Success Stories

Many of the cases that we have, we have rescued the cases after they have been denied, by filing motions to reopen. Four out of the five published cases are results from a motion to reopen.

Cannles-Vargas v. Gonzales, 441 F.3d 739 (9th Cir. 2006) This case involves a woman from Peru who applied for political asylum. It was decided that permanent or serious injury are not required to show persecution. The 9th circuit court of appeals found that anonymous death threats are sufficient to establish a well-founded fear of future persecution given the "low standard." Where substantial evidence did not support the Immigration Judge's denial of asylum because anonymous death threats were sufficient under the low standard requiring a 10% chance to establish a well-founded fear of future persecution.

Kay v. Ashcroft, 387 F. 3d 664 (7th Cir. 2004) This is a case where a man from Burma who understood very little English was ordered deported in his absence due to confusion about his court date. We were able to get his case reopened in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court held that an in absentia order does not become final for some purposes until the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) rules on the motion to reopen, finding that in an absentia case, an order from the BIA does not become final for purposes of a motion to reopen under Section 208 until there is a final decision by the BIA on the absentia claim. In this case the court held that the evidence was clear for the applicant and the Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals denied the case without a rational explanation.

Azanor v. Ashcroft, 364 F. 3d 1013 (9th Cir. 2004) This case concerns a woman from Nigeria who tortured from Female Genitalia Mutilation. Her case was denied but we were able to rescue it and have the case reopened under the Convention Against Torture Act. The court held that the Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals erred when they erroneously determined that the applicant had to be tortured by someone in the government or action for the government, in order to qualify. A person qualifies for protection under the Convention Against Torture if the government acquiescences to the torture.

Cortez Acosta v. INS, 234 F.3d 476 (9th Cir. 2000) This concerns a man from Mexico, who was accused of alien smuggling with several other people. Mr. Cortez Acosta did not have an attorney at the time. At a group hearing the Immigration Judge did not make a verbatim transcript of the master hearing and inaccurately noted that the applicant had admitted to the allegation, when he had not. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reopened the case and Mr. Cortez Acosta's legal status was restored. However, during the time the case was pending, the INS deported Mr. Cortez Acosta. We were able to get a temporary Stay of Deportation from the Supreme Court, but eventually that expired and Mr. Cortez Acosta was returned to Mexico. After his status was restored, the officers at the Port of Entry were notified and he was admitted back to the U.S.

Altawil v. INS, 179 F.3d 791 (9th Cir. 1999) This case concerns a man fro Syria who submitted his change of address to the wrong Immigration office and consequently his case was held in his absence and he was ordered deported. We tried to get the case reopened, however the court held that it could not consider additional evidence under the law.


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The Law Office of Rhoda Wilkinson Domingo
414 Jackson Street, Suite 202
San Francisco, CA 94111
Tel: (415) 986-1121
FAX: (415) 986-1122
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Our office is located one block from the building from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in San Francisco. We help businesses and people throughout the Bay Area and California, as well as nationally and abroad. Our clients come from such counties as Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus, etc., and such cities as Oakland, San Jose, Richmond, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Stockton, Sacramento, Vallejo, Fresno, Porterville, Visalia, Bakersfield, Redwood City, Martinez and Modesto. When you or your business needs the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney, contact the Law Office of Rhoda Wilkinson Domingo.

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The Law Office of
Rhoda Wilkinson Domingo

414 Jackson Street, Suite 202
San Francisco, CA 94111

Tel: (415) 986-1121
Fax: (415) 986-1122
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