Skip to main content

An Immigrant Pays Her Debt to Society…and is Rewarded!

If an immigrant commits a crime in the United States, they are often times precluded from obtaining citizenship, permanent residence status, or even the ability to remain in the U.S. at all. Even when it is within the discretion of a judge or an officer to grant an application and allow a person to remain here, they can deny that request in an instant.

On the other hand, an immigrant is sometimes fortunate enough to be treated similar to a U.S. citizen who commits a crime. That was the case this last week when an immigrant we represented committed two crimes and was convicted of two misdemeanors. She was a lawful permanent resident at the time and applied for Cancellation of Removal for Lawful Permanent Residents during her immigration court removal proceedings.

This was a case where the justice system properly penalized an immigrant, similar to that of a citizen. Granted, she spent more time in prison than she should have for the crimes she was convicted of, but she was eventually forgiven for a few reasons. She fulfilled the three main purposes of a prison sentence: 1) paying her debt to society, 2) rehabilitation, and 3) deterrence from committing future crimes. If an immigrant pays the same price that any U.S. citizen would, then why also deport a person as further punishment? Chances are, she has been fully rehabilitated and this has now deterred her from committing any future crimes. Isn’t that enough? Is it always necessary to deport an immigrant simply because it is permissible under the immigration laws? Or is it more in line with our democracy, that all people should be given a second chance to prove themselves?


Popular posts from this blog

If You Are An Immigrant (even a US Citizen), Here Are 9 Things You Should Know

Are you a Naturalized U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, Visa Holder, or an Undocumented Immigrant? We recommend you take the following steps to protect yourself in our current version of America.
The last couple of weeks have reminded immigrants, even naturalized U.S. citizens, that they were not born in the United States. Our office has received countless phone calls, emails, and social media messages from people worrying about what their family’s future in the United States holds.
Most people want to know what they can do now to protect themselves from what promises to be a wave of anti-immigration activity by the federal government. Trump's Executive Order on Interior Enforcement has some provisions that should make most Americans shiver.  We recommend the following actions for each of the following groups:
Naturalized U.S. citizens. In particular if you have a foreign accent, and you are traveling within 100 miles of any US Border (including the oceans), we strongly rec…

Why is USCIS Taking So Long to Renew DACA Work Permits?

If the calls to our office are any indicator, there are thousands of DACA recipients whose work permit applications were filed at least three months prior to expiration, who are still waiting for their renewed work permits.  Without renewed permits, these individuals lose the right to work legally, the right to drive, and may once again accrue unlawful presence.

The DHS published a notice in October 2014 advising DACA recipients that they could file their request for extension up to 150 days (5 months) prior to expiration.  As with all things government, very few of the DACA recipients, who tend not to frequent government websites, knew about the memo and many did not file so far before expiration perhaps thinking that extending a work permit was a like extending a drivers license, its is done in a few minutes.  As an experienced immigration lawyer will tell you, the USCIS does nothing quickly, and certainly does not worry that a person may lose their job or their driver's licens…


Todas las personas en los Estados Unidos, incluidos los extranjeros y aun los con ordenes de deportacion, tienen ciertos derechos básicos que deben ser respetados por los agentes de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE). Estos derechos se derivan tanto de la Constitución de los Estados Unidos. y las leyes de Estados Unidos. Como extranjero, usted tiene los siguientes derechos:

Usted tiene el derecho de negar la entrada a un agente de ICE a su casa sin una orden válida. Esta orden debe ser firmado por un juez. Usted puede negarse a abrir la puerta, o se puede cerrar la puerta después de descubrir que el agente no tiene una orden válida. Los agentes del ICE generalmente no vienen con una orden judicial. Estos agentes suelen venir a la casa de alguien con una orden final de deportación, muy temprano en la mañana. Si alguien está golpeando en su puerta a las 6:00 am, no le es requerido abrir la puerta. Mirar fuera de primera. Si es un agente del gobierno, ust…