Godfrey Muwonge, Attorney in Wisconsin

Godfrey Muwonge is an immigration attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Immigration Attorney

Godfrey Muwonge is an immigration attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Contact


Godfrey Y. Muwonge, Esq.

Law Office of Godfrey Y. Muwonge, LLC

Empire Building Suite 801

710 N. Plankinton Avenue

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203

(414) 395-3230 P

(414) 323-4789 F


Education


Marquette University Law School

Juris Doctor (1997)


Professional Career


Law Office of Godfrey Y. Muwonge, LLC

May 1997 – Present


Accomplishments


Author of “Immigration Reform: We Can Do It, If We Apply Our Founders' True Ideals, Revised Edition” (Univ. Press of America, 2010), which was selected as one of top-10 Books that Drive the Debate (2009) by U.S. Chamber of Commerce's National Chamber Foundation. See https://www.amazon.com/Immigration-Reform-Apply-Founders-Ideals-ebook/dp/B00D79W838


References


https://www.linkedin.com/in/godfrey-muwonge-785a519

https://GodfreyMuwonge.blogspot.com

https://hype.news/godfrey-muwonge-attorney-in-wisconsin-usa/

https://solomonlawguild.com/godfrey-muwonge 

Immigration practitioner Godfrey Muwonge starts legal blog and commentary on immigration matters

Immigration attorney Godfrey Muwonge of the law firm of Law Office of Godfrey Y. Muwonge, LLC announced today his new legal blog https://GodfreyMuwonge.blogspot.com/ which will focus primarily on visa and immigration matters, and how they are changing.


“With all the recent news headlines and often difficult-to-understand information regarding visas and immigration, I felt that I could help explain the truths behind the real issues at hand” said Godfrey Muwonge. “We have over a decade of experience working on immigration issues such as Asylum, Citizenship, Green Cards, Deportation/Removal Defense (Immigration Court), Appeals, U visas, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This experience can help people understand how visa and immigration matters are changing.”


One of the important aspects generally not reported in the media is how immigration laws and regulations are applied. Only practitioners like Godfrey Muwonge have insight into these matters. 


For example, recently the immigration service USCIS seems to have begun to scrutinize Green Card cases much more. Many Green Card applicants for whom a family-based petition (“I-130 Petition”) has been filed, received identical “Requests for Evidence” (RFEs) about the financial sponsor (in most cases the spouse). Even if in the original I-130 filing the spouse’s tax returns show sufficient income to support the immigrant, USCIS in many cases sends an RFE asking for more evidence of income and assets.


Another example are Green Card cases where the immigrant was previously in F-1 student status. Also in those cases, USCIS now often sends RFEs, asking for proof that the immigrant maintained “student status” for the entire time that he or she was in student status. “Student status” means that the student attended at least 12 credit hours per term.


Finally, another issue that has arisen is the validity of medical exams for immigration purposes. In the past, a complete Green Card filing required that a medical exam (I-693), issued by a clinic registered with USCIS, be included. However, these medical exams are valid for only one year. Since delays have increased, many Green Card cases are pending for far longer than one year. Thus, the medical exam results expire, USCIS issues an RFE for a new medical exam, and the immigrant must undergo the medical exam once again (and pay for that). 


Thus, many immigration practitioners now file Green Card cases without such medical and rather wait for an RFE from USCIS so that the immigrant has to undergo the medical exam only once.

Explanatory Article on Cancellation of Removal

In this comment published in his Blog, Godfrey Muwonge, Esq. discusses the Defense to Deportation/Removal known as Cancellation of Removal for Non-Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs):


Cancellation of Removal for Non-LPRs:


Cancellation of removal for a Non-LPRs is a form of relief from removal/deportation that Congress authorizes an immigration judge to grant to a non-citizen (known in removal proceedings as the respondent) charged with removability from the United States. This form of relief is not available to the non-citizen unless the Immigration Service has issued him or her a Notice to Appear (NTA) in which it charges that the non-citizen is subject to removal for one or more of various reasons, and the Service has filed the NTA with the Immigration Judge to commence removal proceedings.


The relief is essentially a green card. The Immigration Court, meaning all immigration judges together, can grant a maximum of 4,000 of these to respondents before them.


In order to qualify for cancellation relief, a respondent must demonstrate the following:


1. The respondent must have resided continuously in the United States for at least 10 years and, if he or she departed during this period, only have departed for a maximum of 90 days at any one time and an aggregate of 180 days during the entire 10-year period. The continuous presence must have accrued prior to the Immigration Service issuing the NTA, and issuance of the NTA stops the 10 years accruing. Also, conviction of certain offenses, offenses that render the non-citizen deportable, and offenses related to terrorism stops the 10 years from accruing.

