LOS ANGELES LAW FIRM SCORES BIG IN GREEN CARD LOTTERY
LOS ANGELES LAW FIRM SCORES BIG IN GREEN CARD LOTTERY LOS ANGELES, Nov. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Law Offices of Bernard P. Wolfsdorf, a Los Angeles-based immigration law firm, announced today that it has thus far won green cards for approximately 15 percent of its clients who participated in the State Department's immigrant visa lottery. The law firm filed applications for 155 of its clients, and has 28 winners to date, including British Actress, Jenny Seagrove, star of "A Woman of Substance," and a close friend of Charles Bronson. This number is unusually large given the 20 million-plus applications that were filed, and the minimal success achieved so far by most other immigration law firms. Additional winners are anticipated, since only 12,000 applicants had been mailed notification as of Nov. 25, according to State Department officials. Some immigration law firms had come under attack for charging exorbitant fees -- up to $3,000 in some cases -- to file applications for a lottery process essentially based on luck, enhanced by the ablity to file a limitless number of applications per person. Wolfsdorf noted that he had charged $750 per new client and $500 per existing client for multiple applications. This application fee also includes lottery participation in 1992 and 1993. He said that his firm had both mailed and hand-filed hundreds of applications per client in Washington, and that the relatively modest fees he had charged were justified by the costs involved and the exceptional results. The lottery represented a singular opportunity for aspirant immigrants to obtain virtually instant legal residence, in contrast to the regular methods which take years for most applicants, many of whom are beholden to their sponsoring employers throughout the costly and complicated process. The winning group -- which included professionals, laborers, entertainers, refugees and undocumented workers from an array of different countries -- were all stunned and very emotional upon hearing the news. Anne Chulskaya, born in Lithuania but a resident of Latvia since age 7, was speechless upon hearing that she had won. For her, the immigrant visa represented an opportunity to eventually bring her parents over to the U.S.
"My parents are still there, and I always wanted to get them over here. Before, it was only a dream..."
Actress Jenny Seagrove was ecstatic to hear the news, noting that she would no longer have to obtain temporary visas to work in Hollywood. One of the first to be picked was Michele Ancelot, 42, a French national who had given up her job in France and brought her children to the U.S. to attempt a reconciliation with her ex-husband. When it didn't work out, she was left high and dry. "I lost everything in my home country. And it's scary to stay in America if you are not legal," she observed. "I never gamble. I say ok, it's time now to try. And I win! It's wonderful!" Wolfsdorf, chairman of the Southern California chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and himself a former political refugee from South Africa, noted: "For some of our clients, the lottery was virtually their only chance to obtain legal permanent residence. Their victory represents freedom from the shadowy life of the illegal alien; freedom from exploitation by unscrupulous employers; and freedom from the need to negotiate the I.N.S.'s daunting web of regulations. Winning the lottery has changed their lives. We have some aliens that have been in the U.S. for years, unable to visit their home countries because their lengthy undocumented alien status prevents them from obtaining a visa to re- enter the U.S. These people are now able to visit home, to be joyously reunited with friends and family they have not seen in many years." -0- 11/27/91 /CONTACT: Bernard Wolfsdorf of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, 213-203-0865 (work), or 213-457-0641 (home)/ CO: The Law Offices of Bernard P Wolfsdorf ST: California IN: SU:
EH-DM -- LA021 -- 7902 11/27/91 17:05 EST
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|Date:||Nov 27, 1991|
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