At the Border Crossing Law Firm, we believe that no human being is illegal, and for more than 20 years we have helped immigrants establish legal residence in the United States through adjustment of status (“green cards”), family-based visas, work visas, and citizenship. We also vigorously defend immigrants in deportation proceedings, and have represented hundreds of clients in Immigration Court.
We wanted to use our knowledge of immigration law to benefit people around the world, so we created Open Borders, a free immigration guide that offers an automated assessment of your immigration options.
☀️ By asking a series of important questions, Open Borders will evaluate your case and explain what you can do to get legal status in the country.
ℹ️ We believe that legal representation is critical in immigration cases, and do not encourage you to file any applications without the assistance of a qualified attorney. Even though our guide provides personalized information based on your answers, it is not legal advice, and using this app does not make us your attorneys.
Shahid Haque, with a client for whom he won cancellation of removal in Immigration Court.
Shahid Haque, pictured with a client for whom he proved U.S. citizenship in federal court.
Shahid Haque, pictured with a family for whom he won political asylum.
Shahid Haque dedicates his practice to helping immigrants obtain legal status in the United States and pursue all that the country has to offer. Mr. Haque has helped thousands of clients with a wide variety of immigration matters, including applications with the consulates abroad and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, representing clients arrested by the Department of Homeland Security, and defending immigrants in deportation proceedings in Immigration Court.
While in law school in Chicago, Illinois, Mr. Haque helped several refugees win their asylum cases. After graduating and spending time at a large law firm, Mr. Haque continued his pro bono representation of asylum seekers, winning several more cases. Mr. Haque recognized a tremendous need for attorneys to help clients understand our complex immigration laws, and found it rewarding to help his clients navigate through the immigration system, like his own family did.
Mr. Haque founded the Border Crossing Law Firm in 2008, based on the principle that no human being is illegal. Since then, Mr. Haque has represented thousands of immigrants and their families across the country. Mr. Haque taught immigration law at the University of Montana School of Law. In 2017, Mr. Haque was the recipient of the ACLU’s Jeannette Rankin Civil Liberties Award, in acknowledgement of his service to immigrants.
Mr. Haque has advocated for immigrants’ rights by bringing lawsuits in state and federal court to challenge unconstitutional laws and policies that discriminate against immigrants in Montana. He successfully challenged LR-121, an anti-immigrant voter-approved referendum, and thanks to his efforts the law was found unconstitutional. The Montana Supreme Court unanimously affirmed this decision.
Mr. Haque helps clients with a wide variety of family and employment-based visas. He has won asylum for many dozens of refugees who fled from their home countries to escape torture, persecution, and death on account of their political or religious beliefs. He has also won cancellation of removal for numerous clients in contested deportation proceedings — one of the most difficult forms of relief to win due to its high burden of proof.
In 2013, he filed a class action lawsuit against the Montana Highway Patrol to challenge its practice of detaining Latino drivers and passengers solely for the purpose of checking into their immigration status. In 2015, he prevailed with a judgment in his favor. Under a new policy, troopers cannot ask about immigration status based solely on a person’s race, ethnicity or language abilities. Nor can they demand drivers or passengers tell them their immigration status or detain people who choose not to answer. Montana is now one of the only states with a clear policy prohibiting this conduct.
In November 2016, Mr. Haque won a settlement of $125,000 against Jefferson County, Montana on behalf of a Mexican immigrant who was sexually assaulted while in immigration custody in that facility.
Mr. Haque is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Mr. Haque believes strongly that every immigrant deserves the right to legal representation and has committed a significant portion of his practice to pro bono work for especially disadvantaged clients who cannot afford to pay for legal services. In 2009, Mr. Haque was the recipient of the Neil Haight Pro Bono Award, granted by the State Bar of Montana to the attorneys with the greatest commitment to pro bono work. Mr. Haque works with public defenders offices, domestic violence prevention groups, and other non-profit and charitable organizations to assist disadvantaged immigrants.
