I represented a lawful permanent resident client first on appeal of whether or not the client was convicted of an ‘aggravated felony’ for immigration purposes. My client was unlawfully deported from the Stewart Detention Center while the appeal was pending which is illegal. The Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed the appeal because the client was deported. I did not give up. Instead, I thought way out of the box and filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court under the Federal Tort Claims Act & Bivens. The lawsuit was based on the fact that the client was unlawfully transported from the Stewart detention center to the border of Mexico without legal authority since the deportation order from the Immigration Judge in Atlanta was not yet final and did not permit the Client’s deportation. I settled the civil case for a nominal amount of money, and the client was reluctantly brought back to the U.S. through ICE’s Mexico City office.
Then the client really got lucky! In the meantime, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals case law changed to make some lawful permanent residents clearly eligible for a waiver of deportation under Section 212(h). More than four years after the client was deported, an Atlanta Immigration Judge then granted a waiver of deportation. My client got his green card back, even after living abroad as a deportee for four years!
I represented another lawful permanent resident who was set up in a small marijuana sale by a confidential informant. He plead guilty without knowing that it would cause his deportation. ICE took him into custody where he sat patiently for about three months. Eventually an Atlanta Immigration Judge ordered client deported because the Immigration Judge would not wait for results of the An appeal taken to the Board of Immigration Appealsfiled in the county of conviction. I challenged the Immigration Judge’s refusal to wait for the results of the Habeas Corpus petition by filing an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals.
The habeas corpus petition was then granted based upon ineffective assistance of counsel of the criminal lawyer. The drug sale conviction was set aside, and client eventually pled guilty to misdemeanor possession of marijuana to settle habeas corpus case. Mr. Hill filed Motion to Remand with the Board of Immigration Appeals and case was reopened by the Board. Upon remand to the Immigration Judge, he then terminated proceedings. ICE had discovered client because a small amount of marijuana was found on his person while he was doing something stupid on his motorcycle. This caused him to be brought to the local jail. I worked with very capable local counsel Greg Futch, and the client was acquitted of the second marijuana case which would have resulted in him being subjected to removal proceedings all over again.