Written by attorney Carl Michael Shusterman

Honor Student Beats Deportation

Former INS Attorney Carl Shusterman (1976-82) explains how a 14-year-old "illegal alien" beat deportation & gained permission to remain in the US. Schedule a legal consultation (by Skype, telephone or in person) at

Miguel Perez was brought across the border by mother who died shortly thereafter. He was order deported by an Immigration Judge. When his appeal was dismissed, he packed his bags to return to war-torn El Salvador.

Congressman Mervyn Dymally referred Miguel to our office, and what happened was nothing short of miraculous.

We immediately took the following actions to assist Miguel:

1) We appealed his deportation order to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals; 2) We contacted the Los Angeles Times.

We obtained a Stay of Deportation from the Federal Court which enabled Miguel to remain in the US while his appeal was pending.

The Times assigned a reporter to the case, and the story ran on the front page of the Times the very next day.

We later found that the Immigration Court had sent the transcript and decision of the Judge to Miguel's former attorney, but not to Miguel. Because of this, the Circuit Court remanded the case to the BIA which remanded it to the Immigration Court. The Judge who had ordered Miguel deported had retired, and we got a new Immigration Judge.

I spoke with the INS District Director and told him that Miguel's qualifications for getting a green card through "suspension of deportation" were so good that the INS would look terrible if they opposed it. He agreed.

Immigration Judge Nathan Gordon granted Miguel's application for suspension of deportation.

After a short hearing, the District Director held a press conference to personally present Miguel with a green card. The DD stood on one side of Miguel and I stood on the other side as he welcomed Miguel to America!

Miguel went on to become a Distinguished University Professor.

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