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Post image for I-130 Approval and Termination of Removal Proceedings for Cameroonian Client in Columbus Ohio

CASE: Termination of Removal Proceedings with an Approved I-130 Petition

CLIENT: Cameroonian
LOCATION: Columbus, Ohio

Our client is from Cameroon who came to the U.S. on a F-1 Student Visa in April 2008 to study. Our client currently resides in the greater Columbus area with his current U.S. Citizen wife. They were married in July 2013, and he retained our office on July 11, 2016 for the I-130 petition. Our client’s U.S. citizen wife filed the I-130 petition for our client before, but it was denied. Moreover, our client was placed in removal proceedings in 2010 at the Baltimore Immigration Court and the Court granted withholding of removal relief for our client. Once we were retained, our office prepared and filed the I-130 petition for our client and filed it to the USCIS on July 22, 2016.

Our client’s I-130 interview was scheduled on October 18, 2016 at Columbus USCIS Filed Office.  Prior to the interview, our office thoroughly prepared our client and his wife for the interview at our office. Attorney Yu also accompanied them for their interview. The interview lasted two hours, but the I-130 petition was eventually approved on the same day of the interview.

Once the I-130 was approved, our office filed a request to join in a Motion to terminate proceedings with the I-485 application and supporting documents. The DHS counsel in Baltimore, MD agreed to terminate our client’s proceedings. Ultimately, the Immigration Judge granted the Motion to terminate without prejudice on February 10, 2017.  Now, he can file his I-485 adjustment of status application to USCIS to obtain his green card.

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Post image for I-130 Approval and Termination of Removal Proceedings for Malian Client in Cleveland, Ohio

CASE: Termination of Removal Proceedings with an Approved I-130 Petition

CLIENT: Malian
LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client is from Mali who came to the U.S. on a F-1 Student Visa in August 2010 to study. Our client currently resides in the greater Cleveland area with his current U.S. Citizen wife. They were married in January 2015, and retained our office on January 6, 2016 for representation of our client at the Cleveland Immigration Court. Our client’s wife filed an I-130 Petition for our client with their former immigration lawyer in February 2015.  While the I-130 petition was pending, our client appeared at the Cleveland Immigration Court on January 26, 2016 for his initial master calendar hearing.  Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office represented him at the hearing, did the pleading and sought for adjustment of status relief upon the approval of the I-130 petition.

Our client’s I-130 interview was scheduled on June 21, 2016 at Cleveland USCIS Filed Office.  Prior to the interview, our office thoroughly prepared our client and his wife for the interview at our office. Attorney Yu also accompanied them for their interview. The interview lasted two hours, but the I-130 petition was eventually approved on August 25, 2016.

Once the I-130 was approved, our office filed a request to join in a Motion to terminate proceedings with the I-485 application and supporting documents. The DHS counsel in Cleveland agreed to terminate our client’s proceedings. Ultimately, the Immigration Judge granted the Motion to terminate without prejudice on January 5, 2017.  Now, he can file his I-485 adjustment of status application to USCIS to obtain his green card.

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Post image for Termination of Proceedings on Approved I-130 Approved for Pakistani Clients in Philadelphia Pennsylvania

CASE:  Termination of Proceedings after Joint Motion to Reopen
CLIENT: Pakistanis
LOCATION: Philadelphia, PA

Our clients are Pakistani citizens who currently reside in Philadelphia, PA. They were on Withholding of Removal status. Their U.S. Citizen sons were US Citizens. Our client entered to the United States on a valid L-1 and L-2 visa in November 2000.  Later, they were granted withholding of removal in July 2006 by the Philadelphia Immigration Court.

In November 2013, our clients’ son became a naturalized U.S. citizen. However, for them to get a green card, their case should first be reopened in the Immigration Court for them to apply for adjustment of status either with the Court, or with the CIS should proceedings be terminated after reopening.

