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The wonderful U.S. citizen wife of a hard-working man (and dedicated father of their four kids) called this office in desperation. Her husband was arrested for a DUI in his own driveway and ICE had a detainer on him. They were pressuring him to sign for voluntary departure– what should they do? “Don’t sign the voluntary departure, FIGHT,” was immigration attorney Scott McVarish’s answer. It’s much harder to fight for a case if the alien allows ICE to remove him. His real problem was, 11 years ago, when he was a young, unmarried fool, he was caught with drugs. He went through a rehab program successfully and has been clean since then.

Attorney McVarish called the official in ICE who had authority over this case. McVarish explained to ICE that the client should be released and allowed to apply for permanent residence due to his U.S. citizen wife. By ordering his USCIS file with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request McVarish found that the wife had filed an I-130 for her husband on April 30, 2001. McVarish researched the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal cases that showed the client could still apply for adjustment despite the conviction for drugs. McVarish wrote a brief explaining the situation. One week later ICE released the client from custody and we submitted his I-485.

Client had worked with another attorney before his recent arrest for the DUI. But things did not proceed smoothly and the client remained vulnerable. Now he is out of custody, with his adoring children and wife, and on the path to getting his papers.

The morale of the story: hire an attorney who will thoroughly research both your case + the law and you can succeed in this immigration system.