After talking to a desperate family so many times, we are finally able to break the good news: “your husband will be released from jail today”. We know the impact of the announcement, and we feel so much joy for the family. Our client and his family had Green Cards. The last time he traveled, upon returning from Mexico they detained him because he had pled guilty of a criminal charge in a Municipal Court more than 10 years before. His detention was a mistake for many reasons: he was an arriving alien with a Green Card who met certain exceptions, so he could have been called to Court while not detained. Also when he pled guilty, he had not been informed about the legal consequences of his plea. In fact he thought it was a minor charge and did not feel guilty at all, but was told this was what he could do to terminate the case.
What we did
The family hired our attorneys when he was in jail. We immediately filed Habeas Corpus and a release request. We also asked for cancellation of removal, since they had ordered his deportation. We followed up constantly and we went back to the Municipal Court where we asked for a copy of his transcript and filed a Motion to Vacate the guilty plea. We submitted the right evidence to the Immigration Judge about his moral character and his criminal case. A hearing was scheduled for July 22, 2018 and we prepared the client over the phone and the family in our offices. During the hearing we were able to present the case as it was and the Judge agreed that if the criminal case was terminated he would not object to terminate removal proceedings. We attended a hearing in the Municipal Court and were able to have them Vacate the guilty plea, and the criminal case was dismissed. We submitted this decision to the Immigration Judge, who after obtaining an opinion from DHS, finally granted the Motion to Terminate Removal Proceedings. This decision was issued in August 21, 2018. On the same day we requested his immediate release by fax, phone, letter and were able to get an answer from the officer: Our client would be released that same day! That is when we called the family to give the good news and they were very grateful. Our client was so grateful that he gave us more work: “Please help me recover the Green Card and passport that were confiscated.” We did, of course. Scott Bratton handled this case with help of our other attorneys.
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