Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Q: My brother is presently detained at an Immigration Detention Centre. He came to the US as a Visitor on a Tourist Visa about 15 years ago and overstayed. He was detained under ICE detainer because of his recent conviction for one DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) for which he was sentenced to about 3 months in jail. He got married to a US Citizen last year and his wife is now expecting a child with him. What can he do to avoid being deported or removed from the United States?
A: A noncitizen in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), may or may not be released on bond. A bond is money which is paid to enable the individual to be released from custody so that he or she may return to his residence while awaiting his removal proceedings to be concluded. A DWI conviction does not render your brother ineligible for bond. He can request from the Immigration Judge to be released on bond on grounds that he has available relief – that he is eligible to adjust his status to the of a permanent resident because of marriage to a US Citizen. If released, his case will be transferred to the non-detained docket. His wife will need to file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative for him and when that has been approved he should be able to adjust his status to a Permanent Resident in Immigration Court. It is advisable that your brother retain an Immigration Attorney to assist him in the proceedings.
Q: My uncle is a Permanent Resident. He was detained at the airport last week when he returned from his overseas trip because he has one drug possession conviction about 7 years ago. He has been a Permanent Resident for more than 20 years. Can he request for bond from the Immigration Judge? What does he need to do so that he can continue to stay in the United States?
A: Your uncle is subject to Mandatory Detention. Immigration law specifically mandates that if an alien has been convicted of a controlled substance offence, he or she will be subject to mandatory detention. Mandatory detention means the Immigration Judge nor ICE cannot consider bond in the case and the noncitizen must remain in ICE custody during their entire course of his removal proceedings. It is possible that he will be eligible for the relief known as Cancellation of Removal for Certain Permanent Resident. The application for this relief is on Form EOIR-42A. It is advisable that your uncle retain an Immigration Attorney to assist him with the process.
Q: I have just bonded out from the immigration detention facility. The Judge when he set the bond informed me to appear in the detained court docket next week but I am now bonded out. Do I have to appear before that detained court?
A: No you do not. The detained court will transfer your immigration case to the non-detained docket and you will receive notice from that court as to your when your first Master Calendar Hearing will be at the non-detained court.
Q: My I-751 Joint Petition for to Remove the Condition on my permanent residence was denied. USCIS in their denial letter stated that the reason for the denial was abandonment. I did not receive their Request for Evidence and therefore did not provide a response. I have just received in the mail a Notice To Appear in Immigration Court for removal. My US Citizen wife and I have now divorced. I filed for divorce because she was physically abusive towards me during the course of our marriage and I could no longer stand her cruelty. What do I do now?
A: We advise that you retain an Immigration Attorney to assist you due to the complexity of the matter. First of all, you will need to refile the I-751 to remove the condition on your residence with USCIS. Since you will be filing this petition without your spouse, check the boxes that you are seeking the waivers for bona fide marriage that has ended through divorce and also that you are a battered spouse. Attend the scheduled hearing at Immigration Court and seek a continuance on the case to enable USCIS to complete the processing of your I-751 case. Once the I-751 petition has been approved, the Immigration Judge will terminate the removal proceedings against you and your Permanent Resident will continue.

Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case.
My Bio
Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at srichardslaw@aol.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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