Each step of the case has the potential to benefit not only me, but others as well. My hope is that I will be granted my legal permanent residence, so that I can eventually also become a US citizen. My efforts against the notary, will help me recover fees that I paid and other damages. Hopefully, it will make them stop what they are doing to me & others like me.
I am a shy, divorced mother of two children. My 21 year old US citizen daughter filed a petition for me to get my legal status in the USA. I went to a notary office because they work with a lot of people. I told her I lived in the United States, and would travel to Mexico only occasionally to visit my mother. I did have a Border Crossing Card (BCC) and always entered at the port of entry. The violence in Mexico was growing due to warring drug cartels, and I brought my children to the United States to live. They are Americans, I am not, but my heart supports that which is good. I had hopes to eventually become a citizen. The notary told me what I had to file, that I was fine because I entered with my BCC & did not need an attorney, so I paid her instead. At my interview the immigration officer told me I needed a waiver for unlawful presence. The notary acted surprised, but told me I would be okay & again told me what evidence to get. I paid her, and the USCIS fees. My application was denied, because I did not have a qualifying relative; for purposes of the waiver that is a spouse or parent who is either a LPR, or a USC.
I was referred to my attorney by a friend. She filed a motion to reopen and reconsider the denial of my application based on what she called misconduct, because the USCIS knew that I did not have a "qualifying relative", that I had used the notary, & told me to file the waiver knowing that I would probably use the notary again. The basis of the motion is estoppel--it has been pending over a year and one-half. So many undocumented people find themselves in my position, or similar. Having spent money on fees for things that did not help us, & were filed by people who are not authorized to practice law, or by unscrupulous attorneys. I just filed a lawsuit against the notary under the Texas deceptive trade practices act (DTPA). Jaramillo v. Castro, 17-DCL-05711 (107th JD, CC, TX). This will require depositions of each of the three notaries involved in my case, and of other witnesses. Depositions are typically $750. to $2000. each. Service of subpoenas and witness fees are typically $95. each. The case may require hundreds of attorney hours. And I may need to hire an expert witness to review the case, and testify in Court.
Aside from the DTPA case against the notaries; I may file a case in the federal court to push the USCIS to adjudicate my motion, and to issue a notice to appear in immigration court, if they deny it, as well as ask the Court to rule on the matter of estoppel under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The code of federal regulations that applies to adjustment of status, allows me to renew my denied application for adjustment of status before an immigration judge without paying new filing fees. My attorney said that is what she will be basing the mandamus on, because usually the issuance of a NTA is discretionary, but she thinks the renewal before the immigration judge is an appellate right which creates a duty to issue the NTA for people in my position. I am told the federal court case has a filing fee of $400. & that usually the first filing the government makes, is for an extension of time to respond, then a motion to dismiss. Sometimes they will agree to correct their errors, without too much litigation, but my attorney usually spends at least 100 hours, sometimes more. If they litigate, & the case is denied the matter could be appealed to the Federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Should I make it to immigration court, the immigration judge can apply the doctrine of estoppel, which if denied can be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), and then to the Federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals if denied at the BIA. I can also file other applications for relief with the immigration judge. My attorney thinks people should not ask to be placed in removal proceedings unless they have a very good case. She has practiced immigration law for 13 years and believes my case for cancellation of removal is very strong. I have a 13 year old developmentally disabled son who requires doctors care, as well as my assistance and care, I have lived in the United States since 2006, I have no criminal record, and am an all around good person.
I appreciate any help that anyone provides. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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