In the midst of our immigration cases, many of us compare the various eligibility requirements for immigration benefits and think, “If I had known this earlier, I would have done things differently.”
This is a phrase that I have heard many times from family, friends, and clients alike. Still, reliving the past is of little use when we can act now to remedy immigration relief restrictions.
In the last few months, I have been working on a complicated case for a client who is in custody. His lifelong partner came to us in despair after he was detained by immigration authorities. Although his partner is a legal permanent resident, he could not petition for him, because they were never legally married.
They have lived together for more than ten years and have a young son, but the client’s name does not appear on their son’s birth certificate, so the relationship was difficult to prove. These were two crucial mistakes of the past: there is no marriage and no legal recognition as a father on the child’s birth certificate.
In this case, the familiar phrase was mentioned as many times in the past. However, I offered him a different perspective: instead of going to court with a weak case and considering other factors, I proposed to fix those mistakes and make the case stronger. Only after doing this should we go to court and proceed with multiple and stronger ways to obtain relief.
The challenge was great. Finding a way for the couple to legally marry while my client was still in prison was very difficult. Obtaining permission from ICE to perform the marriage, applying for a marriage license, and finally organizing a wedding ceremony at an immigration detention center, was not an easy task. However, we achieved the goal with a customer-centric approach and we succeeded.
This experience demonstrates two lessons. The first is that in immigration cases, past mistakes can be fixed if we dwell on them and focus on constructive action to deal with problems in their present form.
The second and perhaps the most important lesson is that the job of an immigration attorney is more than just applying the law and executing a basic legal strategy. Rather, you must think creatively to find solutions or to make the existing case stronger.
At Fayad Law, PC, we do not think of the client’s situation, only as a cancellation of removal case or an asylum case that needs to be addressed simply by following a basic filing procedure based on a certain form of relief.
We think about the individual people involved in each situation, and whenever the law allows, we present results that go beyond presentation and argumentation in favor of a particular application.
We advise our clients on the law, execute legal arguments, and frequently, if possible, change a fact or two in our clients’ past. Sometimes, as in the case that I told you at the beginning of this article, the law allows us to do this. When allowed by law we have to seize the opportunity to think creatively.
At Fayad Law, we think beyond the boundaries of immigration law (eg, family law, criminal law, corporate law, etc.) to achieve the best results for our immigration clients. Our clients know that we are not just the immigration attorneys filing asylum applications on their behalf.
We are legal advisers and executors of creative strategies that try to achieve the results that our clients need. This is how we build strong relationships with clients and the communities they come from.
This is how we break down preconceived notions of what lawyers are and what they do. That is why we have established a reputation for loyal service to each of our clients individually, rather than treating them as nothing like a legal case file.
If you need help with any immigration matter, contact our firm to speak with an experienced and effective attorney.
Raúl García is an associate attorney serving our clients at the Fairfax Fayad Law office.
Fayad Law, P.C.
8315 Lee Highway Suite 620,
Fairfax, VA 22031