Notable Cases
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Recent Asylum Victory

Ms. Bittner recently won asylum for a young woman from El Salvador who was persecuted by gang members in her country due to her political party membership.

Using Innovative Remedies

A man who was a victim of serious traffic court accident, in which another driver went left of center and caused a collision and a rollover accident that occurred during the holidays in which the man’s U.S. citizen infant child died as a result of injuries, was arrested and detained by Immigration a few months following the accident. Immigration made the arrest, as Immigration was seeking to enforce an outstanding in absentia order of removal/deportation, the existence of which the man had not been aware, so as to remove/deport the man from the U.S. This intended removal was to occur, although there was a pending criminal case charging the other driver with vehicular manslaughter and for driving under a suspended driver’s license, as she had caused the traffic accident and struck the vehicle in which the man and his child were passengers. Ms. Perella Hadden was able to contact the Police Department and Prosecutor’s office to secure an I-918B, certificate from law enforcement that the man was a victim of a qualifying criminal act and that he as a witness and a victim had been of assistance and would be of assistance to law enforcement. Ms. Perella Hadden assisted the man in filing a motion to reopen his removal proceedings and to rescind his outstanding order of removal/deportation. The man was granted a U Visa and his removal proceedings were terminated, and he was permitted to remain in the U.S.

A 33-year-old man was brought to the U.S. when he was eight years old by his relatives after the death of his mother and father. The man grew up believing that his relatives filed all the necessary paperwork for him to legally enter the U. S. and become an American citizen. Twenty-five years after he entered the U.S., he was surprised by a knock on his door from an INS agent serving the man with an order of deportation based upon the fact that there had been an error in the paperwork filed for him when he was a child. At that time, the man no longer could speak or understand his native language and had no family located in his native country. Through the use of a unique and rarely used provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allowed noncitizens to automatically become citizens if they served in the U.S. armed forces during a time of armed conflict as certified by the President, Mr. Muchnicki was able to obtain a dismissal of the deportation. After several years of litigation, the INS gave Mr. Muchnicki’s client credit for his service in the U.S. Army during the Persian Gulf War. The man was sworn in as a United States citizen.

A woman from Honduras had been apprehended by immigration officials when she entered the United States over a decade ago, but she never attended her Immigration Court hearing because she did not know about the hearing date since she had moved. She was recently apprehended by immigration officers in Columbus, Ohio, who sought to deport her because the Immigration Court had ordered a removal in her absence when she did not attend her court hearing. The woman had come to the United States from Honduras fleeing domestic violence. Ms. Bittner prepared the woman’s asylum application and successfully motioned the Immigration Court to reopen the old deportation order against her. The woman was released from immigration detention and now is waiting for the date of her final hearing.

Making Novel Arguments

In cancellation of removal cases for nonpermanent residents, among other eligibility requirements a Respondent is required to establish is the exceptional and extremely unusual hardship that their U.S. or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse, children, or parents would suffer. The norm is for attorneys to argue the serious medical conditions of the qualifying relatives, i.e., the U.S. or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse, children or parents. Ms. Perella Hadden was able to successfully argue a case before the Immigration Court in which the person with the very serious and potentially fatal medical condition and illness was Respondent Mother, the spouse of a U.S. citizen and four U.S. citizen children by arguing the exceptional and extremely unusual hardship the spouse and the U.S. citizen children would suffer if the Respondent Mother had to leave the U.S. and the access she had in the U.S. to the life-saving medical treatment and scans she required. The Respondent/Mother was granted cancellation of removal and lawful permanent residence and was permitted to remain in the U.S.

A legal permanent resident of the United States, originally from Somalia, was placed into deportation proceedings after she applied for United States citizenship. She was placed into deportation proceedings because the government alleged that she was inadmissible to the United States when she entered as a derivative refugee because she was married at the time that she entered. Ms. Bittner denied that her client had committed any wrongdoing and successfully argued in Immigration Court that the young woman had been unaware that she was not permitted to marry after she was granted derivative refugee status abroad. The Immigration Court terminated removal proceedings against the woman.

Successfully Arguing For Relief For The Mother

A woman who had entered the United States as a child and as an adult had five U.S. born children. Ms. Hdden successfully argued a case that she won on appeal at the Board of Immigration Appeals for the grant of cancellation of removal for nonlawful permanent residence of the mother of five U.S. citizen children. The mother had lived in the U.S for 12 years prior to her hearing, and since she had entered the U.S. without inspection as child herself after both of her parents passed away. The mother was granted lawful permanent residence status in the U.S. and allowed to remain in the U.S. to care for her five U.S. citizen children.

Blocking An Illegal Deportation

A woman went to her local INS office to find out why there had been a delay in action on her green card application. Instead of being given her green card, she was handcuffed and taken to a prison over one hundred miles away to await her deportation on a decade-old deportation order, which she thought had been canceled. Mr. Muchnicki filed a writ of habeas corpus challenging her arrest and deportation. He obtained an injunction halting the deportation. Mr. Muchnicki persuaded the federal judge that the judge had jurisdiction to determine whether the INS had unlawfully refused to agree to re-open the woman’s deportation case so that she could obtain her green card. Once the judge agreed that he had jurisdiction, the INS settled the case by agreeing to allow the woman to obtain her green card.

A legal permanent resident of the United States was placed in removal proceedings and was going to be deported from the United States because of his guilty plea to a criminal charge. The man had pleaded guilty because his defense attorney had erroneously informed him that pleading guilty to the charge would not cause him to lose his legal permanent residency in the United States. Ms. Bittner vacated the man’s criminal conviction based upon the ineffective assistance of counsel and terminated the removal proceedings pending against the man.

Defending An Innocent Immigrant

A man who was married to a U.S. citizen was charged with felonious assault on a police officer. If convicted, he would have been deported. Thus, Mr. Muchnicki represented the man in his criminal case. Three police officers testified against the immigrant, and the immigrant had no witnesses to confirm his version of what happened. Nevertheless, through his cross-examination of the three officers, Mr. Muchnicki was able to demonstrate that the officers had tried to frame the man because one of the officers disliked persons of color. Based solely upon Mr. Muchnicki’s cross-examination of the officers, and after just 45 minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a “not guilty” verdict.