Canadian Immigrant Overcomes Jail In Four States To Win Legal Residency
For many immigrants, immigration jail is the twilight zone of immigration law.
Like Ben, a twenty-year old Canadian immigrant.
A few days after his younger brother Warren was arrested, Ben decided to visit him. Warren, like Ben, was born in Canada, and they had entered the U.S. at the same time. They lived together with their parents.
Warren was a lawful permanent resident. Ben did not have a green card.
Their father had somehow neglected to file Ben’s paperwork.
This simple mistake would have enormous legal and financial consequences.
Upon Ben’s entry, security guards discovered his lack of a permanent resident card. They apprehended him. They contacted ICE and turned him over to immigration agents.
Shortly afterward ICE agents took him to a detention facility in San Diego. Two days later, ICE moved him to a facility in El Centro, California – about 175 miles away from his home. His family was not notified. His family could not find out where Ben had been taken.
Ben’s parents came to our San Diego, California office. They hired Carlos to serve as Ben’s San Diego immigration attorney.
They asked us to locate Ben. They wanted to help him get out of immigration jail. We learned Ben had no convictions. He worked working part-time as a carpenter. Engaged to his high school sweetheart, a U.S. citizen, his wedding was only a few months away.
In Carlos’ opinion, Ben qualified for release upon the posting of an immigration bond. A green card lawyer, he knew Ben qualified for permanent resident status. He would need our help in deportation defense proceedings.
First, our office had to locate him.
This was not a simple task. After a few days of research, we found the answer. For a few days, Ben was in El Centro. But ICE had transferred him to somewhere in Arizona. Within another day, we were able to confirm Ben’s Arizona location. We also learned his bond for release was set at $20,000.
Carlos explained to Ben’s family that the bond seemed excessive. He recommended trying to lower the amount. He also suggested moving the case back to San Diego. They agreed with Carlos’ plans.
He prepared to visit Ben in Arizona. Meanwhile, ICE transferred Ben again. Our office began the process once more. Find Ben. Then schedule a deportation and removal bond hearing.
This time the case had moved to El Paso, Texas. Ben was detained six hours away – at a jail in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The government attorney asserted Ben was not allowed to post any bond. He told Carlos he would oppose our bond request under the immigration rules for Texas. Ben would have to stay in a New Mexico facility while his case went forward in Texas.
Carlos began immediate work on a back-up plan. To offset the impact of an adverse ruling, Carlos started to prepare Ben’s immigration appeal.
We set the bond hearing for a Monday. Carlos planned to visit and prepare Ben for the questioning over the weekend. As an immigration deportation defense lawyer, Carlos knew Ben’s testimony was critical to success.
Upon arrival at the New Mexico jail on Friday evening, instructions had changed. The warden had enforced a “No Visitors” policy for the weekend. Officers said it did not matter that Carlos’ visit had been approved in advance.
The warden’s policy was unacceptable.
To improve Ben’s chance for success, Carlos knew he needed time to prepare Ben.
He refused to go along with the change in his visitation plans. For several hours, Carlos went back and forth with the facility officials. Finally, the warden decided to meet one-on-one with Carlos. After their meeting, the warden approved a short early morning visit for Sunday.
After preparing Ben, Carlos flew to Texas, where he would meet Ben in court.
The next morning went as planned. Ben’s testimony was clear and concise. Carlos challenged the government’s “no bond” position based on Texas immigration law.
But that was not the end of Ben’s problems.
Before ruling on Ben’s case, the judge threw yet another curve. He requested to hear directly from Ben’s fiance and parents.
Carlos was not derailed. He had anticipated this unusual condition.
Since they were living in Carlsbad, we already had them on standby at our Escondido office. We scheduled the telephone conference with the immigration judge for that same afternoon.
After hearing from everyone, the judge ruled.
Finally, Ben prevailed.
The Texas judge set Ben’s bond at $2,500. A few days later, Ben returned home. His case was transferred to San Diego.
Soon after Ben’s return, Ben and Carlos started getting ready for Ben’s future court hearings.
About a year later, Ben won his deportation trial.
Ben is now a lawful permanent resident and happily married. He has two children and works as a full-time carpenter.
This article, pertaining to immigration court hearings and deportation defense, is part two of a series on the successes of immigration lawyer Carlos Batara in different types of cases.
Follow this link to read more: Proving Citizenship In The Third Round
Ready to take a serious and honest look at the strengths and weaknesses of your immigration case? Let’s get started with a personalized strategy and planning consultation . . .