diagnosed with prostate cancer, a joint request to administratively close the case was granted by the immigration judge. Y’s cancer is now in remission and he its doing better everyday.
NJ Expungement Granted - Finally, this week we received an order granting an expungement of a criminal record for our client, (hereinafter, “Z”). Z is a native and citizen of Indonesia who entered the U.S. with a B2 Visitor Visa when she was 10-years-old. Like many Chinese Christians, Z’s family fled Indonesia in 2006 due to the continued persecution suffered on account of their ethnicity and religion. Unfortunately, Z’s family did not know to apply for asylum. Fortunately, however, they learned about DACA before Z turned age 18 and we helped Z successfully obtain DACA status before she began accruing unlawful presence. Z has maintained her DACA status ever since.
A few years ago, Z plead guilty to a petty theft offense, a violation. This was her only criminal history and she did not want the conviction on her record so she asked us to file an expungement request. Z knew that the expungement would not effect her DACA status as the offense was not a disqualifying offense and the conviction was disclosed to USCIS when she successfully filed to renew her DACA status over 2 years ago. Z simply wanted to wipe her record clean, especially since she will be applying for jobs when she graduates from college in a couple of years.
Even if the Z’s conviction was expunged before she had to notify USCIS for her DACA renewal, she still would have been required to disclose the conviction to immigration on a subsequent renewal. In fact, ANY arrest, even if no charges are filed, must be disclosed to USCIS when you are applying for any immigration benefit, if requested. The immigration law still views most expunged convictions as convictions for immigration purposes.
So, if you are looking to expunge a conviction solely for immigration purposes in order to erase a potentially disqualifying conviction from you record, make sure you contact an experienced immigration attorney before you waste your time and money! The intersection of criminal and immigration law is extremely complicated and only an attorney experienced in both practice areas will be able to properly advise you as to whether an expungement in your particular circumstances makes sense.
The experienced criminal and immigration attorneys at The Shapiro Law Firm, LLC are well versed in the intersection of the two and will be happy to help you determine if an expungement is best for you so contact us today!*
We wish all of our recently-approved clients the best of luck!
**If you need representation in Removal/ Deportation proceedings or with help filing for immigration benefits, contact an experienced immigration attorney at The Shapiro Law Firm today to get started!**
(*please note that all identification information has been removed in order to protect our clients' privacy and in order to fully comply with attorney advertising rules and regulations*)