What you need to know when considering hiring an immigration lawyer. Immigrating to a new country can be a complex…
Let me give you an example. Eugene, not his real name, was charged with a serious criminal offense. He was ultimately convicted of a minor quasi-criminal matter. He did not tell his criminal defense attorney that he had an order of removal, meaning that he was previously deported. When that minor matter was resolved he was turned over to immigration custody, he then though his wife retained Andres Mejer Law to represent them in the immigration matter.
The first thing we did is reach out to the criminal defense attorney to find out what happened and to get his file. Since Eugene was not provided an immigration bond, we prepared what’s called a bond redetermination. We were asking the immigration judge to allow him to leave the detention center after he pays bail of a certain amount. We also prepared an application for relief, in this case, Form EOIR42B known as Cancellation of Removal for a Non-Lawful Permanent Resident. If successful, with this application Eugene would get a green card.
All of this effort was based on the information that his wife provided. I went to the detention center, met with him, reviewed all the documents, and as I was about to leave he asks me, “Can I still file for this if I’ve already been deported?” I first thought it was a theoretical question. But it turned out that no; he was embarrassed to tell his wife. And he never told his criminal attorney either.
The short answer is no, he doesn’t qualify for a bond; he can’t file for cancellation of removal since he was already Ordered Removed from the U.S. Everything that we did was a waste. Here is the problem; the U.S. government doesn’t need any consular documents to deport a Mexican national. That means Eugene could be deported in a week. He had already been detained for more than a week. We just waited for preparing a petition and a motion, which Eugene paid for, which we can’t use. What we should have done is prepare Form I-246 a Petition to Stay Removal.
A stay of Removal gets filed with Immigration authorities along with his passport and an explanation of why he shouldn’t be deported. Typically it’s because he qualifies for some kind of relief or he’s looking to reopen his order of removal for some reason, but that takes time to prepare. That does not get done overnight. Now Eugene could very well have been deported before we filed the stay of removal. He paid for two separate petitions on our part only because he was not honest and there’s very little I can do when clients are not hosted with me.
So no, nobody wins every case, but we work our hardest to get darn close.
As it turns out, Eugene will be released from custody shortly after this writing. We were able to get it done. Eugene was fortunate.
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 everyone 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 888-695-6169;
- Fill out the contact us form on this page; or
- Select our live chat feature to speak to someone right away.
We help immigrants, one case at a time.