DETENTION – BONDS

We handle detention cases and seek to get bonds with ICE or and Immigration Judge.  In that way we can have our clients fight their cases while being able to work and live with their families.  A U.S. immigration detention facility takes you one step closer to being deported to your home country. Deportation is a sure way to end any dreams you had for you and your family. The key is to seek immediate help from an experienced immigration attorney.

Our attorneys at The Nations Law Group can work to set you free from detention and protect your immigration status. We will present arguments before the court with evidence to prove you are not a danger to the community and address the issue that led to your detention so that you can be released as early as possible.

DETENTION:  Immigration detention may result from raids, arrests or being at the wrong place at the wrong time.  First know that you do not have to be a criminal to be detained by immigration police (ICE).  All that ICE needs is to objectively believe that you are not in the country legally and they can seek to ascertain this.  If they believe you to be undocumented or subject to removal (deportation) from the United States they may detain you.  In some cases ICE officers have to detain a person.  For example if they have certain criminal convictions or are detained when entering the US.

BONDS:  When ICE detain a person they will make what is called a bond determination.  The minimum amount that ICE will set as a bond is of $1,500.  If ICE denies your ability to pay a bond you can have that request redetermined by an Immigration Judge.   That means that you will be in detention until a bond is set and paid.  If no bond is provided you may also have other forms of relief such as habeas corpus, but you should in all cases consult with an experienced immigration lawyer.

RELIEF:  When you are detained by immigration you are going not only to stop your detention but have a reason why not to be deported.  This is called relief and it may take the form of many things.  For example, you are a resident, the crime you were charged with does not support detention or deportation, your spouse is a resident or a US citizen etc.  To determine whether you have relief you need to talk to an attorney that not only recognizes that relief but that has presented it successfully before an Immigration Court before.

If you or someone you know are being detained by ICE, call us we can help deal with the situation and present the proper case for that person to be released and/or remain in the U.S.

THE NATIONS LAW GROUP IS AN ANCHORAGE BASED IMMIGRATION LAW FIRM.  OUR TWO ATTORNEYS, LARA E. NATIONS AND NICOLAS A. OLANO HAVE MORE THAN TWO DECADES OF COMBINED EXPERIENCE.  DO NOT HESITATE TO LOOK AT OUR EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS SO THAT YOU MAY GET TO KNOW US AND SEE IF WE ARE A FIT FOR YOUR NEEDS.  YOU CAN CONTACT US BY CALLING, EMAILING OR TEXTING US.  IF IT IS AN IMMIGRATION EMERGENCY (YOU OR A FAMILY MEMBER IS DETAINED OR IS ABOUT TO BE DEPORTED PLEASE TEXT US AT ANY TIME HERE.  REMEMBER YOU AND YOUR FAMILY HAVE RIGHTS, BUT SO DO ALL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS – BEING POLITE AND COURTEOUS WILL TAKE YOU A LONG WAY IN LETTING ICE OFFICERS KNOW YOU WANT TO HAVE A LAWYER PRESENT FOR ANY INTERROGATION.

Deportation/Removal

• Deportation Defense (The fast and simple, look below for more details)
Deportation (or removal as it is called officially) is when a person is forced to leave or not allowed to enter the United States. This process usually takes place before an immigration judge, but sometimes it can be “expedited” and is carried out by an “immigration” officer. Deportation/Removal can be carried out while you are in ICE custody (detained) or not. For more information on removal during detention see our page on Bonds and Detention. If you or someone you know is being “deported,” take a look at the information below and CALL US to discuss your case as soon as possible.

• Deportation Defense(The detailed version):
(You will find a similar guide prepared by our partner Nicolas A. Olano for AVVO here: https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-do-i-do-if-you-are-placed-in-removal-proceedings-deportation)
Removal proceedings start with the service of a document called the Notice to Appear or NTA for short. Here is how it plays out:
1. Service of the Notice – Keeping your address updated: The notice is served by mail or personally. Because mailing is enough you should ALWAYS keep Immigration (CIS, ICE and EOIR) updated with your address. The NTA may also be served personally by an Immigration Officer.
2. Contents of the Notice – Allegations and Charges. The NTA will specify what actions sustain the removal charge or charges. It will always state that you are not as US Citizen and where you are a citizen or national of. The NTA will also specify the transgressions against Immigration law that you are being accused of. Be familiar with this document it is what tells an immigration lawyer or government officer what is going on with your immigration case. If you make an appointment for a consult because you are in removal proceedings, please bring the NTA with you.

