New York City is the City of Immigrants. Everyone here was at some point in time an immigrant. Some generations ago my grandparents immigrated here from parts in Europe.

The City has gone from European immigrants to other geographic areas. But the story remains the same. The City of New York is a city of Immigrants. Other than the American Indians, the American Nation is a Nation of Immigrants.

Today the laws of Immigrations impact people either living here of wishing to immigrate.

The immigration laws of America can be found in the Constitution as a starting point.

The Immigration laws are based on 2 fundamental concepts.

Family based immigration or Employment immigration.

The most common kind of immigration is the “Green Card” marriage.

The most common kind of employment or work immigration is the H-1 employment visa.

For a Better Understanding of the Immigration Process See the Section (Jonilda S) Paralegal Stories of Obtaining Green Cards 

Attorney Background: 

As someone growing up and working in the New York City area, I’ve always been a people person. To make money for college, I worked in restaurants and bars. Meeting many immigrants, mostly from South American and the Caribbean. Having grown up learning French in high school, I decided to switch while at Middlebury College to learn Spanish and spent time living with a Spanish family in Madrid Spain.

In fact, in college I wrote my College High Honors Thesis on the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Well Now you know my age. The paper took up the issue of labor markets and whether illegal immigrants displaced legal American workers or lowered the prevailing labor rate. My research argued that it did not. Basically, the immigrants were taking jobs that native born American citizens did not want such as working in industries like the meat packing industry, farming and harvesting, restaurant kitchen help etc.

My study of the Spanish language has helped me tremendously in day to day transactions with clients in the City. But my ability to converse day to day in Spanish really has been reinforced everyday here in NYC. It is often not just a second language, but a first. 

Bankruptcy and Immigration 

Many immigrants, like many Americans end up in financial predicaments. This often can lead to bankruptcy. For Americans, the issue as to file does not depend on their immigration status. For immigrants, unfortunately it can.

Too many immigrants believe that they cannot file bankruptcy because of their immigration status. This is NOT TRUE. I have filed numerous petitions for persons who have had immigration issues. They followed the bankruptcy law and procedure and in the end, were awarded their discharge.

So, if you are considering filing and are worried due to your immigration status, do not worry. See the bankruptcy site and contact DMS 

Family Based Immigration

The most common type of immigration application is based on a relationship to a close family member who is either a Green Card Holder or an American Citizen.

Green Card Holders

Those who marry a Green Card Holder or an American Citizen have a right to apply to Adjust Status to become a permanent Legal Resident or Green Card Holder. Those who marry an American Citizen do not have to wait for a slot or number to come up in the system. The Green Card Holder situation is different and the priority system comes into play.

Immigration and Taxes 

So many clients who are immigrants come to see me for problems related to their taxes. Often the question involves their legal status and the requirement to pay taxes.  People should pay their taxes and not worry that because by doing so the IRS will come and initiate deportation or other similar proceedings for those out of status.

The failure to file and pay income taxes can have a negative impact on clients’ immigration application.

Further down the road, the process to become an American citizen can be jeopardized by failing to file and pay taxes.

See Full Site for Further Information 


Recently the NYC government initiated a program to provide ID for people living here. This is important especially for those who are undocumented and cannot apply for a driver’s license dues to their status. Without a New York State Driver’s License, it is hard to apply for almost any important document or transaction such as opening a bank account, voting, cashing a check, etc.

The city government, Mayor Bill DeBlasio came up with this idea which has been followed by other cities providing for this document which will allow the holder to prove his or her identity.

For those who already have valid id (driver’s license) it’s a great idea to apply for one as they provide one free year to the City’s great cultural institutions such as the Museums.

Why Hire Our Firm For your Case?

Our firm has been handling immigration cases for over 20 years. We’ve practiced and see many types of cases. We conduct business in English, Spanish and French. And have obtained Green Cards for numerous clients in different situations. In situations where there may be tax or financial issues on top of the immigration issues, then our firm is uniquely qualified to handle such a situation.