If you are a victim of a similar fraud concerning Shante Smith of American Professional Services, or any other attorney, we want hear from you. We and our Attorneys will respect your confidentiality if so requested.
November 2008 : US Rep Sue Myrick asked us for a brief summary of the failing and loop-holes of the US Immigration System . She also requested a brief summary of the immigration "events" leading up to our present predicament......
November 5, 2008
For the Attention of Representative Sue Myrick
Dear Congresswoman Myrick,
Following upon a meeting with Alice Torres yesterday, she requested that I write you on my experiences and observations regarding our immigration experience, in order to draw your attention to what I consider to be very serious flaws in the system and how legal immigrants can be exploited by unscrupulous immigration lawyers using these mechanisms and “holes” in the process.
The following items have become evident during the last 7 years of our stay in the USA and in my opinion, are serious enough to compromise our national security:
1. I received no warning from anyone regarding the presence of illegal attorneys operating in plain sight on main street, either prior to or after arriving in the United States in 2001. No warning on any of my official paperwork / visas/ verbal warnings from a Consulate official or customs officials – or in fact any US citizen, in this regard. I had no idea that the system could permit a professional, claiming to be an attorney, with a public office, requisite diplomas on the walls and memberships of the Charlotte Chamber and other recognizable organizations like the BBB, to operate without some assurance that they were in fact a registered and credible attorney providing immigration counsel.
2. In spite of the fact that a visa is issued to a foreign visitor or worker with specific dates of expiry, there is no way that the USA can establish at this point, that departure from the country is recorded or matched up with their visa dates. This leads to millions overstaying their visas and there is no follow-up done on them, to our knowledge, until they commit a crime. Only then may it be established that they are illegal, but once they receive a Social Security number, this fact may never come to light.
3. There is absolutely no way to communicate with a human being at the US CIS to verify the status of an immigration or visa application, especially when you suspect things are going awry. On two occasions in 2006 – when we were deeply concerned about our case under the management of Ms Shante Smith - we made the required online appointments at the Charlotte Dept of Homeland Security US CIS office and spoke with an officer behind a glass panel. She told us exactly the same thing that we were able to access online. When we requested to speak with a superior we were denied and told to wait until we heard from them in the mail. We heard nothing and had no recourse to ask anyone about it. This led us to miss countless opportunities of establishing how this fraudulent woman – who continues to practice in plain sight – went about defrauding us.
4. Recently in August 08, I found on the US CIS website a mention of an Ombudsman at the US CIS who would undertake to investigate certain cases that it deemed to be problematic. We used this route and received a reply to say they could do nothing about our case as it was in an appeal status. And referred us back to the AAO.
5. There is no way to establish that your petition has in fact been filed in your name. All that you are given is a receipt number for every filing made. These numbers are not the same they are different each time – so there is no way of identifying them as linked to your name or to each other.
6. Cases are not processed by a central service center. Different types of applications are processed by decentralized service centers all over the USA, so continuity and monitoring on each case is fragmented and confused.
7. Each application is given its own case number --- thus an immigrant can end up with multiple case numbers issued by different service centers --- and information submitted to one service center is not shared with other service centers.
8. Case numbers do not identify the applicant, so it is possible for a dishonest attorney to issue the same case number to a number of immigrant clients – which is what happened in our case.
10. Similarly, if an applicant goes to the INS office in Charlotte NC to enquire about the status of an application, the INS official accesses the US-CIS website and extracts exactly the same information that the applicant is able to extract from the website and none of this shows any link between an applicant and the case number that has been furnished honestly or dishonestly by the immigration attorney.
11. The processing delays at the US CIS service centers are untenable. Immigration and visa applications are time sensitive, especially once the immigrant is legally living in the USA on a time-specific visa. Taking months and years to adjudicate an application is both unfair and unacceptable.
Mrs Myrick, to demonstrate the flaws in the immigration system ….. Just supposing I am your immigration attorney and you are my client and I write you concerning your immigration matters….. (Please Note : These case / receipt numbers are REAL and VERIFIABLE.)
Dear Mrs Myrick
Thank you for your check in the amount of $150,000. We have performed the services listed below and furnish you with the following status report :
Item #1 : We have filed your I-539 Application to Extend your Non-Immigrant Status. Your Receipt Number is SRC0580028251. You may verify this on the US-CIS website.
