Octavio, his U.S. citizen wife, and his family were robbed and assaulted at gunpoint. He cooperated with the police and later testified against his attackers at trial, resulting in their convictions. Unfortunately, when Octavio was headed to the hospital to seek treatment for his family, he was stopped and arrested for driving without a license. He was then transferred to ICE custody even though he had no criminal convictions.
Since he was the victim of a serious crime, AI Justice submitted a request for his release noting that he was eligible for a U visa. It took three months, but Octavio was finally released. His detention not only cost taxpayers about $14,000, but it also exacerbated the stress on his wife, who suffers
Luis, 32, was born in the Dominican Republic, but lived in the United States as a permanent resident for nearly three decades. Growing up, he had an abusive stepfather, and he had trouble with the law. After a second suicide attempt at age 23, he was finally diagnosed with schizophrenia. Afterward, he made remarkable progress through holistic counseling, psychiatric care, and a supportive living facility.
Due to his old convictions, however, ICE detained Luis for nearly six months. AI Justice advocated with ICE to improve his mental health treatment after Luis repeatedly failed to get his medication. Ultimately AI Justice was able to show the immigration judge that Luis deserved to remain in the United States, and he was released from detention. The judge noted that she had never seen such extensive evidence of rehabilitation and congratulated Luis for completely turning his life despite the difficulty circumstances.
My lawyer and [AI Justice] did everything possible to make sure I got released and can continue my treatment and rehabilitation in this country. God blessed me to bring me [AI Justice], to allow me to continue to be a part of my children’s life, my family’s life.
Marlene was detained by ICE for 11 months and was deported even after AI Justice took her case to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. She spent three long years in Trinidad separated from her family. Ultimately AI Justice won her case in 2005, fought to get her back to the United States, and then successfully challenged an appeal of the decision granting her relief from deportation. Marlene recovered her green card and was reunited with her family.
AI Justice threw me a lifeline. I’ll never forget how hard they worked on my case, how they never gave up.
Jorge, a young man in his early twenties, fled from drug traffickers in Honduras after they had murdered over five members of his immediate family and threatened to kill him as well. Jorge was detained crossing the Texas border and was transferred to the Broward Transitional Center.
AI Justice worked with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) to negotiate and secure his release. Today, he is living with family members in Texas while he pursues his asylum claim.
Raul, a man who was blinded in a workplace injury, is almost completely dependent on his family for care. Although he has lived in the U.S. for many years and is married to a legal permanent resident, Raul was undocumented. He and his wife have four U.S. citizen children, all of whom are young adults. Due to his eye injury, he requires on-going medical care and special medications.
Raul was detained by immigration authorities and was facing deportation.
Had he been deported, his family would have been forced to choose between Raul returning alone to a country that is almost foreign to him now and where he would have been unable to receive the medical care he urgently needs, or uprooting the family to return with him to a country they do not know and leaving behind their lives here. AI Justice successfully appealed Raul’s order of deportation, enabling his family to remain together and Raul to continue receiving critical medical treatment.
Luis and his family were living in an area of Mexico where drug cartels routinely killed and harassed people. After being threatened and extorted, he and his family fled to the United States in fear for their lives. Luis was about 8 years old at the time.
In 2012, Luis heard about a federal program that granted temporary relief from deportation to certain immigrants, often called DREAMers, who had come to the United States as children. The program is Deffered Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Luis worked painting hotels to save up to pay filing and other fees. Shortly afterward, he was detained by ICE . While in detention he met an AI Justice attorney who immediately identified him as DACA eligible and filed his application. Luis, age 17, was then quickly released and reunited with his family.