Leases, paychecks, hospital records, birth records of children, affidavits of persons with knowledge of the respondent’s presence, and other proof would be critical in establishing continuous-physical presence in addition to the respondent’s own testimony;

2. The respondent must show that he or she has been a person of good moral character throughout the 10-year period. Regardless of when it happened, a person is barred from establishing good moral character if she is barred by statute. Statutory bars include murder and one of the aggravated felonies Congress defined beginning on November 29, 1990, or if he or she engaged in persecution, genocide, torture, or severe violations of religious freedom. In addition, because cancellation is a discretionary form of relief, and a finding of good moral character is, thus, a discretionary decision, once the respondent demonstrates that he or she is not barred by statute, the Immigration Judge must still decide whether that individual has good moral character. 

Affidavits from high-placed members of one’s community, members of one’s church, synagogue, temple, mosque or other place of worship, or civic organization, and other sources vouching for the respondent’s good moral character may go a long way in convincing a judge as to a person’s good moral character. Paying one’s taxes, evident from tax returns over the years, is another example of how to prove good moral character. And so on;

3. Certain offenses, especially major criminal offenses and crimes involving moral turpitude bar a respondent from cancellation. For instance, a crime involving moral turpitude for which a term of imprisonment of at least one year may be imposed, for which the respondent actually served at least 180 days in detention, would bar the respondent from cancellation. Of course, offenses that have to do with national security and terrorism bar the respondent from cancellation.

4. Exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a qualifying relative. A qualifying relative is either a child (under 21 years of age), a spouse, or a parent. Although the Immigration Judge may not consider non-qualifying relatives, if the hardship would be suffered by a non-qualifying relative but would affect a qualifying relative, the respondent can present that hardship to the Immigration Judge for consideration.


The complete article is on the Blog of Mr. Muwonge. CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE.

Explanatory Article on Withholding of Removal

In this continuation of the Instruction Series on various forms of “Relief from Removal,” Immigration Attorney Godfrey Muwonge, Esq. examines the Deportation Defense known as Withholding of Removal available in US Immigration Court Removal Proceedings.


One of the most-important forms of relief from removal/deportation that a non-citizen (a respondent in removal proceedings) can get from an immigration judge is known as withholding of removal. It is a product of Article 33 of the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention. Under it, contracting states such as the United States agree not to refouler or return an individual to a country where his or her life would be threatened. The respondent in removal proceedings may apply for this form of relief by demonstrating that it is more likely than not that he or she faces persecution on account of race, nationality, religion, membership in a particular social group, or religion. The standard “more likely than not” has been characterized as 51% by some courts, but one imagines that anything over 50% is more likely than not to happen.


Withholding is a stiffer standard than its counterpart, asylum. For asylum, courts have held that demonstrating a 10% chance that persecution will occur and is sufficient to qualify an applicant for the relief. This “10%” formulation comes out of a 1987 ruling by the United States Supreme Court known as INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca. In that case, the court did not say “10%” chance, it said that even a one in ten chance of an event occurring does not preclude the event’s occurring. The court was distinguishing the standards for asylum and the one for withholding which the Immigration Service was insisting had to be imposed upon applicants for asylum instead of the lower standard. The court held that the lower standard for asylum to be imposed was “a well-founded fear of persecution” which translated to “a reasonable likelihood” that persecution will occur, which is not the “more likely than not” or 50%—plus standard.


At any rate, withholding is clearly more difficult to get but, unlike asylum which is discretionary—that is the Immigration Judge grants it as a matter of grace—it is mandatory, once the respondent shows that persecution on one of the protected grounds is more likely than not. In addition, while asylum requires that its applicant prove that he or she filed his or her application within a year of arrival (with a couple of exceptions), withholding has no time limit as to filing an application for it.


Withholding only prevents the Government from returning the respondent to his or her home country or to the country where his or her life would be threatened. This means, although this commenter has not experienced it, that if the Government can find a third country willing to take the respondent it can remove the respondent to that third country. In addition, while asylum affords the asylee who is successful in obtaining it to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR) or get a green card and eventually become a naturalized citizen, and bring family to the United States or, if family is here already, to extend the benefit to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21), withholding affords the grantee no such benefits. The respondent granted the benefit gets to apply for and receive a work permit but that is about it.