Mr. Haque lobbies for fair immigration policies, and teaches training courses for immigrants and allies on immigration law, debunking myths about immigrants, knowing your rights when dealing with law enforcement, and the need for comprehensive immigration reform.
Mr. Haque earned his Juris Doctor from the Chicago-Kent College of Law, with High Honors, in 2005. During his first year in law school, he won the West Publishing Award for earning the highest GPA in his class. Mr. Haque served as Notes and Comments Editor of the Chicago-Kent Law Review, where he also published a scholarly article on labor and immigration policy. Upon graduation, he was inducted into the Order of the Coif and won the school’s Bar & Gavel Award for outstanding service to the immigrant community. During law school, Mr. Haque was an intern with the National Immigrant Justice Center. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Sociology from the University of Southern Indiana in 2001.
Prior to focusing exclusively on immigration law, Mr. Haque practiced complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts. In his commercial litigation practice, Mr. Haque defended individuals and companies in multi-district class action, consumer fraud, securities, and civil RICO litigation. Mr. Haque also practiced before administrative agencies in public service, labor, and taxation proceedings.
Mr. Haque began his career with Jenner & Block LLP and Howrey LLP in Chicago, Illinois. After relocating to Montana, Mr. Haque briefly worked with Browning, Kaleczyc, Berry & Hoven, P.C. in Helena, Montana before opening the Border Crossing Law Firm in 2008.
Mr. Haque is a member of the Illinois and Montana Bars, and is admitted to practice before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. District Courts for Montana and the Northern District of Illinois. Mr. Haque represents immigrants throughout the country, and has appeared before Immigration Courts in numerous states.
Mr. Haque resides in Helena, Montana with his wife, Sandra, and his three children.
For a consultation with Mr. Haque, please submit our online form.
Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, IL, Juris Doctor with High Honors, May 2005, Order of the Coif, Chicago-Kent Law Review, August 2003-May 2005, Notes and Comments Editor, West Publishing Award for the highest GPA in the class, 2002-2003. Bar & Gavel Award for outstanding service to the community.
University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Sociology, December 2001
American Immigration Lawyer’s Association, Member, July 2008 to Present
State Bar of Illinois, admitted November 2005
State Bar of Montana admitted December 2007
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, admitted September 2009
U.S. District Court, District of Montana, admitted December 2007
Erick Valencia started working as an associate at Border Crossing Law Firm in April 2021. Prior to joining Border Crossing Law Firm, Erick worked as a staff attorney at Montana Legal Services Association where he advocated for the rights of migrant and seasonal agricultural workers in their work, housing, immigration status, safety, and many other areas. He also advocated for tenants in MLSA’s Housing Rights Practice Group, and created numerous Spanish-language resources for MLSA and the Montana Law Help website.
Erick attended law school at the University of Montana to work toward his passion of helping immigrants navigate the complex legal system. Erick moved to the United States from Mexico as a young child and has firsthand experience with the challenges and fears that many of his clients face. Erick became a US citizen in 2012 and is excited to help other people navigate their own journeys through the immigration system.
Before he even went to law school, Erick demonstrated his dedication to immigrants in Montana by volunteering at our free clinics and workshops. Erick was at the top of his immigration class in law school. Erick earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Montana in 2017, where he was also an editor of the Public Land and Resources Law Review. Erick currently serves on the board of the Rural Employment Opportunities, an organization that helps agricultural workers achieve economic independence through education, training, and support services. He also previously served as a student representative on the board of the ACLU of Montana.
Erick lives in Missoula, Montana where he enjoys cooking, biking, and exploring the outdoors with his wife and two kids.
We know that finding the right attorney to represent you is a choice not to be taken lightly. That’s why we offer low-cost initial consultations to explain your options and walk you through the process. After an initial consultation, you can decide if you want to retain us for the whole process.
The Border Crossing Law Firm is a full-service immigration law firm, offering help with visas, green cards, citizenship, and deportation proceedings. We have been committed to the immigrant community for two decades, representing thousands of immigrants and their families across the country.