One of the most important aspects of removal proceedings is the ability of the detainee and his family to get a reasonable immigration bond. Detention is the most powerful weapon available to ICE. Detention wears down non-citizens and makes them want to quit and give up their legal rights. Immigration bond then becomes extremely important. In some cases, non-citizens who did not get bond spent years in ICE detention fighting their cases. Bond is not always available because some criminal convictions will preclude the availability of bond. But, if bond is available, it must be aggressively sought. In some cases, if the bond decision is not favorable, the decision can be appealed to the Board of Immigration appeals.
HABEAS CORPUS IN FEDERAL COURT
In addition, the firm has successfully sought our client’s release from detention by filing habeas corpus petitions in the U.S. District Court of Maryland as well as some other U.S District Courts around the country, arguing that our client has been illegally detained by the Department of Homeland Security. Federal court actions are a key component of the firm’s tactics to get our clients released from DHS detention when DHS and the Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals take stances on legal issues which are contrary to law.
Recent Case Results
August 12, 2013 – Citizen of El Salvador is released from ICE detention after very nearly being physcially deported
Facts: A citizen of El Salvador was detained by ICE – he had no status and a conviction for possession of marijuana. He hired a very reputable immigration attorney. Nevertheless, the immigration attorney did not know how to deal with a Maryland conviction for possession of marijuana. The Immigration Attorney asked the Immigration Court to grant the citizen of El Salvador voluntary departure, which was granted on May 1, 2013. The citizen of El Salvador’s family was frantic because they did not want him to be deported. The family came to the firm on May 15, 2013.
The Firm’s Representation: First, jumped into action an filed a coram nobis petition in the Maryland state court. Second, the firm filed a motion to reopen and a stay of deportation with the Immigration Court. Time was ticking because ICE wanted to physically deport our client. After several phone calls to the Immigration Court clerks, the stay was granted. Two days later, the detention center asked our client to pack his belongings because he was on the deportation list for the day. Even though the firm had previously contacted ICE and informed them of the stay, the detention center had not received notice. After several further phone calls, our client was taken off the deportation list. The firm had stopped our client’s deportation with only two days to spare. After a hearing on July 26, 2013, our client’s coram nobis petition was granted. The firm then filed a joint motion to reopen and a joint motion for bond in the Immigration Court, with the permission of ICE, and our client was released from ICE custody on $3,000.00 bond on August 12, 2013.
Outcome: Our client lost everything when he pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana – he lost his TPS status, he was placed in removal proceedings, he was detained, and he was almost deported. Tragically, our client was completely innocent of these charges which was borne out on postconviction. Our client is now in the process of getting his TPS back and possibly seeking cancellation of removal in the Immigration Court.
May 2, 2013 – Citizen of El Salvador is released after one year of ICE detention
Facts: A citizen of El Salvador was detained detained by ICE on May 8, 2012 and ordered deported on December 3, 2012. His fiance came to the firm for help.
The Firm’s Representation: First, the firm had to reopen our client’s immigration case. In early January 2013, the firm filed a motion to reopen with the Immigration Court, which was eventually granted. Then, the firm reviewed the underlying reason for the ICE detention – our client’s conviction for sex offense in the fourth degree. Unfortunately, our client had received really bad advice from his criminal defense attorney who advised our client to decline an offer of Probation Before Judgment from the sentencing judge. After analyzing the conviction and sentencing, the firm came to the realization that if our client had accepted the Probation Before Judgment, he would not have been subject to mandatory detention in the immigration context. The firm immediately filed a petition for post-conviction relief in the Circuit Court of Maryland.
Outcome: On April 22, 2013, the post-conviction petition was granted. On May 2, 2013, based on a motion for reconsideration of bond in the Immigration Court, bond was granted and our client was released from ICE custody later that same day. Naturally, our client and his family were thrilled to be released after almost one year of detention that was caused by bad advice from his criminal defense attorney. Our client’s immigration case remains pending in the Immigration Court, but our client now had several options available to him to get into a legal status.