Law Offices of Denise A. Melville
has its first Free Citizenship Clinic in Georgia
March 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017
The Law Offices of Denise Melville-Blackman (“DMB”), a Buckhead based firm, with offices in Suwanee, GA hosts its first annual citizenship clinic. Denise Melville-Blackman is an immigration attorney and partner of the New York City firm, Blackman & Melville, P.C. She has spent the most part of last decade assisting immigrants in promoting their social interests and protecting their legal rights. She has been an advocate in deportation proceedings, acquiring green cards for aliens, and in her overseas offices she has avidly fought for the rights of aliens and litigated matters with the Embassies and consulates abroad. She is also an formidable consultant on the matter of international adoptions.
After the most recent presidential elections in the United States, and consistent with the hysteria over the last few weeks, combined with the rippling effects around the world we have decided to assist many prevent potential or possible removal or deportation.
The clinic drive begins on March 1, 2017 and ends on March 31, 2017. The services are free of charges of any legal fees for the ordinary processing of applications for obtaining United States Citizenship.
For many years we have harped, annoyingly to most, on the fact that many green-card holders have become too complacent with their status as permanent residents. Many aliens are here for more than half their lives and some for the majority of their lives only to end up removed from the United States for infractions, some not even that serious. Returning to life in your home country can be shocking. Most of the times it is very difficult to readjust to new surrounding and in a society whose customs and values you have become unfamiliar with. In most cases it becomes almost impossible especially if you left as a young child. For many who are unable to adjust to life in their home country end up in drug abuse situations, homeless, developing mental illness and in a lot of circumstances commit suicide.
Furthermore, any personal, economic, familial and social gains obtained during the time one has spent in the United States can be devastatingly lost and usually amounts in severe financial ruin, family separation from children, spouses and siblings, and overall, the incapacity to function in the new environment. Over the years and after pleading with several clients to apply for the relief of Citizenship I have heard several reasons for them to claim to be skeptical of obtaining U.S Citizenship, a few of which I would like to address is this short attendance with you.
CLIENT STATEMENT: “I don’t want to get my citizenship in the United States because I will have to give up my citizenship of my home country!”
MY RESPONSE: According to international law you obtain citizenship of any country in two ways either by (1) birth or (2) relationship to the state itself. Firstly, one who is born in any sovereign territory obtains citizenship by operation of law and the fact that he is born within the territorial boundaries of that state; secondly, one who has satisfied the internal requirements of residential time or any other qualification mandated by that sovereign territory.
CLIENT STATEMENT: “AMERICA doesn’t allow for dual citizenship”
MY RESPONSE: Nonsense! Once again principles of International law prevail over states’ wishes and in the order of Laws (even if it were true) and therefore International Law on the issue is prevalent (I think if anyone tells me that this year I will dig out my eyes with a dull and blunt object to put me out of my misery). You have obtained your citizenship by birth in country of your birth….your original nationality. You do not lose it merely by becoming a citizen of another country. You must take some affirmative act of formally renouncing your citizenship of any country! You then have migrated to the United States and have satisfied your 3 or 5 year time period to apply for citizenship. You become a citizen of both places and are a dual national by operation of law, which no man may challenge. You can even move to somewhere else, a third territory, and get married or perform some act that qualifies for benefits in that country and become a citizen of that country also.
Now that being said, the statement regarding the U.S not recognizing dual citizenship is for other reasons where different types of questions arise. These issues are mostly jurisdictional questions where international crimes are concerned where individuals claim that that the United States cannot take certain actions against them because they are a citizen of another country. It also arises in international civil claims.
Therefore it is important to understand what you hear or read because the context of the matter must be properly understood first before you qualify the statement.
The third most popular one that drives me absolutely NUTS is:
CLIENT STATEMENT: “I don’t want to become a citizen of this place. I am going home after I retire!”
MY RESPONSE: Firstly, (After gritting my teeth and trying to prevent myself from reaching over the desk and slapping the skin color off of these some people for having the audacity to conjure up the sentence to say it in public)……..GROW SOME BALLS AND SHOW SOME ALLEGIANCE!!!!! Secondly, you are not dead as yet and you don’t know what the future holds. Have at least the slightest bit of foresight rather than thinking past the tip of your nose, especially when you have assets, children and a family. You have stayed in the United States for the last 20-30 or more years. You have enjoyed Medicaid, Medicare, the healthcare system, have obtained credit, purchased houses, cars and other assets. Do you believe, that in all circumstances, once you leave that you will continue to receive your benefits, pensions, social security etc…..THINK AGAIN! NOT IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES! Try getting sick abroad…especially in poor countries. Try maintaining your income level in territories where the money exchange sector is completely out of whack! Try still getting your benefits once you lose you residential status! That will normally have your behind running back to the Unites States then trying to get your citizenship when you are broke, sick and completely frustrated. Seen it 100 times!
……Or what you think you will automatically qualify for a visitor’s visa so that you come and go as you please? Sounds lovely, but doesn’t work all the time. Check it out!
I look at Immigration like financial planning. We have to think several steps ahead and cater for eventualities. For our readers… if you or someone you know is in need of their citizenship PLEASE DO IT NOW! A new day is at hand in the United States and it will not be as friendly or carefree as it was with immigrants as before. Its tolerance has ended on November 8, 2016.
Please feel free to call my office at any time at (770) 222-8240 for a consult or an appointment.
Denise Melville-Blackman, Esq..