Jim Melo joined Tin Fulton Walker & Owen in 2018, after many years of managing his own successful firm and multiple associates working under his supervision and direction.
Jim received his Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University and then attended the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill School of Law. Mr. Melo first began practicing as a criminal defense attorney for a few years, primarily in Wake County, North Carolina, though his practice occasionally took him to other surrounding counties. In 2008, when Wake County first started implementing the 287(g) program, Mr. Melo became involved with suing the Wake County Sheriff’s office for violating the 48 hour detention rules for immigration holds. Mr. Melo successfully filed several Writs of Habeas against the Wake County Sheriff’s office and won in each case.
Due to the ever increasing demand for an attorney who could handle both criminal and immigration matters as a result of 287(g), Jim began dedicating his practice to handling more and more immigration matters. Since 2009, Jim has dedicated himself to handling all immigration matters and those criminal matters that affect his immigration clients. Mr. Melo has also led several CLE’s throughout the state in regards to the ever increasing nexus between criminal law and immigration.
Jim has successfully defended numerous clients in removal proceedings, winning asylum cases, cancellation of removal cases, 212(h) cases, and various other forms of relief. In addition, Mr. Melo has helped hundreds of clients obtain bonds from the immigration courts so his clients could return to their families. Mr. Melo has also helped hundreds of clients obtain waivers for their unlawful presence in the United States, thus making them eligible to obtain their legal permanent residency.
Jim handles all immigration matters before United States Citizenship & Immigration Services, the Department of State, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Administrative Appeals Office, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Furthermore, Mr. Melo handles felony state and federal criminal matters throughout North Carolina, as well as appellate matters on behalf of his clients.
Mr. Melo personally understands and has lived as many of his clients have. His parents and siblings all immigrated from Mexico in the late 1960′s. They were fortunate enough to obtain their legal permanent residence and ultimately their US Citizenship through the Carter administration’s immigration laws. Mr. Melo’s parents came as migrant workers in California and for their first few years picked many of the fruits and vegetables that are abundant in California. Eventually, Mr. Melo’s father was able to gain employment with General Motors in St. Louis, Missouri where he worked the assembly line of the all-time iconic muscle car of the US, the Corvette. In time his family was transferred by GM to Albany, Georgia and his parents opened up several popular and busy Mexican restaurants.
University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D.
Princeton University, B.A.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina