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Crimes and Immigration: New Strategies in an Increasingly Challenging Climate

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 130 minutes
Recorded Date: April 19, 2018
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  • Criminal Convictions and Immigration Consequences
  • Recent Trends and Challenges
  • ICE Responsibilities
  • Denaturalization Policies
  • Statutory Authority
  • Criminal Denaturalization
  • Elements of 18 USC 1425(a)
  • Maslenjak v. United States
  • IIRIRA's Impact on Citizenship Offenses
  • Criminal v. Civil
  • General Concepts of INA Section 340(a); 8 USC Section 1451(a)
  • Civil Denaturalization
  • Illegal Procurement
  • Willful Concealment & Misrepresentation
  • New Challenges, Obligations, and Strategies for Defending Immigrants
Runtime: 2 hours
Recorded: April 19, 2018


This program will include discussion on hot topics in criminal immigration including immigration court best practices, burdens of proof, and defense against heightened barriers to relief, denaturalization and post-conviction relief updates.

This program was recorded on April 19th, 2018.

Provided By

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Taiyyeba S. Skomra

Certified Specialist - Immigration & Nationality Law
Stone, Grzegorak & Gonzalez, LLP

Taiyyeba Safri Skomra is a Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. She has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers for the years 2010 – 2012, and 2015 – 2018. Ms. Skomra served as a team leader within the Investor/Entrepreneur practice group at our firm, has direct involvement with hundreds of EB?5 cases, and assists regional centers with the preparation of I-829 petitions. She is a co-author of “Entrepreneur Cases Signal EB-5 Eligibility Challenges for Small Businesses,” Regional Center Business Journal (IIUSA 2014), and co-author of “Consular Practice for EB-5 Investors: Recurring Problems and Timing Complications,” Immigration Options for Investors & Entrepreneurs (AILA 2014).

Ms. Skomra also has great depth of experience in family-based immigration, immigration litigation, and the analysis of the immigration consequences of criminal activity (“crimmigration”). She was the lead attorney in Calderon-Rodriguez v. Sessions, a published decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 2018, winning a remand for a detainee based on failures by the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Immigration Judge, and the Department of Homeland Security to properly handle questions of mental competency.

As a member of the firm’s Community Impact Committee, she directs much of our pro bono work. That work takes place locally, such as through monthly free consultations at a church in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, and nationally in Immigration Courts across the country, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals. She was the firm’s 2014 recipient of the Juceam Pro Bono Advocacy award.

Ms. Skomra views the field of immigration law as an opportunity to combine her passions for women’s and migrants’ human rights. Her first contact with immigration law was as the daughter of immigrants. In 2001, she began assisting pro bono clients with filing self-petitions under the Violence Against Women Act. She continued her pro bono work throughout law school at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she served on the board of the Immigrant Families Advocacy Project. Among her other activities in law school, she fought for post-conviction relief through the Innocence Project Northwest clinic.

One of her clinic cases led her to argue before the Washington Supreme Court.

After summers at The Legal Aid Society of New York’s Immigration Law Unit and at the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Ms. Skomra went on to practice immigration law at firms in Chicago, Illinois. She enjoyed a diverse caseload that allowed her to gain extensive experience in detained and non-detained removal and deportation proceedings, appeals, motions to reopen/reconsider, federal district court complaints for writs of mandamus, waivers for grounds of inadmissibility, asylum and withholding of removal, humanitarian parole, a variety of family-based and employment-based petitions for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, consular processing, adjustment of status, and citizenship and naturalization.

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Patricia M. Corrales

Law Offices of Patricia M. Corrales

Patricia M. Corrales is an attorney at law, practicing primarily in the field of immigration law, with a focus on criminal immigration defense and citizenship issues. She is a leading expert in questions pertaining to U.S. citizenship — both acquisition and derivation of U.S. citizenship as well as denaturalization or the revocation of U.S. citizenship for those who have procured their citizenship illegally or by misrepresentation. As a former attorney for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) (1995-2012), Ms. Corrales is uniquely qualified to offer strategic consulting on criminal cases that have immigration consequences, as well as comprehensive representation in all criminal related matters.

