Issue link: http://ailahub.aila.org/i/304305
Lifestyle 9 What's Trending 9 Inter Alia 9 Get Connected 9 Member Advantage 9 Contact Us sponsor: about us: 11 CMB REGIONAL CENTERS cmb regional centers Practice Pointers w Immigration & Crimes w Immigration & Health care w going global w business immigration u behind the case Behind the Case: 'No Prior Marriage Fraud' CASE: In Re: Name Redacted (Feb. 24, 2014) ATTORNEY: Michael Friedberg, Friedberg & Trombi by Sheeba Raj A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) ﬁeld oﬃce director erred when he revoked an approved visa petition on the basis of prior marriage fraud, as ruled by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) upon ﬁnding no "substantial and probative" evidence of prior marriage fraud in the record. "[T]here must be substantial and probative evidence of such an aempt or conspiracy," wrote the Board, and that evidence "must be contained in the alien's ﬁle." e ﬁeld oﬃce director had revoked the petition ﬁled by the beneﬁciary's second (and current) husband even though the beneﬁciary and her ex- spouse submied statements showing the bona ﬁdes of their former marriage, along with bank statements and photographs in support of the marriage. In its February 24, 2014, decision, the BIA sustained the appeal and remanded the case back to the director to continue processing the petition. "[T]his has been nothing but a complete nightmare for this family," said Michael Friedberg, of Friedberg & Trombi in Los Angeles and the aorney of record. "When [USCIS] sent us the notice of revocation, [it] said we had 30 days to ﬁle an appeal," he added. "Well, if you look up [8 CFR §205.2(d)], it's actually a 15-day appeal period, so we got incorrect instructions from the government on how to appeal; but nonetheless, thank goodness we knew about it and we ﬁled timely. And then about a month later, we ﬁled our brief to the BIA [in April 2010], so essentially, we were done in terms of challenging the revocation." However, Friedberg said that the government didn't submit its response to the BIA until August 2013. "In the meantime, we had consistently said, 'We have never seen the ﬁle. We have never seen any of the adverse evidence. Why don't you send us the adverse evidence?' … So, this family is paying money to do an appeal, to do an appearance, to do this, to do that, ﬁghting oﬀ [USCIS] until they're vindicated." e next court hearing is scheduled for October 2014, but Friedberg said that he'll soon speak to his clients about ﬁling motions to terminate. When preparing I-130 petitions for couples, Friedberg emphasizes researching at the outset that the marriage is real. "Don't take any case just because they're there and they're willing to pay you," he said. Once an aorney determines that the marriage is real, he or she should submit documents supporting the bona ﬁde nature of it, such as joint lease agreements, bank account statements, insurance papers, photographs, correspondence, etc. As for clients that already are charged with marriage fraud, Friedberg said that "you have to be very thorough in geing the story." SHEEBA RAJ is the staff legal editor and reporter for VOICE. One-Step Marriage Walk Through + LIBRARY RECORDED Representing and Defending Marriage Fraud Allegations + LIBRARY SEMINAR "[T]his has been nothing but a complete nightmare for this family."