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  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 12:59 am on April 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: applying for asylum in the USA, , , National Security Issues   

    National Security Issues Delay Green Card 

    Many times, an individual applying for asylum in the USA, may have been a member of a political action group abroad. While such individuals may get asylum in the USA and be permitted to live here, how do they get a green card?

    Once an individual has lived as an asylee/refugee in the USA for at least one year, they may apply for a green card. In order to get a green card, they must pass certain background checks. Interestingly, the same membership in a political action group that warranted their getting asylum, can now cause them to have problems in getting a green card.

    Our office recently handled a case for a man from the nation of Cameroon. He was a member of a rebel group seeking democratic changes. Unfortunately, the USA government had his rebel group on a list of terrorist organizations. This caused a huge delay when he tried to get a green card. In fact, such delays are a nationwide problem.

    In my client’s case, he waited over 6 years before seeking help from my office. The immigration service now has a special officer in most cities, who is in charge of national security cases like this. The special officer will conduct the interview and then do a report to a supervisor and legal counsel, and that team will decide if the individual gets a green card or is denied for national security reasons. This process can take years.

    Some proven ways to dislodge a delayed green card case in thus situation is to enlist the help of a Congressman, or hire an attorney, or file a lawsuit to compel action. In the case of our client from Cameroon, he just recently received his green card, about 7 months after he hired our law firm.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Bruce Coane is a leading lawyer with 30 years of experience in the field of immigration law and employment law. He may be reached via email at houstonlaw@aol.com or his website at Coane and Associates.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 2:53 pm on April 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Immigration waiver appeal, Nigerian immigrants   

    Nigerian Woman wins Immigration Waiver Appeal 

    In a decision released this week, by the Administrative Appeals Office of Homeland Security, a Nigerian woman represented by our law firm, won her appeal. As a result, this mother of five who has resided in the USA for many years, can now achieve legal status.

    Case Link:
    Nigerian Woman wins Immigration Waiver Appeal

    Our client had filed for her green card (lawful permanent residence status) but it was denied because she had been arrested for theft. She filed for a waiver based on having USA citizen children, but that waiver was denied together with the green card denial.

    The client had been arrested in 1988 for theft. The immigration service denied the green card and waiver in 2008, and an appeal was filed. In a decision issued on April 13, 2011, the Administrative Appeals Office approved the appeal and granted the waiver to our client.

    The appeals office agreed that one or more of our client’s children would suffer extreme hardship if the mother was deported. In particular, they found that one of the children had ADHD and was depressed, and would have significant “adjustment” issues if her she had to move to Nigeria with her mother. In addition, the appeals office found it significant that there were travel warnings for USA citizens going to Nigeria. Both of these foregoing matters weighed heavily on the decision to grant the extreme hardship waiver. Interestingly, this decision may serve as “precedent” for citizens of Mexico who seek waivers, since there are similar travel warnings for Mexico.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Bruce Coane is a leading lawyer with 30 years of experience in the field of immigration law and employment law. He may be reached via email at houstonlaw@aol.com or his website at Coane and Associates.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 12:20 pm on April 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , salary pay   

    Coane & Associates settled claim for overtime pay 

    A sushi chef in Miami, recently settled his claim for overtime pay. Our client had worked as a sushi chef at Yukihana Japanese Restaurant in Miami. He was paid a salary, but he was working over 40 hours a week. He never received overtime pay.

    Many workers believe that, if they receive a salary, they are prohibited from getting overtime pay. Quite simply, that is not true. In fact, even if an employee gets paid with a salary rather than an hourly wage, they could be entitled to overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a week. The key is whether the employee is administrative, professional,executive or a manager. If the employee does not work in an administrative capacity, or is not a professional, manager or executive, then he could be entitled to overtime pay.

    In some cases, it could be argued that a sushi chef or other chef supervises workers and is a manager, therefore not entitling them to overtime pay. And, that is true, that if someone works as a manager and supervises all day, then they may not be entitled to overtime pay. On the other hand, if the majority of the chef’s duties are preparation and cooking, then a case could be made that they are entitled to overtime even though they do some supervision.

    In this case, we reached a settlement with the employer, and our sushi chef client received pay for the overtime hours he worked while he was at the restaurant.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Bruce Coane is a leading lawyer with 30 years of experience in the field of immigration law and employment law. He may be reached via email at houstonlaw@aol.com or his website at Coane and Associates.

     
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