14 December 2005
Serbian/Croatian man granted withholding of Removal

Man gets to stay in the U.S.A. on the basis of past and liklihood of future persecution in both Serbia and Croatia.

December 13, 2005 – Newark, N.J.

This week a Judge in Newark Immigration Court granted an alien’s application for withholding of removal from both Serbia and Croatia.

Having arrived in the United States in 2004 without a visa, and then turning himself in to immigration authorities, the man (J.D.), immediately applied for political asylum and withholding of removal. He was taken into custody by the Service in Texas.

Upon being retained, Cella & Associates sought J.D.’s release on bond and moved the Texas Immigration Court to change venue to Newark, New Jersey. J.D. was released and the case was moved to Newark.

The basis of J.D.’s claim was that he had been, and would in the future be, persecuted in both Serbia and in Croatia, as a result of his mother’s Croatian identity, and his father’s Serbian identity. J.D. is a citizen of both countries.

After litigating with Homeland Security for just over a year, the case came to trial this week. Based upon the record, as well as the liklihood of success on the merits, the Trial Attorney for The Department of Homeland Security came to an agreement with J.D.’s attorney, by which J.D. would be granted withholding of removal; That is, J.D. will be able to stay permanently in the U.S., with permission to work and to travel internationally. Lawful Permanent Residence, (“green card”), however, will have to be sought through other channels.

Intialy, the Immigration Judge agreed to grant J.D. withholding of removal as to Serbia, but not as to Croatia. However, after discussions on the facts of the case, the Immigration Judge agreed to accept the agreement, and granted wihtholding as to both countries.

We at Cella & Associates congratulate J.D. and wish him great success inteh United States!

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