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Every person has a fundamental right to counsel to skillfully and strategically defend their interests before their adversaries. This right extends to anyone on U.S. soil. If you find yourself engaged with the government regarding your immigration status, you need a lawyer, now. U.S. law provides forms of relief that could allow you to stay in the U.S. and in some cases even obtain a work permit and/or green card.
Individuals detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may be released on bond pending the Immigration Court’s adjudication of the case as long as the person is not an arriving alien or subject to mandatory detention.
The government may grant a minimum bond of $1500 or may grant conditional parole; however, in practice the minimum bond is rarely set.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the discretion to deny bond, and this discretion is generally exercised if the person is deemed to be a danger, national security threat, or flight risk.
DHS has the power to exercise prosecutorial discretion, which means the department can choose from a variety of actions to stop removal/deportation proceedings. Specifically, the government can decide not to issue, serve, or file a Notice to Appear (NTA), which is the charging document in immigration proceedings; it can also cancel the NTA after it has been filed; decide to dismiss; grant deferred action, parole, or a stay of removal; or join in a joint motion to administratively close a pending case.
The Immigration Judge can also cancel the removal proceeding and adjust status if a person can demonstrate:
The government has established enforcement priorities in order to effectively utilize its resources. ICE has been directed to focus its efforts on the following priorities.
1. Priority One – Threats to national security, border security, and public safety. This includes persons suspected of terrorism or espionage, persons apprehended at the border, participation in an organized gang, and those convicted of a felony in the convicting jurisdiction or aggravated felony as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
2. Priority Two – Misdemeanants and new immigration violators. This includes persons convicted of 3 or more misdemeanors arising out of separate incidents; significant misdemeanors such as domestic violence, DUI, burglary, sexual abuse or exploitation, among others; significant visa abusers; persons who unlawfully entered the country after January 1, 2014, or person convicted of any misdemeanor and sentenced to serve 90 days or more in jail.
3. Priority Three – Persons who have committed “other immigration violations.” This pertains to individuals who have been issued a final order of removal on or after January 1, 2014.