Last week we had one of those moments in the life of a lawyer and a law firm. Back in 2006, I was retained to represent a young woman from Peru, aged 18, who was being detained at the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach, Florida. She found herself in the custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) because her family had allegedly obtained green cards through a USCIS employee who was later arrested and convicted of arranging marriages and providing green cards.
Of course, our client was a minor at the time she became a resident but that did not seem to matter to ICE. During the course of her detention, she married her fiancée and we attempted to adjust her status. During the process, however, ICE insisted on proceeding with removal proceedings.
At some point, the decision was made, after many requests, to release her pending adjustment of status. At the last minute, however, the decision was reversed by ICE and she remained in custody. Our client remained at BTC for over 18 months!! Finally, she accepted an order of removal and was sent back to Peru.
If this case had taken place in today’s political climate, she would have never spent 18 months incarcerated. It was a cruel and vindictive officer who just did not like our client and made her suffer for it.
Five years later, after our law firm filed new visa applications and a waiverapplication known as permission to reenter after deportation, our client was able to legally return to the United States as a lawful permanent resident through her United States citizen husband.
This week, she came to our office and I saw her for the first time in over five years. Needless to say it was a joyous and tearful reunion. This was one of those cases that haunted us and we now have closure. Our client is ecstatic about her future in the United States of America as a Green Card holder.