In May 2015, our clients contacted our office and sought legal assistance for their immigration matter. Our client retained us on May 14, 2015.  Upon retention, we first prepared and filed their U.S. citizen son’s I-130 petitions for them. We filed the I-130 petitions to the USCIS on May 20, 2015 and the USCIS approved the I-130s on October 5, 2015. Once the I-130s were approved, we filed a Request to Join in a Motion to Reopen for our client to USICE-DHS office in Philadelphia.  Our cover brief explained how they got their withholding of removal status, approval of I-130, and their prima facie eligibility to apply for adjustment of status.

After the long review period, the DHS office in Philadelphia finally agreed to join in our Motion to Reopen and an assigned counsel signed on the Motion on April 11, 2016.  Once we received the Joint Motion to Reopen, we filed a Motion to the Philadelphia Immigration Court to request reopening of our clients’ cases so that they can apply for adjustment of status. Eventually, on April 28, 2016, the Philadelphia Immigration Court terminated our clients’ removal proceedings. Now, with the termination order and approved I-130 by their U.S. citizen son, our client can file the adjustment of status applications to the USCIS.

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Post image for Motion to Terminate Removal Proceedings Based on Approved I-130 for Nepalese Client in Houston Texas

CASE: Motion to Terminate Removal Proceedings Based on an Approved I-130 Immediate Relative Spousal Petition

CLIENT: Nepalese

LOCATION: Houston, TX

Our client is a Nepalese citizen who came to the U.S. on an F-1 Student Visa.   Our client and his wife married in August 2013.  When they married, our client’s wife was a green card holder. Our client’s wife filed the I-130 petition for our client in August 2013 and it was approved by the USCIS later. Our client filed his adjustment of status application along with the I-130 petition, but it was denied due to his failure to maintain his status. After his I-485 adjustment of status application was denied, a Notice to Appear was issued against our client, and he was placed into removal proceeding.

His wife became a naturalized U.S. citizen in July 2015. Our client contacted our office and consulted with us for his potential relief. Based on the approved I-130 and his wife’s recent naturalization, we determined that we could file a joint motion to terminate his proceedings. Our client retained our office on July 15, 2015.  

On July 27, 2015, our office filed a request to join in a Motion to terminate proceedings with the I-485 application and supporting documents. However, we did not get any response from the Houston DHS office regarding their consent to terminate our client’s proceedings. We then filed with the Immigration Court and since the DHS did not oppose, the Immigration Judge granted the Motion to Terminate Removal Proceedings without prejudice on January 27, 2016.

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Post image for Termination of Removal Proceedings and Adjustment of Status Approval for Chinese Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: Termination of Removal Proceedings with an Approved I-130 Petition / I-485 Adjustment of Status

CLIENT: Chinese
LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio

Our client is a Chinese citizen who came to the U.S. on a B-2 Visitor’s visa in September 2011. She has stayed in the United States since then. Because of her overstay, the Notice to Appear was issued and our client was placed in removal proceeding.

Our client currently resides in Ohio with her current U.S. Citizen husband. They were married in October. After our office was retained, our office filed an I-130 Petition with bona fide marriage evidence on January 15, 2015.  While the I-130 petition was pending, our client appeared at the Cleveland Immigration Court for her master calendar hearing.  Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office represented her at the hearing, did the pleading and sought for adjustment of status relief upon the approval of the I-130 petition.

Her I-130 petition was approved by the USCIS on June 24, 2015 without any interview or RFE request.  Once the I-130 was approved, our office filed a request to join in a Motion to Terminate proceedings with the I-485 application and supporting documents. The DHS counsel in Cleveland agreed to terminate our client’s proceedings. Ultimately, the Immigration Judge granted the Motion to terminate without prejudice in September 2015.

After her removal proceeding was terminated, our client retained us again for her I-485 adjustment of status application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on November 6, 2015. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permit all came on time. Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients. On January 26, 2016, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland, OH USCIS. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office accompanied our client.  After the interview, her I-485 application was approved.  Now, our client is a green card holder.

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Post image for Termination of Removal Proceedings and Successful Adjustment of Status for Nigerian Client in New Orleans, LA

CASE: Termination of Removal Proceedings with an Approved I-130 Petition / I-485 Adjustment of Status / Response to Notice of Intent to Revoke

CLIENT: Nigerian

LOCATION: New Orleans, LA

Our Nigerian client came to the United States in August 2011 with a valid F-1 student visa to study in a college. However, he did not maintain status and was placed in removal proceedings in July 2012. After he got a Notice to Appear, he appeared at his initial master calendar hearing at the New Orleans Immigration Court without an attorney.

