By Maridex E. Abraham
Misrepresentations on an application for immigration benefits do not ever disappear. Though they may not be noticed initially, they may be uncovered at a future time. But just because there was prior fraud does not mean that deportation is automatic.
An application for asylum may be appropriate for a person residing in the United States who is fearful of returning to their native country. The basis of this fear is past persecution or fear of future persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Those who are fortunate enough to be granted asylum are able to let go of their fears and start a new life in the U.S.
However, what happens if you were only granted asylum after making statements that you knew were untrue? This very thing happened to Miranda*, a client of Reeves Immigration Law Group who found herself in deportation proceedings for a misrepresentation on her asylum application that she made several years ago.
Miranda came to the U.S. from her native Venezuela in 2006 to flee the persecution inflicted upon her due to her political beliefs. She had helped found a human rights group that advocated for the rights of workers in a certain industry, and she even took part in several strikes for workers’ rights. But because of her participation in these strikes, Miranda was fired from her job. Miranda persisted though, continuing to fight for the civil and political rights of the citizens of Venezuela. This political activism came at a cost though, as she became a victim of persecution due to her beliefs and activities.
Miranda was eventually granted asylum in the United States, along with her family members. Miranda and her family established themselves in the U.S. and did not have to worry about the dangers in their native country. Miranda and the children were even able to become lawful permanent residents based on their asylee status. Miranda was on her way to the final chapter in her immigration story by filing her application to become a U.S. citizen.
However, at Miranda’s interview for U.S. citizenship, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officer identified misrepresentations on the previously-granted application for asylum. Not only was Miranda’s application for U.S. citizenship denied, but her case was sent to immigration court. Miranda was now in danger of getting deported!
Miranda then realized that if there was a problem in her asylum application, it could have lasting consequences on her entire family. After all, their ability to legally live, work and go to school in the U.S. was all based on the approval of Miranda’s asylum application.
Unsure of her fate and the fate of her family, Miranda sought the assistance of Reeves Immigration Law Group to help her in her fight to remain in this country. Attorney Devin Connolly defended Miranda in removal proceedings, successfully convincing the immigration judge that the misrepresentation on Miranda’s asylum application was not material to her eligibility for asylum. After hearing testimony and arguments from both sides, the Immigration Judge found that Miranda was still eligible for asylum and terminated proceedings. Miranda and her family members were allowed to keep their green cards!
Miranda and her family were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief, knowing that the family would not be deported. Rather, they were all safely residing in the U.S. without fear of persecution on the other side of the world. The family thanked the attorneys and staff at Reeves Immigration Law Group for helping their family move one step closer to their goal. One family member said, “thank you very much for your assistance, this means the world to us. One solid step forward.”
*Name have been changed to protect our client’s identity.