RK&O recently provided pro bono assistance to Mrs. G., a Guatemalan immigrant who is married to a U.S. citizen (an honorably discharged Marine), in securing permanent residency on her path to becoming a U.S. citizen. Our client, who is married to a U.S. citizen and has a U.S. citizen son, left Guatemala in 1994 to seek asylum in the United States on the a basis of the targeting of her family and murders of several of her family members during the Guatemalan civil war. However, Mrs. G's repeated attempts to pursue meritorious applications for lawful immigration status based on the violence perpetrated against her family in Guatemala and, later, her marriage to a U.S. citizen were complicated by changes in U.S. immigration policy, her limited resources and other factors beyond her control.
Mrs. G was assisted in a variety of complex immigration proceedings and applications, including negotiations with the Department of Homeland Security and working with U.S., Guatemalan and Mexican embassies and authorities to obtain the confirmations and documentation necessary to persuade U.S. authorities to grant Mrs. G permanent residency in the United States. Mrs. G was one of the first removal cases granted administrative closure (and, ultimately, dismissal) under a pilot program allowing applicants to petition DHS to discretionarily close cases on the basis of certain merit factors (including the impact removal would have on U.S. citizens). She was also one of the earliest cases granted immigration relief under a rule allowing discretionary waivers of bars to immigration visas where applicants had entered the United States unlawfully. And, more recently, Mrs. G’s application helped pave the way for a new process to obtain certain Mexican records (required by U.S. immigration authorities) that were previously unavailable to immigrants like Mrs. G, who were residents in Mexico for an extended period without lawful immigration status.
RK&O is proud to help keep the G family together and to assist Mrs. G in pursuing U.S. citizenship. The RK&O team consisted of associate Jamie Schafer, partner David Daniels and administrative assistant Eunice Alarcon.