I recently had a great victory in immigration court. But it was not so much a victory for me as it was for my country. My client came to me about a year ago. He was an illegal alien who had been present in the US for 15 years. His wife, for much of that time, was a US citizen. She never took any steps to gain his permanent residence. The couple had two children, boys, eight and 12. When I met my client his children were being held illegally out-of-state by his US citizen wife who assured him that his lack of status meant that she kept the kids and that the bully wins.
Not while I have anything to say about it.
I encouraged my client to contact a family attorney to get the return of his kids. He did have them pursuant to a lawful court order, and his wife’s seizure of his children was against the law. The fact that he had no legal status here did not make any difference, I am happy to say. The children were returned to him within a reasonable time.
My client initially had custody of his kids because a judge in another state had found their mother to be dangerous and hazardous to them. For the same reason I believed the US government would look favorably upon application for cancellation of removal from my client. This application requires my client to prove he has been here more than 10 years, and that his deportation would work an exceptional and extremely unusual hardship upon his US citizen children or spouse.
Once we collected evidence in the case, it appeared clear that my client saved his children from a very dangerous mother. We went to court, explained the circumstances, and I am very confident that when the judge makes his decision we will win (bizarre court rules mean he cannot rule until October). It is not often that I am so proud of the people I represent. But something about this client was special to me.
One of the great things about being an immigration attorney is seeing how important it is to some parents that their children have a chance at success.