success stories


mrs. z becomes a us citizen

Mrs. Z first came to our office in July 1998 for help with her case, and she had an outstanding exclusion order at that time.  She was apprehended in 1989 when she was attempting to enter the United States without documents after fleeing Nicaragua to seek refuge in the United States.  She was in INS detention for almost 6 months and released while her asylum application was pending.  Unfortunately, her asylum application was denied and the Board of Immigration Appeals also denied her appeal in 1991.  The basis for her asylum was that she and her husband, a former member of the military, were threatened by the Sandinitas.

For several years, she lived in fear of being sent back to Nicaragua until she came to our office to seek relief under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act.  Cristina and I worked together on the case to file an adjustment under NACARA and a stay of removal.  She was granted permanent residence in 2001.

For over one year, she had been attending our citizenship classes.  When we reviewed her case, the BIA still indicated that her appeal was dismissed and we had to research if it was necessary to file a motion to reopen (and get the Office of Chief Counsel--ICE) to join the motion.  Per our understanding of the NACARA regulations, any prior order was automatically terminated upon the grant of adjustment and a representative at the BIA agreed.