Client’s father came to our office regarding his son who was incarcerated in federal penitentiary in Texas. The son was serving a sentence for an aggravated felony of selling drugs. An aggravated felony is a very serious felony which typically involves drugs, loss of human life or crimes that are violent.
The son was in removal proceedings in Texas based on his residence in the penitentiary in Texas, so we entered an appearance in the Texas Immigration Court. As an aggravated felon, there was no relief that the son qualified for, because he did not have a clear probability of persecution on account of the protected ground such as race, religion, political opinion, ethnicity or social group.
The client’s only defense was if we could prove that the client was a U.S. citizen and, therefore, not removable.
In carefully interviewing the father, counsel ascertained that the father had attained U.S. citizenship prior to the son attaining age 18. Generally, that would confer U.S. citizenship on the son. The problem in this case was that client’s parents were divorced and client was living with his mother, not his father, when the father naturalized. The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service and the U.S. Department of State both maintained that citizenship could only have been conferred by the father to the son if the father had been the custodial parent. Thus, the client appeared to be out of luck.
The law offices of George P. Mann & Associates zealously argued this case in the Texas Immigration Court and won. The Immigration Judge was satisfied that client was a U.S. citizen. Counsel gathered voluminous documentary and testimonial proof that the father was very involved in the son’s life throughout client’s childhood and adolescence. Even though the naturalized father was not the custodial parent on the date of naturalization, we showed that he had substantial parental rights, and through research and legal precedent we were able to convince the Judge that client legally was a U.S. citizen over objections from the Department of State and United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.