In May of 2014, he contacted our office and asked us whether we can take his case. He was married to a US Citizen, but he also had two previous marriages and divorces, also to US Citizens. We told him an I-130 can be filed, but that we need bona fides from his first two marriages also. We explained that the strength of his wife’s I-130 for him would also depend on how he can prove that his first two marriages were in good faith.

He retained our office on May 16, 2014. He married his U.S. wife in May 2014 and our office filed the I-130 petition for our client with a bona fide marriage exemption letter and bona fide marital documents. We organized the exhibits so that bona fide evidence from his first two marriages were also shown. We filed the I-130 application to the USCIS on June 12, 2014.

On June 17, 2014, our attorney Glen Yu appeared at his master calendar hearings via telephonic appearance. Attorney Yu did pleadings for our client, requested adjustment of status relief for our client, and requested a continuance based on a pending I-130 petition. However, the DHS requested a Velarde hearing to the Court. The DHS requested this hearing to determine whether proceedings should be continued to allow USCIS to adjudicate the I-130. DHS argued that our client’s marriage to his U.S. citizen spouse is presumptively invalid under immigration purposes since he married his wife after initiation of removal proceedings.

A Velarde Hearing is a hearing to establish whether good cause exists to continue proceedings for adjudication of a pending I-130 petition. A variety of factors may be considered, including, but not limited to: (1) DHS’ response to the Motion to continue; (2) whether the underlying visa petition is prima facie approvable; (3) the Respondent’s statutory eligibility for adjustment of status; (4) whether the Respondent’s application for adjustment merits a favorable exercise of discretion; and (5) the reason for the continuance and any other relevant factors. Matter of Hashimi, 24 I&N Dec. 785 (BIA 2009).

The Velarde hearing for our client was scheduled for August 18, 2014. Prior to the hearing, our office filed a brief in support and more documents to demonstrate the bona fide nature of our client’s marriage to his U.S. citizen wife.  Attorney Sung Hee Yu from our firm prepared him and his wife extensively via conference calls. He also represented our client at the Velarde Hearing at the New Orleans Immigration Court on August 18, 2014.

The hearing went well and as a result, the Court concluded that our client’s I-130 petition is prima facie approvable. After the Velarde hearing, the USCIS scheduled the I-130 interview for our client and his U.S. citizen wife. Our office prepared them for their interview. On December 31, 2014, our client and his wife appeared at the USCIS New Orleans Field Office for their I-130 interview. The interview went well, and the USCIS approved the I-130 petition for our client on the same day.

Once his I-130 was approved, our office filed a request to join in a Motion to terminate proceedings with the I-485 application and supporting documents. The DHS counsel in New Orleans agreed to terminate our client’s proceedings. Ultimately, the Immigration Judge granted the Motion to terminate without prejudice on August 14, 2015.

After his removal proceeding was terminated, our client retained us again for his I-485 adjustment of status application.  Our firm prepared and filed the I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on September 14, 2015. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permit all came on time. Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients via conference call. On December 1, 2015, our client was interviewed at the New Orleans, LA USCIS.  Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office accompanied our clients.

Although the interview went well, the USCIS New Orleans office issued Notice of Intent to Revoke our client’s I-130 petition. In the Notice of Intent to Revoke, the USCIS argued that our client’s marriage to her U.S. citizen spouse was in violation of Louisiana law so that the marriage is invalid. However, after careful review of related marital laws and local statutes, we determined that our client’s marriage to his wife was valid. Our office promptly filed the Response to Notice of Intent to Revoke on December 15, 2015. Eventually, on January 13, 2016, his I-485 application was approved.  Now, our client is a green card holder.