The complete article is on the Blog of Mr. Muwonge. CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE

Explanatory Article on Social Security Number

To clarify process, immigration attorney Godfrey Y. Muwonge publishes instructional article on Social Security Number.


One hurdle that all newly arriving foreign workers face is the Social Security Number. In his newest article, immigration lawyer Godfrey Muwonge explains.


To assist foreign workers who just arrived in the U.S., Milwaukee immigration attorney Godfrey Muwonge has published an instructional article to explain the process of obtaining a Social Security Number when one holds a U.S. work visa. The complete article will be published on the blog of Mr. Muwonge at https://GodfreyMuwonge.blogspot.com.


A Social Security Number (SSN) is essential in the United States for all kinds of purposes. One usually needs it to obtain a driver license, to register for health benefits, and to open a bank account. If one is not a United States citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR or green card holder), one must meet certain requirements to obtain a SSN. In general, one must demonstrate that one is authorized under federal rules to accept gainful employment in the United States and is in proper status. For example, a non-citizen in the L-1 employment category (intra-company transferee), who has been processed overseas at a United States consulate and completed the customs form aboard the aircraft as it approached a United States airport, can print his or her I-94 arrival/departure record at the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov, and take that printout to a Social Security Administration office to apply for a SSN (along with the passport & visa).


In the past, the I-94 form was a white card that upon arrival was stapled into the non-citizen's passport. It showed the arrival date, the final date of his or her authorized stay, and the class in which he or she was admitted (such as visitor for pleasure (B-2), visitor for business (B-1), student (F-1), and so on), as well as the port of entry. These days, a stamp showing the dates of admission and the end of the authorized stay, and class of admission is entered on a page in the non-citizen’s passport. The stamp does not show the I-94 number, and the non-citizen has to go to the CBP website and enter the required information (Name, date of birth, passport number, and the country which issued the passport). This measure was apparently taken to combat fraud — anyone to whom the I-94 form is presented can now log onto the CBP website and verify the authenticity of the I-94 information.


The complete article is on the Blog of Mr. Muwonge. CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE

Explanatory Article on Deferral of Removal

In this continuation of the Instruction Series on various forms of “Relief from Removal,” Immigration Attorney Godfrey Y. Muwonge, Esq. examines the Deportation Defense Remedy known as Deferral of Removal 


In his newest published article, continuing the Instruction Series on “Relief from Removal,” Attorney Godfrey Y. Muwonge examines the Deportation Defense Remedy called "Deferral of Removal." The complete article will appear on the Blog of Mr. Muwonge at https://GodfreyMuwonge.blogspot.com.


On December 10, 1984, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT). It is intended to prevent torture, which is defined—here I paraphrase—infliction of severe pain and/or suffering, whether physical or mental, and other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. The torture need not be by government alone—it can be by private individuals or organizations, with sanction or acquiescence of the government. As a signatory to the treaty, the United States has incorporated the CAT into its regulations governing practice in the Immigration Court where the immigration judges can grant a non-citizen (known there as the respondent) whom they have determined to be removable, relief from removal under the CAT.


Godfrey Muwonge explains that there are two forms of relief the Immigration Judge can grant a respondent under the CAT. The Immigration Judge can grant (1) withholding of removal, which is open to those respondents who can prove that it is more likely than not that they would be subject to torture in the country to which removal is directed by the Judge, regardless of whether torture would occur on account of race, nationality, religion, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, if the respondent is not disqualified by certain bars to relief; and (2) deferral or removal, which is open to respondents who can prove that it is more likely than not that they would be subject to torture in the country to which removal is directed by the Judge, regardless of race, nationality, religion, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, but the respondent is disqualified from withholding of removal by certain bars such as criminal convictions that include aggravated felonies (this category of crime does not mean a regular felony under ordinary criminal law because a misdemeanor under regular criminal law can be an aggravated felony under immigration law, and one is advised to consult an experienced immigration attorney for the difference) and terrorism.


The complete article is on the Blog of Mr. Muwonge. CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE

Blog of Godfrey Muwonge

Godfrey Muwonge is an immigration attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Education: Marquette University Law School, Juris Doctor (1997). Author of “Immigration Reform: We Can Do It, If We Apply Our Founders' True Ideals, Revised Edition” (Univ. Press of America, 2010), which was selected as one of top-10 Books that Drive the Debate (2009) by U.S. Chamber of Commerce's National Chamber Foundation. See https://www.amazon.com/Immigration-Reform-Apply-Founders-Ideals-ebook/dp/B00D79W838