Archive for July, 2011

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Motion to Reopen Granted!

July 27, 2011

Too many times in Immigration Law, we see bad lawyers who just don’t know the law or try to do many types of law to be effective at their jobs.  This can often harm a client and actually result in the client’s removal from this country.

Take, for example, a recent case.  My client is from Jamaica and he hired a lawyer to handle his removal case.  The client was being removed as he made a mistake on his papers.  His mother had sponsored him many years ago, and during the lengthy process he married.  He did not realize that the marriage affected his immigration status.  He received his green card. Yet, when he applied for his citizenship, the USCIS officer realized that he had been married and no longer single, at the time he received his residency.  The client was placed into removal proceedings.  All that needed to be done was a simple waiver request before the Judge, which does not require any forms or fees to be filed.  Yet the lawyer handling the case applied for an incorrect waiver and asked the client to pay filing fees and forms etc, which was not the proper process.  As such, the client was eventually ordered deported.  ICE came to his house one morning and arrested him and took him away. The family then came to our office.

After meeting with the family, we obtained the file from the previous lawyer and we quickly realized that the lawyer had requested the incorrect waiver forms.  In addition, we found that the lawyer had been disciplined previously by the Ethics Committee.  As such, we asked for an Emergency Stay of Removal from the Judge, which was granted.  We then also asked for a Motion to Reopen the case before the Immigration Judge based upon the errors of the previous counsel, which was also granted.  Our client will now have his proper day in Court and be permitted to apply for the proper waiver.  Persistence pays off.  If someone hires an immigration lawyer who has caused harm, there are remedies which can be considered in limited cases.  Saving one person at a time…….