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Post image for Motion to Terminate Removal Proceedings Based on Conviction Dismissal for Lebanese Client in Cleveland, Ohio

CASE: Motion to Terminate Removal Proceedings Based on Criminal Conviction Dismissal

CLIENT: Lebanese

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client is a Lebanese citizen and who has been a green card holder in the United States for more than 25 years. However, he was placed into removal proceedings in March 2012 due to his previous criminal record; specifically, a drug-related offense that he committed when he was a teenager.  Our client contacted us in March 2012 to seek legal assistance and representation at his removal proceedings.  Our office was retained on April 9, 2012.

According to our client’s Notice to Appear, he was removable for a criminal ground of deportability. Based on his removable charge, our office first sought for relief under Section 212(c) and got an individual hearing date. However, the likelihood of success for our client’s case was quite low. Nevertheless, our office did extensive researche and asked our client whether he was advised before he pled guilty for his charges at the county court.  Our client told us that he did not receive any advisement as required by Ohio criminal statute.

Under Matter of Pickering, 23 I&N Dec. 621 (BIA 2003), the BIA held that “If a court with jurisdiction vacates a conviction based on a defect in underlying criminal proceedings, the Respondent no longer has a ‘conviction’ within the meaning of section 101(a)(48)(A). According to O.R.C Section 2943.031, the court must ask the following before the defendant entered the plea: “If you are not a citizen of the United States you are hereby advised that conviction of the offense to which you are pleading guilty (or no contest, when applicable) may have the consequences of deportation, exclusion from admission to the United States, or denial of naturalization pursuant to the laws of the United States.”

As stated above, our client told us that he never had aforementioned advisement from the court before he pled guilty for his charge.  Thus, we contacted our client’s previous criminal attorney to file a Motion to Vacate conviction based on a defect in underlying criminal proceedings – that of having a lack of advisement or lack of substantial compliance with the advisement provisions of O.R.C. Section 2943.031 from the county court.

On November 13, 2014, the county court granted our client’s Motion to Vacate for his previous criminal conviction.  With that, our office filed a Motion to Terminate Proceedings to the Immigration Court and argued that our client is not removable anymore because the court with jurisdiction vacated convictions based on a defect in underlying criminal proceedings. We included the criminal court judges’ orders and other supporting documents, and argued that our client’s removal proceedings must be terminated.

On November 6, 2015, the Immigration Judge granted our Motion to Terminate Proceedings.  Our client got his green card back. .

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Post image for Successful Request to Join in a Motion to Reopen and Termination of Removal Proceedings for Pakistani Client in Indiana

CASE: Joint Motion to Reopen and Termination of Removal Proceedings with an Approved I-130 Petition

CLIENT: Pakistani
LOCATION: Indiana; San Francisco (EOIR)

Our client is from Pakistan who came to the U.S. on a B-2 visitor’s visa in May 2010. He remained in the United States even after his authorized stay expired.  Later, he filed for asylum and withholding of removal. However, he could not attend his hearing due to an emergency medical issue. He even notified the immigration court but his submission was procedurally incorrect (this was used as an exhibit in our motion). Subsequently, he received an order of removal in absentia. A few months later, his jewelry store got robbed too, leaving them with no money at that time to afford a lawyer for a proper Motion to Reopen.

Our client remained in the United States with the final order of removal. He married his current U.S. citizen wife. His wife filed an I-130 petition in April 2014 with help from of our office, which was subsequently approved by the USCIS in November 2014.

Our client and his wife were wondering whether he has any viable option for his immigration situation.  After careful review, our office determined that we can file a Request to Join in a Motion to Reopen based on the I-130 approval and Bo Cooper’s May 17, 2001 Memorandum.

Once retained, our office filed a Request to Join in a Motion to Reopen and Terminate to the San Francisco DHS office on February 13, 2015. Our office prepared an extensive brief along with multiple supporting documents to request a favorable exercise of DHS’s discretion on this case. We argued that DHS should consider the following factors as set forth in Bo Cooper’s May 17, 2001 Memorandum: (1) whether adjustment of status was available at the prior hearing; (2) whether the alien is statutorily eligible for adjustment of status; and (3) whether the alien merits a favorable exercise of discretion. Bo Cooper, Motions to Reopen for Consideration of Adjustment of Status (May 17, 2001). In considering these factors, as delineated in William J. Howard’s October 24, 2005, Memorandum, “Where a motion to reopen for adjustment of status… is filed on behalf of an alien with substantial equities, no serious criminal or immigration violations, and who is legally eligible to be granted relief except that the motion is beyond the 90-day limitation contained in 8 C.F.R. § 1003.23, strongly consider exercising prosecutorial discretion and join in this motion to reopen to permit the alien to pursue such relief to the immigration court.” William J. Howard, Prosecutorial Discretion (October 24, 2005).

