CT immigration lawyer explains long path to US citizenship - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT immigration lawyer explains long path to US citizenship

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Channel 3 spoke with attorney Alex Meyerovich about why he and many others never apply to become an American citizen. (WFSB) Channel 3 spoke with attorney Alex Meyerovich about why he and many others never apply to become an American citizen. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A 68-year-old man that has lived in West Hartford over thirty years, is being told by immigration officials to leave the country.

A rally was held for Sujitno Sajuti on Thursday to support him in his efforts to stay, but, on Friday, he was once again denied.   

Channel 3 spoke with his attorney about why he and many others never apply to become an American citizen.

Over the last several months, Channel 3 has brought you many stories of Connecticut residents that have lived in the state for a large portion of their lives and now they are being deported because their stay is up. In many cases, the glaring question is “why have they not applied to be an American citizen.”   

Alex Meyerovich with the M.C. Law Group LLC. has been an attorney specializing in immigration for ten years.

“It’s probably one of the saddest stories I’ve encountered doing this for a living,” Meyerovich said.

One of his clients is Sajuti, who came from Indonesia in the early 80s as a Fulbright scholar and eventually taught anthropology at University of Connecticut.

"I work hard. I do whatever I can do,” Sajuti previously told Eyewitness News. “But to treat me like this, it's not fair."

In the 90s, the visa for Sajuti ran out and for years, he was granted stays of removal, which allowed him to live and work in the United States.

In August, Sajuti’s stay of removal was denied by Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE and he was ordered to leave the country.

Meyerovich explained why Sajuti did not become an American citizen.

“It’s impossible,” Meyerovich said. “Essentially in order for someone to become a U.S. citizen or obtain permanent residency in the United States in most cases, there has to be a requester or a petitioner. Someone has to petition for them, whether it’s a close family member or it’s an employer, but someone has to request the U.S. government that they need this person.”

Meyerovich said even if someone sponsors you, there are still requirements and the number one requirement is you have to be here legally.

 “And the time when you’re applying for your legalization you have to be in lawful status,” Meyerovich said.  

So even if you had a visa for six months to stay, the application for a green card can take years.

 “It takes about 13 years if a U.S. sibling files for a foreign sibling.”  

Sajuti has been married to his wife Dahlia more than 40 years, but they never had children, and no employer was willing to petition. There is also the expense.

 “For someone to apply for a Green Card based on a marriage to a U.S. citizen the filing fees alone would be close to $2,000,” Meyerovich said.  

Someone can apply for asylum based on political or religious persecution. But, without that, you are essentially appealing to the better nature of ice.

 “By deporting Sujitno it’s a death sentence,” Meyerovich said.  

The interview with Channel 3 was interrupted by a call from ICE. After applying for a stay, the ICE regional headquarters in Burlington, Ma. had their answer.

They said no,” Meyerovich said. “It was this thick submission, I mean what did they look at?”

If Sujitno is taken into federal custody Meyerovic may be able to file for an emergency stay of removal or appeal to senators.

Sujitno has been ordered to leave the U.S. by Oct. 10 to go back to Indonesia.

Meyerovich said the options are limited and the best chance many have is for some sort of immigration reform.

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