Friday, December 27, 2013

$136,000 Spent by ICE Detaining Immigrant for Three Years Before Releasing Him

If only the mainstream American public knew the lengths to which ICE/DHS will go to attempt to deport law-abiding, hard-working permanent residents based on years or even decades-old criminal convictions. Our tax dollars are being spent to detain immigrants alongside murderers and criminals.

Business Insider reported on the story of a man who was held for three years by ICE. He was previously deported but returned to the country in 1994, and was then convicted of a controlled substance offense. He was held for three years at York County Prison in York, Pennsylvania by ICE before being released. Based on the story's details, it sounds like he was released on what ICE terms "parole" and must still report to ICE authorities periodically.

 "Pierre's three-year nightmare signifies the Kafkaesque experience that some immigrants have when they're locked away with violent criminals while the U.S. government tries to deport them. Every day, thousands of legal immigrants are detained while the government tries to deport them for a past crime, according to the ACLU."
"Pierre's most recent serious crime was a 1996 drug conviction for which he had already served time. Pierre, a father of six kids, including two in the U.S. military, had paid his debt to U.S. society and put his life back together. It seems bizarre that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would try to detain him years after his 1997 release, but that practice is not unheard of."

Read more:

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Aggravated Felonies in Removal Proceedings - Left with (almost) no relief

I recently spoke to a detained non-citizen who is being charged with removability from the United States in the Batavia Immigration Court at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility. He is charged on his "Notice to Appear" with having been convicted of an Aggravated Felony and therefore, he is removable from the United States.

So, what exactly is an Aggravated Felony?

It neither has to be a felony, nor does it have to be particularly "aggravated." It is a statutory definition that contains some serious crimes including murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, and drug trafficking crimes. It also contains some less serious crimes such as bribery, forgery or counterfeiting, or even failing to appear for sentencing. An “aggravated felony” is essentially any crime that Congress decided to label as such.

Non-citizens who have been convicted of "aggravated felonies" can be deported potentially without a removal hearing, can be held under "mandatory detention" with no bond while they wait for their case to be decided, are ineligible for asylum, cancellation of removal, or certain waivers of inadmissibility, and are ineligible for voluntary departure. They are also subject to a lifetime ban from re-entering the U.S. after deportation.

The only hope for someone convicted of an aggravated felony is to 1) use post-conviction relief to vacate the conviction and try to minimize the immigration impact of any new conviction, or 2) to apply for withholding of removal, if your home country's conditions are severe enough to make a case.

If you or a loved one has been convicted of an aggravated felony and are currently in removal proceedings, please call Mr. Borowski at 716-418-7431 to discuss your situation. Mr. Borowski represents clients in the Buffalo Immigration Court, Batavia Immigration Court and can handle cases for detained immigrants being held in the Pike County Prison in Pennsylvania, Moshannon Valley Correctional Center in Philipsburg, PA, York County Prison in York, PA, Lackawanna County Prison in Pennsylvania, Clinton County Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania, Orange County Correctional Facility in Goshen, New York.  Mr. Borowski is also able to handle removal cases in Ohio and Michigan.

Can a TN Visa Holder Change Job Duties If They Remain With The Same Employer?

Canadians and Mexicans can live and work in the United States if they fall the category of "NAFTA Professionals." The non-citizen may qualify for a TN Visa if the following requirements are met:
  • The profession falls under the list of occupations recognized by NAFTA
  • The non-citizen possesses the specific criteria for that profession
  • The employer requires requires someone in that professional capacity
  • The Non-Citizen has a job offer, confirmed in writing, from a U.S. employer
However, what do you do if your job duties change? What if your original job duties fell under the list of NAFTA occupations but your new job duties are not covered? Can you remain in the U.S. and continue to work even though your job duties have significantly changed?

8 CFR 214.6(g) states that: "With a Form I-94. An alien may be readmitted to the United States in TN classification for the remainder of the authorized period of TN admission on Form I-94, without presentation of the letter or supporting documentation described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, and without the prescribed fee set forth in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1) , provided that the original intended professional activities and employer(s) have not changed, and the Form I-94 has not expired. (Paragraph (g) revised 10/16/08; 73 FR 61332 )."

It appears, at the very least, that if your "original intended professional activities" have changed you must file an I-129 and update with your new job duties in order to be entitled to readmission. If you leave the U.S. during the course of your TN visa's validity and re-enter, and the job duties have changed such that the original TN visa no longer reflects the correct job duties, you may be found inadmissible.

The Borowski Immigration Law Office is located just five minutes from the Peace Bridge and less than thirty minutes from the Rainbow Bridge and Queenston-Lewiston Bridge. We are proud to represent and counsel Canadians with their U.S. Immigration Law issues. You can reach me at 716-418-7431 or by e-mail through my website at