Sometimes in immigration wins come in strange forms.
This was certainly true this week for three cases that firm attorney Andrew Bloomberg is handling.
Back in March, we were approached by a couple two weeks before their marriage-based green card interview. The immigrant, who we will call Robert, had just been arrested and charged with a crime which, if he had been convicted, would likely have led to not only to the denial of his green card application, but very possibly to his deportation.
Andrew prepped the couple on how to talk about the arrest at the interview in a way that was honest, but did as little damage as possible. The couple attended the interview with Andrew and readied themselves for the inevitable request for evidence from USCIS.
Andrew also got in touch with Robert’s criminal defense attorney to work with him in trying to get an outcome to the case that would have the least possible immigration consequences. The criminal case dragged on and Andrew had to get an extension of the request for evidence deadline.
Finally, last month, it seemed like Robert had the opportunity to plead guilty to a much less serious offense. Andrew was on the phone with the criminal defense attorney and the client while the plea was being written, and we were able to convince the prosecutor to change the document in the Courthouse to make it better for our client – details always matter in immigration, and particularly when criminal convictions are involved.
When the plea was finalized, Andrew submitted it to USCIS with an explanation of why it shouldn’t impact Robert’s green card application. Less than a week later, we got word that Robert’s green card had been approved. Robert pleaded guilty – but by doing it in the right way, he won his green card.
Also in the last few weeks, we were hired separately by two families whose undocumented loved ones had been arrested and taken into custody by ICE. Both families live in California, but their loved ones were taken into custody in Missouri.
In deportation proceedings, timing can be everything – in addition to the hardship of being incarcerated, proceedings for detained individuals move very, very fast. We believe that both of these clients have defenses available to them, but the defenses require the gathering of lots of complicated evidence.
Trying to get them released on bond was important not just to get them out of jail, but to gain time to build defenses. Both clients had some criminal issues over the years, which often makes it very hard to get immigration bond.
Andrew worked with the families to gather supporting evidence of their rehabilitation, and their ties to the community, and submitted this to the Immigration Court along with a short memo on why bond should be granted.
In telephone proceedings at the EOIR in Kansas City this week, Andrew argued that our clients were not threats to the community or flight risks, and the Immigration Judge granted both bonds over the objections of the Government attorney.
While these clients are still in deportation proceedings, they can be with their families and there is much more time to build the strongest possible cases to keep them in the United States.
Congratulations to Andrew. We are lucky to have you at the firm!