Former US Marine beats deportation for misdemeanor conviction

Published:  29 Apr at 6 PM
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Good news concerning immigration decisions in the USA isn’t heard often, but Carlos Solorzano is now an American citizen thanks to his top-notch immigration lawyer.

Carlos was one year old when his Mexican parents brought him to the USA to start a new life in Lake County, California. Whilst he was a student at his local school, he applied for and received a green card and became a permanent resident.

When he left school he was accepted into the USA’s Marine corps, serving three years with the elite group. As do many marines, he got involved in a New Year’s Eve bar-room brawl and was charged and convicted of misdemeanor battery and assault, receiving a 365-day suspended sentence but unaware that the sentence might result in deportation at a later date.

On returning from a visit to Mexico in 2012, border agents flagged him down and only allowed entry on a probationary status due to his conviction. Fortunately, former MP lieutenant-colonel Margaret Stock, now a respected expert in immigration law, took on his case.

Stock believes there’s a government-aggravated push for deportations via more stringent immigration law interpretations and a redefinition of immigration law terms. A February hearing in Anchorage, now Carlos’s home town, was expected to result in his deportation but, thanks to Stock, immigration officials decided to back off and he was officially readmitted to the USA.

However, the battle wasn’t yet over as, when Carlos applied for citizenship, he was again rejected due to his conviction. The rejection, according to Stock, was caused by incorrectly-informed immigration staff, and a second refusal referred to him as an aggravated felon.

Stock intervened again, with her expert legal wrangling convincing the immigration authority that his application needed to be approved. Happy endings finally came several days ago, when an ecstatic Carlos, watched by his wife Danielle, attended his naturalisation ceremony in Anchorage.
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