Finding a specialty immigration lawyer?
October 20, 2017 7:23 AM   Subscribe

I need to find an immigration lawyer in Seattle who deals with naturalization of a long-term permanent resident who has a criminal record. My attempts to find one using the group legal offering from my employer haven't been successful; I've not had anyone return my e-mails. Does anyone on the green have suggestions for other resources (or maybe a recommendation) I can try?

No one I know has needed an immigration lawyer for this sort of thing so I don't have a way to ask my circle of friends. If it helps to know some details, and I'm deliberately being vague, the history involves two (minor theft) "crimes of moral turpitude" almost 10 and 20 years ago. One resulted in a deferred-then-dismissed agreement and the other was a guilty plea. Both were in a completely different state (physically and emotionally, heh) from now.

Thank you.

If you'd prefer to drop me an e-mail with advice, here you go:
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (3 answers total)
I have no specific advice about a lawyer in Seattle, but I am familiar with your problem through an acquaintance in Pennsylvania. The only solution the lawyer offered this person was to seek a Governor's Pardon. Apparently only pardoning the person with a criminal record will render them eligible for a green card. With our current administration's hysteria regarding immigrants, I imagine only certain compassionate Governors would be open to this request. You cite only minor crimes, though, and this may be easier to expunge. Not a lawyer myself - only know what this person was told.

Please vet the lawyer you select carefully! Many thousands went over the desks of several so-called immigration attorneys before they found this one who specializes in complicated cases.

Also, perhaps contacting a refugee organization in your area might yield an appropriate legal name or two? I imagine this circumstance would be something they've encountered before and they would know which immigration attorneys are competent.
posted by citygirl at 7:45 AM on October 20, 2017

The intersection of criminal defense and immigration law is its own specialty (and far removed from the corporate immigration law that your job's firm will be practicing.) I know someone who practices it in CA, probably no help to you in WA but start your search with that in mind and you'll find someone. If you really have no ideas try calling the immigration law clinics at the law schools nearest you and they should have some ideas.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:44 AM on October 20, 2017

Please keep in mind that expungement, mentioned by citygirl, is not the same as a governor's pardon.
posted by megatherium at 1:08 PM on October 20, 2017

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