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Litigation, Naturalization, and Other Services
At Abrams & Abrams our thoughtful, practical approach balances our clients’ budgets and timelines versus their desired outcomes. Often the two are at odds, and after a denial a long period of liaison with the government and filing motions to reopen will not be the right approach. We have developed a litigation practice to bring about results faster and have had great success under the current administration.
At the other end of the spectrum, our clients who are already permanent residents will usually seek to become U.S. citizens, providing them several advantages. They can vote in U.S. elections, travel abroad without limitations, hold certain U.S. government jobs, and they can sponsor additional family members.
Additionally, while filing immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions, litigation, and naturalization are a large part of our practice, our many years of experience and high volume of cases mean we have crossed paths with a number of non-standard situations. We offer our services there too — I-9 compliance, drafting fee reimbursement agreements, advice-only retainers, et cetera. We were even recently retained to demonstrate that our client was not a U.S. citizen.
A few years ago, after some hesitation, we at Abrams & Abrams sued USCIS in the District of Nebraska over a wrongfully denied adjustment of status. We had previously tried everything: three motions to reopen, congressional assistance, emails to the USCIS Chief Counsel, et cetera.
Within a few months, USCIS reopened and approved the applications for a family of four. We knew from that moment that litigation would be the only avenue to success for some. Since then, we have developed a strategy that involves gentle communication to the various immigration agencies, with a deadline for filing mandamus and APA lawsuits. Often we get what our clients need without needing to file, but other times it has to be done.
Prospective litigants should know that filing these lawsuits can assist in a number of situations:
“stuck” cases that were never scheduled for interviews or were never resolved after interview;
USCIS written decisions wrongfully applying facts or law;
inaction by the various U.S. consulates around the world; and others.
In two recent instances, clients retained us to overturn denials of their green cards where USCIS said they had not mailed in requested documents by the stated deadlines when they had clearly done so, and to have naturalization interviews scheduled when they were over one year overdue.
At Abrams & Abrams we love to guide our clients through the naturalization process. To quote Joseph Abrams, we aim to “make ’em citizens.”
Some applications will be straightforward and our representation will focus on streamlining the process. We use USCIS’s new ELIS electronic filing system and get an instant receipt number, then journey with our clients through biometrics scheduling, interview preparation, and appearance at the interview if desired.
Other applications will be complex due to irregularities including criminal activity, failures of marriages, and discrepancies between citizenship and prior permanent residence filings. We have handled many complex naturalization filings and we look forward to serving you.
In recent years, U.S. citizenship through naturalization is not always the end of the road for some. In 2017 the Department of Homeland Security’s “Operation Janus” sought to strip citizenship from some who had obtained it by fraud, and in 2019 hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on these efforts. USCIS will soon open a Los Angeles office dedicated entirely to denaturalization.