Mr. Lefsih immigrated to the U.S. in 2010 under the Diversity Visa program and applied for U.S. citizenship five years later.  USCIS initially approved his application but later reversed its decision for failure to disclose traffic citations during his interview.  The U.S. Attorney’s office charged Mr. Lefsih with a federal crime of making false statements in an immigration proceeding.  A jury convicted him in April 2016, but the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated that conviction.  A new jury acquitted him of all charges in May 2018, but not before DHS sought to deport him.

MLFA began representing Mr. Lefsih’s case in late 2019  by filing a federal court to challenge USCIS’s lack of due process in denying his naturalization application.  The district court judge ruled against the government’s Motion to Dismiss in August 2020, allowing MLFA to file Mr. Lefsih’s Administrative Appeal with USCIS.  MLFA filed a second federal court case because USCIS failed to process the appeal timely.  MLFA vigorously represented Mr. Lefsih at the USCIS administrative hearing, resulting in USCIS approving his citizenship application.  Mr. Lefsih officially became a U.S. citizen on September 17, 2022, when USCIS administered its oath of alliance to him.


USCIS ruled in favor of Mr. Lefsih’s administrative appeal and granted him U.S. citizenship!  MLFA’s arguments to the district court in North Carolina set a precedent that USCIS must provide actual due process when it denies an application for naturalization. 


MLFA’s court challenge to USCIS’s unlawful discrimination and violations of Mr. Lefsih’s civil rights forced the Agency to allow him the due process of filing an administrative appeal nearly five years after its denial