They should already have all of that.
Hi, I’m Jim Hacking immigration lawyer, practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. I’m shooting this video today for you, because I want to protect you from something that I heard about this week that just boggled my mind.
I was talking to a couple who had hired an attorney to represent them in immigration. They were seeking to adjust status. The husband was the beneficiary of an approved I-140 petition and he had a green card application that he filed through an attorney out in California.
Now, this couple has already received, not one but two requests for evidence. It’s really mind boggling.
The first request for evidence asked for their birth certificates and copies of their passport pages and to make corrections to the I-485. So this couple had paid an attorney to prepare their forms for them, and to help them gather all of the right evidence.
Their case has dragged on now for more than a year and it’s going to keep dragging on because now they have this second request for evidence.
And so I said, “What is the deal with this attorney? Why didn’t he submit this stuff?” And they said, “Oh, our attorney is incompetent, we’re thinking about switching to you. We’re not happy.”
And that’s fine and that’s not the point of the video.
The point of the video is that this attorney did not submit the initial evidence that you have to submit to adjust status.
It is a no brainer that you have to submit your birth certificate and other identity documents in support of an application to obtain lawful permanent resident status.
And I asked them, “Well, what did you say to the attorney? And what did he say to you when you confronted him with these requests for evidence?”
Both requests for evidence are things that we at our office we’ve included in the original filings, so it was all that background identity stuff and now there’s a question about the affidavit of support. Oh, I’m sorry about the financial documents.
And so it’s really mind boggling what the attorney said. The attorney said when it came to the birth certificate, “Oh, they already have all that.” Are you kidding me?
Here’s the deal friends, there might be documents that you have submitted to USCIS in the past. Let’s say you’re applying for citizenship. And in your green card application, you submitted a copy of your birth certificate. Guess what? You still have to submit it in your naturalization application.
So the point of this video is to remind you that you have to submit every application a new. That whatever documents are required have to be submitted at the outset.
Now, under current regulations, the government says they can cash your check and deny a case outright if you don’t submit the right evidence, or if like this attorney, you don’t complete all the answers on the I-485. So the lawyer had listed one child, but not the other child.
So it’s really mind boggling what a bad job this lawyer did. Now, like I said, this lawyers in Los Angeles in California, and I said to the couple, “This is really strange.” And I looked at his website and he’s a member of AILA and he has, it looks like, a lot of experience doing these cases.
But I said, “How much did this attorney charge you for this 485?” And they said, “$1,300 for three people.” So I said, “Well, there’s your answer, you get what you pay for.” This guy just slops it all together.
And in fact, he charges them by the requests for evidence. So he has an incentive to have more requests for evidence issue because he’s going to make more money because he charges them so little on the front end.
Now this is reckless and bad behavior and appalling in my view, but that’s exactly what’s going on. And in fact, this is not the first time that we’ve seen this.
A lot of times immigration lawyers are dealing with unsophisticated clients who don’t want to spend a lot of money and they go with the cheapest price and then their cases get denied or delayed.
So this is not a total cluster, it’s a big old mess. Luckily, as people are firing their attorney, they’re either going to do it on their own or they’re going to hire us. But it’s a real mess.
So in any event, the point of the video is to make sure that you file everything that you need for each application. You can’t just assume that as this attorney said in response, “Oh, they already have all that.” You can’t assume that.
You got to pretend like they’re dumb as a box of doorknobs, which many times they are, and that they have to be walked holding hands through the application so that they can figure out that they have everything that they need to approve your case.
So it’s a big, old mess, hopefully they’ll figure it out. But this attorney is a real train wreck.
Anyway, if you have questions about your case or about what’s going on, you can give us a call at (314) 961-8200. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also have this great Facebook group, we signed up 22 people that joined the Facebook group yesterday. It’s called Immigrant Home. We’re sharing a lot of immigration information in there.
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