CASE: Motion to Reopen
CLIENT: El Salvadorian
LOCATION: Cleveland, OH
Our client came to the United States without inspection and admission from El Salvador in 2004. When he was crossing the border, the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials picked him up and placed him in a minor house as he was only 17 at that time. Later, our client went to the Phoenix Immigration Court for his first hearing, and later on his venue was changed to Cleveland as he informed the Court that he was moving to Cleveland to live with his brother, who was on Temporary Protected Status (TPS). He then appeared for his first hearing before the Cleveland Immigration Court. At the hearing, they scheduled a date for his next hearing, but also informed him that the hearing will change, and that he will get a notice in the mail. Our client has lived in Cleveland with his brother who has TPS status since. He never got the hearing notice.
On February 1, 2012, our client’s brother got a phone call from the Immigration Service and they asked him about our client. The brother asked them what our client did wrong, and to his surprise, he was informed that our client had a final order of removal in November 2006. He was told that his brother should go to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on a specific date “to be processed”.
Our client and his brother immediately sought our help, and upon our check of our client’s A number with the court system, found that his final order was issued in November 2006 in Cleveland, OH. We told him that he has a final order of removal and because of that, when he goes to ICE on his appointment date, he might get picked up. We told them that he has to file a Motion to Reopen before he goes to ICE for his appointment, and show them that the Motion was filed. He was already deportable, and the Motion would stay deportation and lessen the chance that he gets detained.
So our client retained our office the day before his appointment with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). We met him extensively to prepare the affidavit and on the same day, our office prepared and filed the Motion to Reopen with the Cleveland Immigration Court. We also gave our client a copy so that he could show ICE that he had an automatic stay with the pending Motion to Reopen. Our client never received his hearing notice; moreover, his prior appearances in Court show that he previously complied with immigration appointments.
Documentation of his address at the date of the final order, a detailed affidavit regarding his addresses and his circumstances around the final order date, documentation of the last address he provided to the immigration service prior to the final order date, and other supporting documents were submitted. In the Motion, we also explained that our client feared going back to El Salvador and that he intended to file asylum if the case is reopened.
When our client went to ICE, he showed the Motion to Reopen and fortunately, he was not detained. He was also issued an Order of Supervision, which was an added bonus since he became eligible to file a work permit.
Then, on March 13, 2012, the Cleveland Immigration Court granted our motion and reopened our client’s case. Our client now does not have a final order of removal and may seek relief with the Immigration Court.
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