You Can’t Make This Stuff Up
By: Harlan York
April 17, 2008

Believe it or not, we are occasionally asked, “Why do people need Immigration Lawyers?”

Well, here’s one example.

A client who we assisted with his green card in 1996 returned to our office in 2007. He hired us to represent him in his naturalization case.

Prior to green card approval, we disclosed that the gentleman had paid a fine for a minor violation in 1992.

Although Immigration already had this information in its file, we knew before the citizenship interview that they would request a certified copy of the municipal judgment.

We overnighted the court a request for the document. The municipal court never wrote back.

Then we called the court and left several messages but received no reply.

Finally a member of our staff personally went to the courthouse. The security guard directed him to the Records Department.

After he showed the copy of our letter to the Records Clerk, she said, “We don’t have this file. Go to the Violations Bureau.”

The Violations Clerk then told him, “We don’t have this file. Go back to Records. They have it.”

(You know what’s coming next, right?)

Records said, “WE TOLD YOU, we do not have this file. Go back to Violations. They have it.”

And wouldn’t you know it, Violations still did not have the file. But they finally agreed to look into the matter.

Now — remember — this all started because the Immigration Service requires certified copies of judgments before approving citizenship cases. This rule applies even if Immigration has the record from before they approved the green card.

Meanwhile our client cannot become a US Citizen until the municipal court finds a sixteen year old piece of paper.

So, now you know why people need Immigration Lawyers.

P.S. The Court requested a check for Fifty Cents.

About Harlan York

The first-ever attorney in New Jersey to win “Immigration Lawyer of the Year” from Best Lawyers, Harlan York is former immigration chair of the NJ State Bar Association and former co-chair for the NY State Bar Association CFLS Committee on Immigration. He currently serves on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Practice Management Committee.

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Harlan York & Associates practices law in the areas of Immigration, Deportation Defense, Family Immigration, Corporate Immigration, Naturalization throughout Essex County – Hudson County – Morris County – Passaic County – Somerset County – Middlesex County – Bergen County – New Jersey -Immigration Lawyer – NJ Immigration Lawyer – Jersey City-Newark-Paterson Passaic Elizabeth Edison Woodbridge Toms River Hamilton Trenton Camden Clifton Passaic Garfield Wallington Cherry Hill East Orange Passaic Union City Bayonne Irvington Old Bridge Lakewood North Bergen Vineland Union Wayne Parsippany-Troy Hills New Brunswick Plainfield Bloomfield Perth Amboy East Brunswick West New York West Orange Hackensack Atlantic City Kearny Mount Laurel Montclair Essex Hoboken North Brunswick Belleville. In addition to serving clients in New York, Pennsylvania, the greater United States, and Internationally.

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