Michael became a PAIFUP client in June 2020. He was apprehended by ICE outside of his home during the COVID-19 pandemic nearly four years after USCIS denied his application for adjustment of status. Despite his numerous positive equities—30 years of residence in the U.S., 9 U.S. citizen children several of whom have disabilities, a U.S. citizen wife of 25 years, a U.S. citizen mother with severe health concerns, and many years of employment and community service in Pennsylvania—he was denied bond by the Immigration Judge for a minor criminal offense that took place in the 1990s.
PAIFUP counsel argued that Michael's convictions did not make him ineligible to adjust his status and the Immigration Judge agreed and recognized that USCIS had made a mistake in denying his application years before. Michael was given a new hearing on his application in September 2020, but his case was continued for additional testimony. However, because of an outbreak of COVID-19 at the detention center, Michael was placed in quarantine and prohibited from attending his hearing. He was ultimately given another hearing, and in December, after more than six months in detention, Michael was granted adjustment of status.
Michael plans to become a citizen at the first available opportunity and is thrilled to soon be able to return to his family. He plans to write a book about his challenges in the immigration system and the need for representation with the hope that it can help others better understand the immigrant experience.
Client name has been changed to protect anonymity*