Cella & Associaes Prevails in Another Exceptionally Difficult Removal Defense Case in Immigraiton Court
August 30, 2006, Newark, New Jersey –
CELLA & ASSOCIATES, LLC, successfully tried an application for Withholding of Removal for a Dalit woman from India, in Immigration Court.
In India, the Dalit class is considered to be society’s ?lowest of the low? and are commonly referred to as ?untouchables?. They are relegated to sweeping the streets, cleaning toilets, and are paid almost nothing with no chance of improving their position within Indian society. As the caste system, which keeps the Dalits at the absolute bottom of Indian society is so deeply and firmly entrenched in India, the Indian Government can not and/or will not stop the severe oppression and even persecution leveled upon the ?untouchables?.
In this case, the applicant, an elderly woman and member of India’s Dalit class, having arrived in the U.S.A. As a tourist years ago and overstayed, was working as a nanny in an Indian family’s home in New Jersey, when, due to near slavery conditions, she moved to another family’s home. Upon her move, the first family repeatedly called the second home, threatening to have the woman deported if she did not return to work for them immediately.
At that point, growing concerned with the threats, the second family brought the woman for a consultation with with Cella & Associates, to discuss the woman’s options and to prepare for her threatened arrest and detention. Shortly thereafter, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers did in fact arrest the woman on her immigration violation and placed her into removal proceedings, correctly charging her as an overstay.
Although the woman did harbor a well-founded fear of persecution of the basis of her membership in a particular social group, (Dalit Class, or ?untouchables?), having been in the United States for more than one year, she was time-barred from applying for political asylum.
However, after reviewing the facts of the woman’s situation in depth, Cella & Associates determined that she may have a valid claim for Withholding of Removal from India. Although Withholding of Removal does not lead to lawful permanent residence, it would allow the woman to reside permanently in the United States with permission to work, and to travel, and is not subject to the one-year time-bar associated with political asylum applications.
For months, the case was developed, the situation facing members of the Dalit class in India was documented, and woman and her witnesses were prepared. Finally, the matter went to trial.
After a full and fair hearing on the merits, with testimony taken from the woman, members of the family with whom she now lives in New Jersey, and telephonic testimony taken from an individual in Denver, who had first-hand information about the woman’s situation in India, the Immigration Judge granted her application.
Moreover, although the attorney from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, (ICE), strongly opposed the application initially, at the conclusion of the trial, he waived appeal on behalf of ICE, making the Immigration Judge’s decision final.
We are extremely pleased to have been able to help this elderly woman avoid a life of poverty and oppression in India, as well as to avoid her having to work as a virtual slave for an abusive and opportunistic family in New Jersey, under the constant threat of being deported.