Our office argued that if our client’s case is reopened, he will be prima facie eligible to adjust his status. Our client has been living in the United States since 2010, has no criminal record, and has an approved I-130 petition based on his marriage to his U.S citizen spouse.

As a result, the DHS office agreed to join in our Motion to Reopen and Terminate. The DHS filed the joint motion to the San Francisco Immigration Court, and the San Francisco Immigration Court re-opened and terminated our client’s case on March 3, 2015. Now he can file for adjustment of status and work permit with the CIS.

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Post image for Termination of Removal Proceedings After Final Order and Motion to Reopen on I-130 Approval for Peruvian Client in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: BIA Motion to Reopen and Termination of Removal Proceedings with an Approved I-130 Petition

CLIENT: Peruvian
LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client is from Peru who came to the U.S. on a B-2 visitor’s visa in July 2002 with his family. When he came to the United States, he was a only a minor.

Later, his father filed for asylum and withholding of removal, but the Immigration Judge in Cleveland denied all applications for relief in February 2010. Accordingly, our client’s asylum relief (our client was a derivate applicant of his father’s asylum application) was denied as well.

His father filed an appeal to the BIA, but in May 2012, the Board affirmed the Immigration Judge’s findings and dismissed the appeal. Unfortunately, our client’s father was deported soon after the BIA appeal was dismissed.

Our client remained in the United States despite the final order of removal. He was under order of supervision. He married his current U.S. citizen wife in September 2012, and he inquired on whether he has any viable option for his immigration status.  After careful review, our office determined that we can file a Request to Join in a Motion to Reopen based on the I-130 approval and Bo Cooper’s May 17, 2001 Memorandum. Our client retained our office on September 11, 2012.

Once retained, our client’s wife filed the I-130 petition for our client on September 18, 2012. Our office prepared and filed the petition. The I-130 interview was scheduled and prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients at our office. On March 5, 2013, our client was interviewed at the Cleveland, Ohio USCIS office. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu from our office accompanied them as well. Eventually, on April 17, 2013, the I-130 petition was approved.

While the I-130 was pending, our office also filed Request to Join in a Motion to Reopen and Terminate to the Cleveland DHS office on October 1, 2012. Our office prepared an extensive brief along with multiple supporting documents to request a favorable exercise of DHS’s discretion on this case. We argued that DHS should consider the following factors as set forth in Bo Cooper’s May 17, 2001 Memorandum: (1) whether adjustment of status was available at the prior hearing; (2) whether the alien is statutorily eligible for adjustment of status; and (3) whether the alien merits a favorable exercise of discretion. Bo Cooper, Motions to Reopen for Consideration of Adjustment of Status (May 17, 2001). In considering these factors, as delineated in William J. Howard’s October 24, 2005, Memorandum, “Where a motion to reopen for adjustment of status… is filed on behalf of an alien with substantial equities, no serious criminal or immigration violations, and who is legally eligible to be granted relief except that the motion is beyond the 90-day limitation contained in 8 C.F.R. § 1003.23, strongly consider exercising prosecutorial discretion and join in this motion to reopen to permit the alien to pursue such relief to the immigration court.” William J. Howard, Prosecutorial Discretion (October 24, 2005).

Our office argued that if our client’s case is reopened, he will be prima facie eligible to adjust his status. Our client has been living in the United States since 2002, has no criminal record, was a minor at the time of the entry to the U.S., and has an approved I-130 petition.

As a result, the DHS office agreed to join in our Motion to Reopen and Terminate. The DHS filed the joint motion to the BIA in September 2013. Finally, the BIA ordered our client’s case to be reopened and terminated our client’s case on November 26, 2013. Now, he can file an I-485 adjustment of status application to the USCIS for his permanent residency.