Item #2 : We have filed an I-765 Application for Employment Authorization on behalf of Alice Torres to allow her to work for you. Your Receipt Number is SRC00710750634. You may verify this on the US-CIS website.
Item #3 : On behalf of Mr Barak H Obama, we have secured approval on his I-129 Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker. Your Receipt Number is EAC0702850872. You may verify this on the US-CIS website.
Item #4 : We however regret to advise that the I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence for Mr Hal Weatherman, your chief of staff, has been denied. Your Receipt Number is LIN0712651401. You may verify this on the US-CIS website.
Thank you for your business and assuring you of our most professional service at all times.
Bruce W Stewart Charlatan Attorney
Mrs Myrick, If you care to access the above-given case / receipt numbers, this is what the US-CIS website will give you AND what you will get from the INS Office in Charlotte if you were to visit them in order to verify the veracity of the information which we have provided to you: (See https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/caseStatusSearchDisplay.do - These are just a sample of some of our receipt numbers that we have no way of knowing belong to us – other than trust in our attorney!
Item #1 : Receipt Number: SRC0580028251 Application Type: I539, APPLICATION TO EXTEND OR CHANGE NONIMMIGRANT STATUS Current Status: Case received and pending. On May 24, 2005, we received this I539 APPLICATION TO EXTEND OR CHANGE NONIMMIGRANT STATUS, and mailed you a notice describing how we will process your case. Please follow any instructions on this notice. We will notify you by mail when we make a decision or if we need something from you. If you move while this case is pending, call customer service. We process cases in the order we receive them. You can use our processing dates to estimate when yours will be done. This case is at our TEXAS SERVICE CENTER location.
Item #2 : Receipt Number: SRC0710750634 Application Type: I765, APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION Current Status: Approval notice sent. On April 16, 2007, we mailed you a notice that we have approved this I765 APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION.
Item #3 : Receipt Number: EAC0702850872 Application Type: I129, PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER Current Status: Approval notice sent. On February 9, 2007, we mailed you a notice that we have approved this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER.
Item #4 : Receipt Number: LIN0712651401 Application Type: I485, APPLICATION TO REGISTER PERMANENT RESIDENCE OR TO ADJUST STATUS Current Status: Denial Notice Sent On January 9, 2008, we mailed you a denial decision notice for this case I485 APPLICATION TO REGISTER PERMANENT RESIDENCE OR TO ADJUST STATUS.
Rep. Myrick, we have received literally dozens of case numbers from service centers in Texas, Vermont, Nebraska and DC. Information submitted to one service center is not shared with other processing centers.
For example -- In June 2008 we accidentally gained access to a letter from the Texas Service Center sent to Shante Smith, the crooked lawyer we fired almost 2 years previously in August 2006. This is what the letter advised :
June 3, 2008 (30 months after receiving the application, the Texas Service Center copied a reply to our home address) : A review of the records indicates that you were admitted to the USA on July 8, 2001 in L1 status with an authorized stay until April 14, 2002. This office received an application requesting an extension of your current status on December 21, 2005.
You filed an incorrect form I-539 for the benefit you are requesting. Your application for requesting an extension of stay is therefore denied. You must file form I-129 to request an extension of stay. (From) Texas Service Center
As at June 2008, the Texas Service Center clearly does not know (1) that Shante Smith has not been our lawyer since August 2006, (2) that Chris Greene has been our lawyer since August 2006, (3) that we have had numerous extensions of stay granted and are in status until December 5, 2008, and (4) that we have applied for permanent residence, had our application denied and have lodged an appeal with the AAO
On December 7, 2006 in a masterful example of obfuscatory double-speak, we received an I-129 Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker Approval Notice (Receipt Number EAC0702850872). In this Approval Notice, the following is stated – “The above petition has been approved for the classification requested. It has been determined that the named worker is not eligible for the requested extension of stay.” Our Question --- Is this in fact an Approval Notice or a Denial Notice???
It is our fervent hope that your office will apply as much enthusiasm and dedication to fixing a broken and dysfunctional immigration system as it has to pursuing illegal immigrants who are either victims of the system or who have elected to remain outside the system.
Should you require any further information or any supporting documentation, we would be happy to assist you.
Dr & Mrs Bruce W Stewart
So if you have a horror story to tell, please let us know. (If it's worse than ours it will make us feel so much better!!!)