Frequently Asked Questions

2021-03-10 in Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer free consultations?

We are so confident in our ability and the reasonableness of our fees that we believe that, if you meet us, you will want to hire us.  Therefore, we do not charge a consultation fee for deportation cases.  [/vc_column_text]

What are your fees?

Our fees are either flat fee or hourly.  We cannot calculate our fees without first being familiar with what work is required on your case.  Therefore, the fees vary from case to case depending upon the circumstances.  As in all professional relationships, we need to first understand your circumstances before providing a quote.  We render excellent service for our fees and we keep them competitive with other firms in the city.

What if my case is not in Illinois?

The Chicago Immigration Court covers Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and sometimes Kentucky.  If your case is outside of these states, Chicago Immigration Advocates attorneys can travel out-of-state  We have represented clients in Immigration Courts in Texas, New York, Louisiana, and California.  Additional fees and travel expenses, however, will apply if our appearance is required in those courts.

All Immigration Courts permit an attorney to represent a client so long as he or she is licensed in only one state, e.g., Illinois.

If you have a prior order of removal and wish to file a Motion to Reopen, they do not require a personal appearances in court, therefore, additional charges would not apply at least until the Immigration Court were to reopen the case.

In most deportation cases only one personal appearance – at the final or “individual” hearing – is required since most Immigration Courts, with some exceptions, permit attorneys to appear by telephone for status hearings.  Therefore the additional expense of having us handle your case could be reasonable.  Contact us today if you would like us to represent you in a court other than the Chicago Immigration Court.

My family member was just recently arrested, what should I do?

If your family member was recently arrested, you need tell your immigration lawyer who is detaining him or her and what criminal charges he or she is facing, if any. In many instances, our clients are detained by a local police agency or sheriff and have not yet been transferred into the custody of USICE. USICE usually places a “detainer” on a non-citizen, giving USICE 48 hours to arrest the non-citizen and bring him or her to face deportation charges. You should call us and obtain our advice on what we can do to stop the deportation.

My criminal defense lawyer is recommending that I plead guilty to Possession of a Controlled Substance?

If your lawyer believes you have no other options, then accepting a plea of guilty to this offense may have serious immigration consequences, or it may not. If you are a legal permanent resident for at least 7 years (some exceptions apply) without getting into any serious trouble during that 7 years, you are generally going to eligible to ask for forgiveness (otherwise known as a “waiver”). But if you were never a legal permanent resident or committed the possession offense or other serious crime within your first 7 years of entering the United States (legally, that is), you cannot plea guilty to this offense without barring you from any immigration benefit whatsoever for at least 20 years. Therefore you must be careful and I recommend that you contact us or another reputable immigration attorney for advice.

Did Your Attorney Fail to Represent You Properly?

If your family member was recently arrested, you need tell your immigration lawyer who is detaining him or her and what criminal charges he or she is facing, if any. In many instances, our clients are detained by a local police agency or sheriff and have not yet been transferred into the custody of USICE. USICE usually places a “detainer” on a non-citizen, giving USICE 48 hours to arrest the non-citizen and bring him or her to face deportation charges. You should call us and obtain our advice on what we can do to stop the deportation.

We are routinely hired by clients whose former attorneys have failed either to raise a basis for relief in Immigration Court or to present available evidence to support a particular basis for relief. The cases generally include claims for Convention Against Torture and asylum claims, as well as failure to file for post-conviction relief.

Convention Against Torture Relief

A significant number of these types of cases involve someone who is eligible for Convention Against Torture relief on the basis that he or she will be tortured or killed upon their return to their home country. Inexperienced attorneys have been found to have failed to properly present adequate evidence to support the claim of torture. We have resources, such specific books, reports, and expert witnesses at our disposal which can provide persuasive evidence of the likelihood of torture.

Concerning Convention Against Torture relief, our firm, through our managing Attorney Carla I. Espinoza, litigated the pivotal case within the Seventh Circuit which provides greater protection to those who seek this type of relief, despite having serious criminal convictions such as narcotics trafficking. Our firm has also won a case at the Seventh Circuit where the Court found that the two previous attorneys representing the non-citizen in an asylum case committed such serious errors that reversal was necessary.

Criminal Post-Conviction Petitions

Many inexperienced attorneys will overlook the viability of post-conviction relief for problematic criminal convictions. Moreover, they are not experienced in filing post-conviction petitions in the local courts and, consequently, they will overlook this as an available option. We have considerable experience in vacating criminal convictions for our clients.