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Post image for Termination of Removal Proceedings for Cameroonian Client in Houston Texas

CASE: Termination of Removal Proceedings

CLIENT: Cameroonian

LOCATION: Client: Houston, TX / EOIR: Cleveland, OH

Our client came to the United States from Cameroon in 2000.  He entered legally on an F-1 visa.

In 2002, he filed for asylum with the USCIS.  He was interviewed at the CIS office, but his asylum application was referred to the Immigration Court in New Orleans.  After his first master calendar hearing, he requested for a change of venue to Hartford, CT.

In 2004, our client married his U.S. citizen wife and she filed an I-130 on behalf of our client. Our client filed the I-485 adjustment of status application simultaneously with the I-130 petition even though he was in removal proceedings. He had no legal representation at that time.

However, with the help of the Immigration Judge and DHS counsel, he served copies of the I-130 and I-485 application and informed the court that he filed the adjustment of status application. When he served the copies of his I-130/I-485 application, the DHS attorney told our client that she will try to re-route the I-485 application he filed to the CIS to the court. Our client assumed that given that he had been in clear communication with the Court and the DHS attorney, that everything will be fine with his case and that both files will be merged.

Later in August 2004, our client moved to Cleveland, Ohio due to his new employment and his case venue was changed from Hartford, CT to Cleveland, OH as well.  He attended his master calendar hearings in Cleveland, and in December 2005, our client and his wife attended their green card interview at the USCIS Cleveland Field office.  After the interview, our client eventually got his conditional green card in the mail and he was under the assumption that if he was given a green card, then he must have done everything right and that the removal case had been dropped.

While he resided in the Cleveland area, he moved to a different addresses and he had always promptly notified both Immigration Court and the USCIS by filing change of address forms.  In April 2006, he went to his master calendar hearing which he got in his new address.  However, our client was told to go home and that he will get a letter in the mail with a re-scheduled master hearing date.  He never received anything else from Court since then.

As mentioned above, our client got his green card and he filed an I-751 application two years later to remove conditions on the green card. He also got this. He had foreign trips and on one of his entries, the issue of his final order came up but he eventually was let go and his green card was even given back to him.

Later, he filed an N-400 naturalization application and during his N-400 interview the final order of removal in absentia which was issued in November 2006 was brought up again. He was stunned and contacted a local immigration attorney in Houston, Texas where he currently resides. However, his attorney never filed the Motion to the court.

Our client contacted our office in late April 2013 and sought legal assistance. We advised him that we can file a Motion to Reopen in absentia order of removal.

To rescind the final order, he has to get his case reopened. This is done through a Motion to Reopen filed with the Immigration Judge who gave the final order.  Based on this Motion to Reopen, the Immigration Judge can rescind the in absentia order of removal if you are able to show that you did not receive proper notice of the hearing. If the Notice to Appear or hearing notice was sent to the wrong address for example, and not the last address you provided to the immigration service, then there’s a good basis for a Motion to Reopen.

On May 9, 2013, our office filed a Motion to Reopen with the Cleveland Immigration Court. Documentation of his address at the date of the final order, a detailed affidavit regarding his addresses and his circumstances around the final order date, copies of his green card and immigration related documentation, documentation of the last address he provided to the immigration service and to the Immigration Court prior to the final order date, and other supporting documents were submitted (14 exhibits).

On June 19, 2013, the Cleveland Immigration Court granted our motion and reopened our client’s case.  Once his case was reopened, his master calendar hearing was scheduled on September 24, 2013 at the Cleveland Immigration Court. Prior to the master calendar hearing, our office filed a Motion to Terminate with the Cleveland Immigration Court.

On September 24, 2013, our client appeared at the Cleveland Immigration Court for his master calendar hearing. Attorney Sung Hee (Glen) Yu of our firm represented him at his Master Calendar hearing. During the Master Calendar hearing, our attorney sought for termination of proceedings, but the Immigration Judge continued his case to allow the DHS to respond to our Motion to Terminate.

Eventually, the DHS did not oppose our Motion to Terminate. As a result of that, on December 2, 2013, the Immigration Judge issued her order to terminate our client’s removal proceedings.

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