DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients’ cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client’s case.
Just ask George (whose name was changed to protect his privacy). I spent most of Friday visiting him and his cousin Sebastian in different detention centers in New Jersey.
How did George and Sebastian get detained by Immigration Customs Enforcement?
March 1, 2015 in the middle of the night ICE showed up at George’s house with an order for his arrest. Once inside the house, they asked everyone for their legal status. Sebastian has an order of removal since he failed to appear to his court hearing. ICE arrested both George and Sebastian.
How did ICE know where to find George?
George has been in the U.S. for 15 years. About four months ago he hired a notario to prepare a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals petition for him. He met all the requirements, but in 2007 he was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (“DUI”). He told the non-attorney of his conviction. The notario told him, “don’t worry that was eight year ago. You are fine now.” He instructed George to get the court disposition and letter from the police of good conduct. With those two items, the notario promised to get him approved.
There was and remains ZERO change of getting DACA approved with a DUI conviction. I have written about this extensively. Immigration didn’t have to wait for George to get fingerprinted; the notario was kind enough to provide the disposition showing the conviction. A simple google search would have shown the notario this wouldn’t work. This was a very expensive mistake. If the notario was an attorney he can be sued for malpractice and ethics violations. This level of incompetence is not acceptable.
George is being detained. Sebastian may be deported in a short time unless he qualifies for different relief. He will have to immediately move to stay his removal.
What can George do now?
George needs to see what relief he qualifies for. Unlike George, you can go to www.QualifyForLegalStatus.com, answer the questions, and you will be told if you likely qualify for relief. George will have to request a bond redetermination to be able to get out of detention. Then we have to evaluate whether a Post-Conviction Relief motion is possible. At the moment, that seems the only way he will be able to qualify for DACA.
What did the notario cost George?
- Approximately $1,000 for a petition he didn’t qualify for;
- A week in jail and counting;
- $2,500-3,500for a bond re-determination;
- Approximately $5,000 for immigration bail;
- Approximately $5,000 for a Post-Conviction Relief motion if there are grounds for it;
- $2,500-3,500 to file a corrected DACA petition fixing the mistakes the non-attorney did.
By saving the $150 consultation fee to speak to a qualified immigration attorney, George gets to spend $15,000-20,000 to fight to stay in the U.S.
Was it worth it? What is the value of the knowledge an immigration attorney could have given George? How expensive is it really to consult with an attorney? What is your freedom worth? Only you can answer those questions
Free Resources Available for You
If you face immigration an immigration challenge we have some valuable resources for you:
- Do You Qualify for Legal Status? If you aren’t legal in the U.S. you owe it to yourself to find out if you can get legal status. Select the link, answer the questions, and find out for FREE.
- Do You Need an Immigration Attorney? You Might Not – I will explain when you need an immigration attorney. Not every needs one. I will also explain the benefits of hiring one in any immigration challenge.
- 7 Critical Questions to ask Before Hiring an Immigration Attorney – If you have decided that you need an immigration attorney, how do you make sure you hire a good one? I explain to you the questions you need to ask before you hire your immigration attorney.
- An Immigrant’s Guide to Municipal Court – Here I discuss what happens if you get arrested by Immigration Customs Enforcement, what you need to know to get out of custody, and what to expect if you are placed in removal hearings. I also explain the municipal court process and how a municipal court matter can result in your being placed into removal proceedings.
If you have immigration questions, we have answers. You can,
- Call our knowledgeable staff at 888-449-7492;
- Fill out our contact us form on this page; or
- Select our live chat feature to speak to someone right away.
We help immigrants, one petition at a time.