Seattle Federal Court Finds USCIS and Department of State Manipulated the Record and Abused the Judicial Process in J-1 Waiver Litigation, and Awards Bad Faith Attorney’s Fees

In a recent federal court case in Seattle, District Judge Ricardo Martinez harshly criticized the USCIS and State Department for manipulating the record and consistently making misrepresentations to the court about the evidence that it considered in a J-1 waiver adjudication. The court awarded over $50,000 in attorney’s fees to Linda Guerra and her husband as a result of the bad faith conduct of USCIS and the Department of State in litigation over the adjudication by CIS and State of her application for a waiver of the J-1 foreign residence requirement. Guerra et al v. USA, No. 09-CV-01027 RSM (W.D. Wash., Oct. 21, 2014).

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Seattle Times article by former GHP client: My journey from an undocumented immigrant to Harvard Medical School

By Carlos Estrada Alamo

The Seattle Times:

AFTER years of delay, President Obama has finally acted on immigration reform. This is a watershed moment in my life and the life of my community in Seattle. These days I am studying for a doctor of medicine degree at Harvard Medical School, after graduating from the University of Washington in 2011. But I grew up undocumented in Seattle.

I was 5 years old when my family embarked on a journey from Mexico to the “land of opportunity.” They chose Seattle because we had relatives in the area. We eventually settled in the Delridge neighborhood near White Center.

Despite my parents’ numerous attempts to obtain a green card, they found no viable option. With their choice to remain and endure came a sense of fear and uncertainty as “illegal aliens,” a status that marred our every connection with the world. Despite working six days a week in low-paying jobs offering no benefits, my parents had trouble providing for my family. At school I was perpetually aware of the consequences of having my illegal status revealed. I was plagued by nightmares of being caught and deported. This was my childhood.

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