1How much is it going to cost?
Our rates vary based upon the type of matter handled, individual complexities of the case, amount of time needed to prepare among other factors. Only after a consultation will the immigration attorney be able to give a quote for fees and costs. A payment plan might be arranged under certain circumstances. We strive to make our services affordable and look forward to representing our clients through the entire path to citizenship in the U.S..
2How much does the initial consultation cost?
The cost for the initial consultation is generally $300. This includes a lengthy and detailed interview and evaluation necessary to give you an opinion on how best to proceed. If we are hired to handle your immigration matter, we may credit the initial consultation fee toward future services-please ask. The cost for detained case/jail visits is $1,500 in all cases. The “jail visit” includes, opening a case file, in person or telephonic consultation of up to two hours with the person in jail, contact with Immigration Customs Enforcement as to the status of the case, review of all possible forms of relief in immigration proceedings, including motions to re-open and stays of removal.. We use televideo, telephonic technology for clients who are unable to come to the office. For certain individuals who are in removal proceedings (deportation) and detained, or battered persons, the initial consultation fee may be waived, depending upon the source of referral to this office.
3Is there an “amnesty” available for someone who enters the United States without inspection, or illegally?
Generally there is not, but that depends on the date of entry, whether or not a petition was previously filed and other factors. You must consult with an immigration attorney, (abogado de inmigracion) to accurately answer this question as it applies to the circumstances of the person in question. Filing any document with the immigration service may place an indivudual at risk of deportation if that person is out of status.
4My relative/friend now has an “immigration hold”. What happens next?
Unless the person being held by Immigration Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) has pleaded guilty or been convicted of a serious crime (under immigration law), that person will either need an immigration bond or to be released on his/her own recognizance. An immigration lawyer may communicate directly with ICE, or ask the immigration judge for a bond in a bond hearing before the immigration court.
5What happens if I am in deportation proceedings?
Varying forms of relief are available for people in removal proceedings. For example, a person here illegally for 10 years, with good moral character and who has certain family members with legal status who would suffer unusual extreme hardship if the person is deported may ask the immigration judge to cancel the removal. This remedy is not easily granted and will require an immigration lawyer to prepare the case. Other forms of relief are available to people, but will require thorough analysis by the attorney.
6I have been here with a green card for many years. What if I am faced with a crime…should I plead guilty?
Absolutely not! It does not matter how long a person has been in the United States. Any legal resident who pleads guilty to certain crimes may be deported. Expungments do not count in immigration court-nothing is erased by expunging a criminal record. Accepting “diversion” may be a “conviction” under immigration law. Always consult with an immigration lawyer with experience with immigration consequences of crime before going to criminal court. Defense attorneys should also consult with immigration attorneys before advising thier clients to plead guilty on these matters. Judges and prosecutors may always contact us if there are questions about immigration consequences.