The Immigration Court has various people working there, here is who they are:

1. The Judge (EOIR). The Judge is part of the Department of Justice so they do not really belong to “Immigration.” They are Judges and have your life in their hands so pay attention to what they say and do. If you do not have a lawyer an IJ will five you an opportunity to get one. Use this time to get proper counsel. (Use this list to find an immigration lawyer). Also, if you have questions ASK the IJ if you are unrepresented or you attorney if you have one. Finally, the Judge holds your life in his or her hands, address them properly as “Judge” or “Your Honor” and do what they tell you – they have an obligation to do what is in your best interest.

2. The Trial Attorney (ICE). The Trial Attorneys (TA’s) belong to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of the Chief Counsel. (OPLA-ICE). Their job is to “prosecute” your case so it is important that you have proper counsel to assist you in this process. Remember these are trained lawyers who know immigration law and who are charged to prove the case against you. This means they will present evidence (Documents, testimony, pictures, records) to show why you should be deported or removed from the United States. Having counsel who is familiar with the removal process will help you in dealing with the government while in removal proceedings.

3. The Clerk. The Clerk belongs to the EOIR and is there to assist the Judge with general information and support. If you do not have an attorney this is the person who will receive your information and generally indicate what is happening. For example, they will call you case or give you documents from the IJ. You can ask the Clerk general questions pertaining to your case.

4. The Interpreter. Depending on your native language the Court will provide an interpreter at no cost to you. This person is the means by which you are going to communicate with the Court. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you understand what she or he is telling you. If you do not understand the interpreter ALWAYS tell your attorney or if you do not have, tell the IJ.

5. NOTE: Always be polite and well presented in Immigration Court. Your appearance says a lot about you and EVERYONE will take account. In my opinion a well presented, polite respondent will always have a better chance to win their case. (If you are unsure on how to dress for Court imagine you are going to a formal occasion like church, temple or a job interview).

The Immigration Court Hearings:

1. The Master Hearing. This is your first hearing. Generally, the Court will allow you to postpone this hearing, get a continuance, in order to acquire legal counsel. This will generally be done only one time. At this hearing you or preferably your attorney will address the charges in the NTA and will also ask for relief (What is going to keep you from being deported. i.e. you are already a resident, the crime immigration says you were convicted of is not a removable offense, you are eligible for a waiver, etc.) There will be other people in the Court who have their case at the same time as yours so you may be in there for a while. Remember you can ask for an Attorney, at no cost for the government – you pay it -, to represent you. NEVER address the charges in the NTA without an attorney representing you in COURT. Depending on your case you may have one or many master hearings.

2. The Individual Hearing. At this hearing you will present your case to the Court. That is where you get to tell your story, so to speak. Your attorney will present your case at this hearing so everything has to be filed with the Court. You lawyer will ask you and any witnesses questions and present document and argument in your favor. The government may attack your case or not oppose it at this point. It is better if your attorney has contacted the government’s attorney, the Trial Attorney (TA) beforehand to resolve any issues before the hearing. Finally, the hearing may take several hours and the Judge will give a decision at the end or reserve it, meaning he will give it at a later time. If your case is denied you have the right to appeal. See our page on Immigration Court Appeals hereBIA.

Asylum

Is a legal figure used to protect people who are afraid to return to their country because they have been persecuted or believe they will be persecuted in the future.  It has an important legal definition. This is one of the most important and valuable figures that the United States has to offer.  Asylum is the request a person, who has left their country and is in the United States, makes to the government for protection because they have been or will be persecuted in their country of origin or residence because of their political opinion (or perceived political opinion), their religion, their gender, their national origin or because they belong to a particular social group.   Please note that persecution for legal purposes is something serious that goes significantly beyond harassment.  To see if your case is one where filing an asylum is possible talk to an experienced attorney.

