New York City Immigration Law Attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP Successfully Block DHS Attempt to Revoke Client’s Asylum

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New York City immigration law attorneys Bretz & Coven, LLP successfully appealed a client’s loss of asylum, citing the lower court’s dependence on an unreliable pre-sentence investigation report and confirming that the client had not received adequate legal counsel.

We have a lengthy record of federal court accomplishments like this. It is always a wonderful feeling to see justice served.

New York City immigration law attorneys Bretz & Coven, LLP successfully appealed a client’s loss of asylum in Wassily v. Holder, USCA 2nd Cir. 10-2804-ag, citing the lower court’s dependence on an unreliable pre-sentence investigation report and by confirming that the client had not received adequate legal counsel. Mr. Wassily, a Coptic Christian, may now remain in the United States and avoid religious oppression in his home country of Egypt.

“Our goal was to overturn what was clearly a miscarriage of law and save Mr. Wassily from certain persecution in his homeland. We have a lengthy record of federal court accomplishments like this. It is always a wonderful feeling to see justice served,” said Kerry Bretz, a senior partner at Bretz & Coven, LLP, a full-service AV-rated immigration law firm in New York City.

According to court documents, Mr. Wassily (A026-102-429) was granted asylum in 2000. However, in 2004, he was sentenced to three years’ probation for two class A misdemeanors. On February 15, 2007, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claimed that these constituted a particularly serious crime (PSC) and filed a motion to revoke Mr. Wassily’s asylum status. An immigration judge then denied Mr. Wassily’s I-589 application to renew his asylum status, basing the decision on a DHS pre-sentence investigation report (PSR) and Mr. Wassily’s failure to prove that he was likely to be tortured in Egypt.

Mr. Wassily then retained Bretz & Coven, LLP. The firm submitted an appeal and a separate motion to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) for remand based on ineffective assistance of counsel — neither Mr. Wassily’s original attorney or the Immigration Judge informed him of his eligibility to renew his status with a 209(c) waiver. The PSR was comprised almost entirely of hearsay, and often double or triple hearsay, and contained no direct statement from the alleged victim of the crime (3rd degree stalking and endangering the welfare of a child) or from the arresting officer. When the BIA denied both motions, Bretz & Coven, LLP submitted a Petition for Review to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Court documents state that on May 1, 2013, the 2nd Circuit issued a decision remanding to the BIA, in part: (1) affirming Dickson v. Ashcroft, 346 F.3d 44, 54 (2d Cir.2003), holding that the factual narratives in PSRs are inherently unreliable and it was an error to rely on it in their PSC analyses; and (2) the BIA abused its discretion in denying the IAC claim as Mr. Wassily was eligible for relief and prejudiced by his former attorney’s conduct. Most importantly, this decision stands for the fact that in the 2nd Circuit, immigration judges and the BIA may not rely on PSRs to determine the crime for which a noncitizen has been convicted.

About the Firm

The immigration law firm of Bretz & Coven, LLP serves arriving and established immigrants who seek the privileges and benefits of U.S. visitation, lawful permanent residence, deportation defense and immigration service waivers. Serving clients in the New York City area, the firm is experienced in all immigration matters including the following:

  •     Asylum and refugee help
  •     Green cards and naturalization
  •     Consequences of criminal accusations
  •     Deportation defense
  •     Federal and Supreme Court challenges

The New York City immigration law firm of Bretz & Coven, LLP fights for immigrant rights when the federal law system presents intimidating challenges and triggers complex regulations. We speak over 20 languages, and many of our immigration law attorneys and staff have been through the federal immigration process before they worked at Bretz & Coven.

Bretz & Coven, LLP is Martindale-Hubbell® AV-Rated®, the highest peer-review rating law firms in the United States can receive for legal knowledge and ethical practices. For more information about the firm, please go to http://www.bretzlaw.com/contact/ or call 212-267-2555.

305 Broadway
Suite 100
New York, NY 10007-1109
212-267-2555
http://www.bretzlaw.com/

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Demetrius Morris
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