Ms. Corrales began her career as a Deputy District Attorney in Denver, Colorado. She then went on to join the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, and continued as a prosecutor with the creation of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As a Senior Attorney, she was part of a team of lawyers who handled complex National Security cases. As a Senior Attorney with ICE, she worked closely with special agents from ICE, the FBI, and other law enforcement agencies, as well as various U.S. Attorneys Offices nationwide; she is recognized for providing quality legal analysis on criminal denaturalization cases. Her experience includes significant motions practice, settlement negotiations and drafting of settlement agreements and related documentation. She has received training in Privacy laws, and was the point of contact in the Los Angeles Chief Counsel's Office on issues pertaining to the Privacy Act. She has had favorable decisions published in several cases — including U.S. v. Dang, 488 F.3d 1135 (9th Cir. 2007); U.S. v. Aiman Nasser Mohalla, 545 F.Supp.2d 1035 (C.D. Cal. 2008); U.S. v. Wang, 404 F.Supp.2d 1155) (N.D. Cal. 2005). Ms. Corrales was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation and Recognition from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for successful prosecution in the case of U.S. v. Mousavi. She received a Certification of Appreciation from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department for successful prosecution in a cybercrime case. The Office of the Principal Legal Advisor presented Ms. Corrales with a Special Achievement Award for contributions made to the ICE in successfully achieving significant mission goals, and a Special Achievement AWARD for her successful litigation in the case of U.S. v. Ahmadazi.

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Robert F. Jacobs

Robert F. Jacobs & Associates, PLC

Robert F. Jacobs has dedicated the last eighteen years of his life, since 1998, to helping primarily immigrants and their families obtain immigration status in the United States or protect them from deportation. He believes for most of the clients before him, saving an immigrant family member from deportation not only benefits that person and their family, friends and employer, but also society in general.

Since college, Attorney Jacobs has been attaining education and experience that has helped him successfully represent his clients.

In College, majoring in Economics and Political Science with a Pre-Law emphasis prepared him well for managing his office. The tournaments for his College Debate and Forensics team, experience as a Student Government President, and a full-time summer internship with the Governor of Wisconsin in the State Capital were invaluable. He also was active in both a Business and Social Fraternity and the NCAA cross country and track teams, while graduating with Highest Honors and receiving the Award at graduation presented to the top graduate in the College of Business.

After College, he attended Marquette Law School after earning a Dean’s Scholarship, and was later on the Marquette Law Review and the Dean’s List. He obtained experience working part time at both a small and medium sized law firm for two and a half years during law school, while also finding time to participate in Moot Court, the Pro Bono Society, PAD, and attend most of the Marquette college basketball games.

After Law School, Attorney Jacobs became licensed to practice law in California, Wisconsin, and even the United States Supreme Court. In 2002, he opened his own law practice in Downey, California before moving it to the present location in Santa Fe Springs near the Norwalk Courthouse in 2007.

In 2007, the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization awarded him the recognition of a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law, after demonstrating a wide range of immigration law experience and education, and passing a comprehensive exam. Other honors include Thompson Reuters naming him a Super Lawyer (limited to the top 5% of all attorneys) in 2016 and 2015, and a Rising Star in 2011. He was also selected as one of the Top 100 Immigration Lawyers in California, and was previously named a Top 40 Immigration Attorney Under 40.

Robert Jacobs has been recruited to lecture or be the moderator at nine Continuing Legal Education Seminars teaching other immigration and criminal attorneys about the law. He has conducted appeals for both immigration cases and criminal post-conviction relief before six different immigration appellate courts and two criminal appellate divisions, resulting in four published court decisions. He also presented eight oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and two before criminal appeals panels.

His court representation of immigration clients has taken him to sixteen different courthouses in seven different states. Appearances before the USCIS have been in six different offices throughout California and offices in three other states. He has also appeared in criminal courthouses all over the state between San Diego and San Francisco, and criminal judges in five different Counties throughout California have granted his Motions to Vacate convictions.

Robert Jacobs has actively participated in the Los Angeles County Bar Association since 1997 and has been on the Executive Committee of the Immigration Law Section since 2006. In that capacity he has served on the Liaison Committees of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (Immigration Judges), Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE, Government Attorneys), and the United States Citizenship & Immigrant Services (USCIS, Immigration Administrative Offices). He has been an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and attended the National Convention for Continuing Legal Education every summer since 2000. He has also served on the Executive Boards of both the Mexican American Bar Association and the Southeast District Bar Association.

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