From detention to green card. It took a year but our client received his green card today. Last year his wife came to us after ICE detained him. He had an outstanding order of deportation from 2006 and ICE said he would be back in Mexico within two weeks. His wife also informed us he served time for possession of cocaine in 2000.
We scrambled, put together a very convincing narrative for the chief counsel in ICE, showed how his deportation order was wrongly decided, how his U.S. Citizen wife had already an approved I-130 for him, and showed ICE the adjustment of status (I-485) that we had ready to file. Our client was released from detention after a few weeks. A few months later an immigration judge agreed with us and terminated the deportation case. After we filed the application with USCIS the 9th Circuit overturned the Lujan case that allowed individuals with a drug conviction to wipe out the immigration consequences of it if they go through a rehabilitation program. Fortunately, the decision was not applied retroactively and we were able to use the Lujan case today in our hearing with the USCIS officer.
You cannot imagine how happy my client and his wife are!
MORALE OF THE STORY
Keep fighting for yourself – never sign voluntary departure until a professional has analyzed your case. And, forgive yourself– if you have committed a crime in the past and served your time, you deserve a second chance. Everyone deserves second chances after they have “served their sentence” – it’s in our constitution under the ban against double jeopardy. It is a shame that the Lujan case is overturned, but a least people who were rehabilitated for a drug crime before July 15, 2011 can continue to be protected from it. Everyone else will suffer double jeopardy.