September 30, 2017

Clinic at Ascentria Care Alliance Provides Training to Attorneys and Volunteers, and Citizenship Aid to Nearly 50 Applicants

Attorney Mooradian participated in Ascentria Care Alliance's immigration clinic put on by the Immigrant's Legal Assistance Program.  During the course of the day, nearly 50 immigrants received advice and assistance in filling out citizenship applications.

At the beginning of the event, Attorney Mooradian provided training to a group of attorneys and law students on quality control.  This training focused on common pitfalls in citizenship applications, best practices in client interviewing, and dealing with some of the thorny issues around citizenship.  The attorneys shared perspectives and information on some of the changing areas of immigration law, including the consequences of criminal activity (even minor criminal activity) and absences from the United States.  

The main thrust of the presentation was around the importance of solid interviewing, and around encouraging clients to disclose all necessary information to the attorneys.  While clients may be reluctant to reveal, for example, contact they have had with the police, such information is critical to an application.  Indeed, if such information is not included, the application may be rejected for misrepresenting information to the immigration agency.  Or, it may be dangerous for a client to submit an application to an immigration agency in the wake of criminal activity that makes them removable from the United States, such as a serious crime of violence.

Attorneys learned about these complicating factors before actually meeting with and reviewing the applications of the nearly fifty immigrants who benefited from today's services. The clients were well-prepared, ambitious, and excited to take this next step toward naturalization, and were grateful for this assistance which was provided without costs for legal services.

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