Just as asylum is an important figure IT IS ALSO ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT IMMIGRATION BENEFITS TO OBTAIN.  For this reason, before you file for asylum in the United States make sure to talk to an immigration lawyer that has handled asylum cases both before Immigration and the Immigration Courts.  IMPORTANT:  IF YOU FILE FOR ASYLUM AND YOU ARE NOT IN STATUS (YOUR STAY IN THE U.S. HAS EXPIRED) YOU WILL BE PLACED IN REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS AND YOU WILL HAVE TO PRESENT YOUR CASE BEFORE AN IMMIGRATION JUDGE.

REASONS TO ASK FOR ASYLUM:

  • Political Opinion:  If you have a certain political ideology, have tried to exercise it in your country of origin, and, on account of that opinion, the government or someone the government may not or does not want to control, has persecuted you or will  persecute you if you return, the you may could qualify to apply for asylum on this basis.
  • Religion: If you have been persecuted because of your religious views or you think that you may be persecuted in the future in you home country you may qualify for asylum and should discuss with your lawyer.
  • Race:  Skin color and appearance should no be a basis to discriminate, much less persecute, people.  If that is a problem in your country and you have been persecuted on account of your race you could look into filing for under this category of relief.
  • Nationality:  If you come from a certain country you are mistreated on account of your national origin you should talk to your lawyer if you are afraid to got back on account of that mistreatment.
  • Particular Social Group: This is a more complicated area of law.  It deals with groups within a particular country or society that are recognized and persecuted for that same reason.  For example gay men or women in some countries are persecuted because of their sexual orientation.  This is  a particular social group.  You should discuss any reason why you are afraid to go back to your country or why you left in the first place so that he or she may look into whether you could apply on this ground.

TYPES OF ASYLUM

Asylum cases can be divided into proactive or defensive cases.  Proactive cases are those that are filed by a person directly with USCIS (Immigration).   These cases do not involve deportation and present USCIS with the persons case.  When filing a case THIS IS THE TIME YOU NEED TO BEST PRESENT YOUR CASE.  This means that you should review what you are presenting carefully and make sure that it a legally viable case – not something made up and facts under which an asylum would be granted.  Just because you are afraid to go back for any reason or you passed a credible fear interview it does not mean you will get asylum.

Defensive asylum cases are those that are presented by a person who is being deported from the United States in order to avoid being sent back to their country.   These cases are presented before the immigration judge and follow the same rules as those presented with USCIS.  The difference here is that your case will be heard by a Judge and a Trial Attorney representing ICE.  In other words, it will be different than a defensive case application that is only heard by an credible fear officer.  Remember to always use lawyers who can represent you in court.  Notarios, “friends,” or paralegals cannot appear before a Court and may not represent you in your case.  This is a BIG problem.

Finally, remember that all  cases must be filed within one year of a person’s entry to the United States.  If you want to file beyond that period you must demonstrate that filing was almost impossible for you during the period between your arrival and the filing of your case.  Remember that you should always consult with a lawyer when dealing with an asylum case.

If your asylum case is denied you may always appeal it to the Board of Immigration Appeals.  Find out how to appeal your case here.

THE NATIONS LAW GROUP IS AN ANCHORAGE BASED IMMIGRATION LAW FIRM.  OUR TWO ATTORNEYS, LARA E. NATIONS AND NICOLAS A. OLANO HAVE MORE THAN TWO DECADES OF COMBINED EXPERIENCE.  DO NOT HESITATE TO LOOK AT OUR EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS SO THAT YOU MAY GET TO KNOW US AND SEE IF WE ARE A FIT FOR YOUR NEEDS.  YOU CAN CONTACT US BY CALLING, EMAILING OR TEXTING US.  IF IT IS AN IMMIGRATION EMERGENCY (YOU OR A FAMILY MEMBER IS DETAINED OR IS ABOUT TO BE DEPORTED PLEASE TEXT US AT ANY TIME HERE.  REMEMBER YOU AND YOUR FAMILY HAVE RIGHTS, BUT SO DO ALL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS – BEING POLITE AND COURTEOUS WILL TAKE YOU A LONG WAY IN LETTING ICE OFFICERS KNOW YOU WANT TO HAVE A LAWYER PRESENT FOR ANY INTERROGATION.

 

Anchorage Immigration Lawyers

We are Immigration Attorneys practicing in Anchorage, Alaska. With more than 15 years of experience, we provide our clients with outstanding legal counsel and representation in all areas of immigration law.  Please contact us to discuss how we can help you.

 

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