Bad representation from an immigration attorney can lose you money, time, peace of mind, and can even result in a deportation order against you. However, even if this happens, it is not the end of the world.
Individuals facing deportation are entitled to a fair hearing under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which includes competent representation from your attorney. Competent representation does not mean winning your case, but that your attorney will do everything in his or her power to present a strong case before the Immigration Judge. When an individual loses his case due to the incompetency of his or her attorney, the constitutional protections of the Fifth Amendment can allow the individual to get a second chance in court to demonstrate to the Immigration Judge why you should stay in the U.S.
This is exactly what recently happened to one of our clients. Our client had been a Lawful Permanent Resident since the 90’s, a loving mother of two U.S. citizen children, and wife of a U.S. citizen who is a member of the military and a successful business owner. Unfortunately, despite our client’s equities, Immigration and Custom Enforcement (“ICE”) placed her in deportation proceedings due to some misdemeanor on her record. Our client sought representation from two different local Immigration attorneys who failed to represent her effectively. One of the attorneys said he was going to file an application for relief with the Immigration Judge, but he did not. The other attorney was never prepared, never on time to court hearings, did not know what the case was about, and asked the Immigration Judge for a relief that had already been denied by another Judge. In short, he did nothing for our client. This resulted in the Immigration Judge ordering our client deported.
Our client’s family came to our office seeking to stop the deportation. The family came to the right firm. One of our specialties is helping individuals reopen their cases after inadequate representation by other attorneys. In this case, after hard work in getting all the evidence concerning previous counsel’s bad performance, the Immigration Judge ruled in our client’s favor and our client now has a second chance to fight her case and demonstrate why she should be allowed to remain in this country.