May 19th, 2015
From start to finish, Immigration Attorney Himedes Chicas stood by the legitimacy of his clients’ marriage. Indeed, Attorney Chicas received word earlier this month that his U.S. Citizen client’s spousal visa petition—filed on behalf of her Jamaican husband—and his application for permanent residence, were approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). This case, however, not only tested the couple’s patience with the U.S. immigration system, but it also tested the strength of their relationship due to delays and skepticism by USCIS about the bona fides of their marriage.
Several months after the Petition for Alien Relative and the non-citizen’s adjustment of status application were filed, the couple received an interview date at the local USCIS field office. Although they had known one another for several years, the couple had only been married for less than one year and lacked the traditional supporting documents that USCIS looks for in adjudicating these types of cases, they were well prepared and did great during the initial interview. After weeks of waiting for a favorable decision, the couple received correspondence indicating that they ha...Continue Reading
April 17th, 2015
Montgomery County Immigration Attorney
Immigration Attorney Himedes Chicas
and Criminal Attorney Rand Lucey
teamed up to prevent the deportation of a longtime Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). The JM Client was placed into removal proceedings and held in immigration custody on account of a nearly 15 year old criminal conviction. Attorney Chicas first convinced an immigration judge in Baltimore to reduce his Client’s bond to a reasonable amount that his family could afford to post in order to avoid detention during the pendency of the removal proceedings. Following the posting of the immigration bond and release from immigration detention, Criminal Attorney Rand Lucey worked with the client and determined that the underlying criminal conviction plea had not been entered into knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily as required by law. He thus filed a coram nobis petition with the appropriate Maryland Circu...Continue Reading
April 17th, 2015
Earlier this month Immigration Attorney Himedes Chicas, successfully represented several clients before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Baltimore Field Office. With the help of Attorney Chicas, one of his clients, a Legal Permanent Resident for several years is now a United States Citizen. Mr. Chicas argued that notwithstanding prior criminal charges filed against the Client in the last five years, he could establish the good moral character requirement needed to be accorded the privilege of United States citizenship. The Client is elated to be granted the high honor of proclaiming himself as a U.S. citizen!
Also earlier this month, Attorney Chicas successfully helped a United States citizen petition for his Honduran wife to become a lawful permanent resident. After several months of waiting for an interview, Mr. Chicas and his client’s attended the interview and were shortly after given the great news that the immigrant visa petition was granted and that her ...Continue Reading
April 17th, 2015
Baltimore Immigration Attorney
Maryland Immigration Attorney Himedes Chicas
, successfully represented his client, a Jamaican national, before the Baltimore Immigration Court in an application for cancellation of removal. Mr. Chicas’ client, a longtime Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) was placed into removal proceedings on account of two older convictions for drug possession and two older convictions for possession of paraphernalia. After being denied bond by the immigration judge, the prospect for relief from removal appeared dire because of his ineligibility based on the stop-time rule. The stop-time rule, which was implemented by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), bars cancellation eligibility to individuals that, among other reasons, committed certain criminal offenses within seven years of having been admitted as an LPR. During the pendency of the client’s case, however, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals published a favorable decision regarding the retroactive a...Continue Reading
April 17th, 2015
In a victory that was nearly 19 months in the making for a JM client, a Baltimore immigration judge agreed to terminate the proceedings of a nearly 25 year lawful permanent resident who was charged as being removable on aggravated felony grounds for a 2006 statutory burglary conviction in Virginia. After extensive briefing on the legal issues—including the application of the categorical and modified categorical approach to state criminal convictions, that has become hotly litigated before U.S. Supreme Court, the various Courts of Appeal across the country, and the Board of Immigration Appeals—by Immigration Attorney Himedes Chicas and co-counsel Ben Winograd of the Immigrant and Refugee Appellate Center, which included a remand from the Board of Immigration Appeals, the immigration judge in Baltimore concluded that the Department of Homeland Security did not meet its burden of proof in establishing that the respondent was convicted of an aggravated felony. Shortly after the immigration judge’s decision was issued, Attorney Chicas received confirmation that Immigration and Customs Enforcement would be releasing his client, after a nearly 19 month long detention, in time to be reu...Continue Reading
April 17th, 2015
A JM client was recently required to report to a deferred inspection by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at BWI Airport, after his arrival into the U.S. from a short trip abroad. Deferred inspections are used by CBP officials when an immediate decision concerning the immigration status of an arriving traveler cannot be made at the port of entry. In this case, the JM client, a Lawful Permanent Resident of the U.S., had previously pled guilty to a single count of second degree assault and received a suspended sentence of over one year. Notwithstanding controlling law to the contrary, CBP officials questioned whether or not this conviction rendered the client inadmissible. The client thereafter hired Immigration Attorney Himedes Chicas, who appeared with him at his deferred inspection to ensure that removal proceedings would not be initiated against him. Although governing regulations limit an attorney’s role to a client during the deferred inspection process, Attorney Chicas appeared with his client and presented a detailed written argument as to why CBP could not establish that his client should be regarded as an applicant for admission based upon any ground of inadm...Continue Reading
October 6th, 2014
Maryland Immigration lawyer Himedes V. Chicas
successfully represented a Montgomery County family of four in removal proceedings, fighting to ensure that they would all remain in the United States as lawful permanent residents. The family was collectively placed into removal proceedings following a federal investigation into the fraudulent activities of an unscrupulous employer that had sponsored the principal beneficiary for an employment based immigrant visa more than eleven years ago. Due to that employer’s admitted fraud, it was alleged that the principal beneficiary in this case had also directly committed immigration fraud in obtaining his immigrant visa. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) therefore charged the principal’s immigrant visa as being invalid and placed him into removal proceedings. As the other three family members were derivatives of that family member’s immigrant visa, the DHS also sought to deport them from the country.
After appearing before the Immigration Judge...Continue Reading
September 26th, 2014
Maryland Immigration Lawyer
This past week Maryland Immigration lawyer Himedes Chicas received confirmation from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—Criminal Alien Program (CAP) unit that an immigration detainer filed against a JM client, currently serving a sentence at a county detention center, was lifted.
The ICE-CAP Unit mistakenly placed the immigration detainer against the JM Client, under the incorrect assumption that he was a Lawful Permanent Resident. The ICE detainer was an impediment to the Client eligibility for work release through the county’s Pre-release Center. After speaking with the Client’s family, however, it was determined that the Client had in fact derived U.S. citizenship under immigration law.
Pursuant to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, as codified in sections 320 and 322 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, a child born outside of the U.S. automatically becomes a citizen when all of the following conditions have been fulfilled:
1. At least one parent of the child is a citizen of the United States, whether by birth or naturalization;
2. The child is under the age of eighteen years at the time of the parent’s ...Continue Reading
July 3rd, 2014
The Baltimore Immigration Court recently granted a client’s application for cancellation of removal following an over four hour individual calendar hearing on the merits of the relief application. The client, who was a 15 plus year lawful permanent resident, faced deportation from the country on account of a drug-related conviction. Following a contested removability hearing, where Maryland Immigration lawyer Himedes Chicas held the government to its burden of proof, including filing written legal briefs to the Court, the Court allowed the Client to proceed with his cancellation application. The Client had various criminal convictions spanning over several years, which weighed against the Court finding that he merited a favorable exercise of discretion. Immigration Attorney Chicas implored the Court, however, to weigh heavily the Respondent’s favorable equities, including his vast U.S. family ties and his genuine rehabilitative efforts. The Court agreed with Mr. Chi...Continue Reading