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Success Story – A Successful Recovery

Guatemalan Immigrant’s Successful Recovery
From A Tragic Decision

Linda, an immigrant from Guatemala, entered the United States without inspection in the late 1980s. She brought her daughter, Susan, age 2, with her.

Ten years later, Linda was still living in the United States. She now had four children – the youngest three were U.S. citizens. Linda and her daughter, Susan, remained without legal documents. Susan was an honor student. Linda, a single parent, supported her family selling foods on construction sites.

Linda was overjoyed when she learned about a new immigration program. Thinking it was like amnesty, Linda believed she could qualify for a green card by simply proving she had lived in the United States for ten years and had not committed any crimes.

That’s when Linda made a tragic mistake.

Linda went to the immigration office to file papers. She thought this was the first step towards getting a green card. She did not understand the new laws were not amnesty. The new laws were changes making it harder, not easier, to obtain legal documents.  Linda’s mistake meant she requested a hearing at Immigration Court.

Unknowingly, Linda had put herself and her daughter in deportation proceedings. At the first hearing, Linda realized the government was seeking to deport them.  Linda’s only chance at winning would depend on the hardship to qualifying relatives, her three U.S. children. If she lost, she would be deported.

Even worse, the Judge said Susan had no basis for immigration hardship.

Needing a Riverside immigration attorney for her deportation-removal defense, Linda consulted with our immigration office. Carlos held nothing back. Carlos told Linda that she and her daughter had a rough road ahead. Their cases, he informed her, would require a great deal of ingenuity and creativity.

Carlos would have to try some entirely new legal arguments. As an immigration trial lawyer and an deportation appeals lawyer, Carlos knew he would would have to challenge the government’s interpretation of the new law. He explained that even if our office did everything right, she and her daughter could still lose. Knowing the risks, Linda decided to hire our office.

As predicted, the road was bumpy. Linda’s case went first. She lost at the Immigration Court hearing. Based on his deportation defense background, Carlos anticipated a negative ruling.

At Linda’s trial, Carlos laid out issues he intended to use for her appeal at the BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals). On the BIA appeal, Carlos used these issues to challenge the reasoning of judge’s decision.  About a year later, Linda won her appeal.

Her case was now sent back to the immigration court for a new trial. This time, the judge was required to consider the issues raised by Carlos as Linda’s immigration attorney. This time, Linda won. She had earned her green card the hard way.

While Linda’s immigration appeals was pending, her daughter lost her deportation trial. Again, Carlos had prepared for the worst in advance. He knew, like Linda’s case, Susan’s hopes of overcoming deportation and removal were slim. Her case depended on his ability as an immigration appeals lawyer. He had to convince a higher court that the same immigration judge was wrong for a second time.

A few months after Linda’s victory, Susan won her immigration deportation appeal. The family’s ordeal was not yet over. Like her mother, Susan had to return to immigration court for a new trial. Things had gone good . . . so far. Carlos knew he had to put his deportation trial attorney hat back on and face the same judge once more. Susan and her mother were terrified.

The story has a happy ending. Susan was successful. She won her deportation trial.

Having won their cases, both mother and daughter were granted the privilege of becoming lawful permanent residents. Today, Susan is a college junior, earning high grades. Linda found a better job and earned her U.S. citizenship. With better earnings, she was able to save money and purchase a house in Riverside County for her and her four children.



This article, pertaining to immigration appeals and deportation trials, is part one of a series on the successes of immigration lawyer in different types of cases. Follow the link below to read more:

A Four State Odyssey Through The Immigration Jail System






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