Success in Federal Court – Defending Illegal Re-entry

2015-10-02 in Cases Won

Since 2013, our Client was facing criminal charges in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, for illegally re-entering the U.S. after having committed an aggravated felony. Illegal re-entry can carry a sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment. Under the sentencing guidelines, as calculated by the U.S. Probation Department, our Client was facing 46 – 57 months in federal prison. On September 17, 2015, the Judge sentenced the Defendant to only 15 months. Through several motions and arguments challenging the government’s assertions, the Judge agreed with defense counsel that a guidelines sentence would be unfair. Defense counsel for the Defendant were Carla I. Espinoza and James C. Ten Broeck Jr. from Chicago Immigration Advocates Law Offices.

This was a hard-fought and lengthy case since we had originally challenged the validity of our Client’s deportation orders uncovering a number of irregularities with his 1993 and 1994 deportation hearings, including a misleading translation. This was an important litigation strategy because it exposed the unfairness many immigrants face during deportation proceedings and allowed the Judge to consider it in favor of our Client. While the Judge ultimately decided that the deportation orders were valid, he acknowledged that defense counsel had challenged him to consider aspects of the law that were new to him. Having carefully weighed all possible defenses after this ruling, we advised our Client that his chances to prevail at trial were low and that he would benefit more by accepting a conditional plea of guilty so that we could focus on sentence reductions.

After the plea, adverse facts were brought to the Judge’s attention by the probation department in preparing its pre-sentence memorandum asserting that criminal history points ought to apply – when, in fact, none were added by the U.S. Attorneys’ Office – because the Defendant had allegedly re-entered the U.S. at a point in time much closer to when he committed the aggravated felony. Attorneys at Chicago Immigration Advocates argued that reliance on that factor would violate due process of law and confidentiality principles and, consequently, we were able to reduce the sentencing guideline calculation by 5 months and then persuade the Judge that an even lower sentence was appropriate.

The biggest part of this case was that the Judge was persuaded to go lower than what the sentencing guidelines recommended by at least 31 months. At oral arguments Attorney Carla I. Espinoza persuaded the Judge to reduce the sentence in light of Defendant’s motivations in returning to the U.S., acceptance of responsibility and rehabilitation, family ties to the U.S., and attempts to secure legal status in the U.S. The Judge agreed that a sentence within the guidelines range would be unfair to the Defendant in light of the totality of the circumstances. At the conclusion of the hearing the Judge told the Defendant: “[t]he attorneys have done a remarkable job – they had me think about things I had never thought of before.”

We are happy to share this success story with you because it demonstrates the importance of having good attorneys to represent you in any legal proceeding, but especially in illegal re-entry proceedings where the stakes are high. For this Client, our diligent representation meant the difference of serving 31 months (2 years, 7 months) less in federal prison than he would have likely served if his previous attorney continued to represent him.

Tie Xia Chen v. Holder

2015-04-01 in Cases Won

Tie Xia Chen v. Holder
782 F.3d 373 (7th Cir. 2015)
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals/h4>

On April 1, 2015, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rendered a favorable decision on a Petition for Review for a Chinese citizen, represented by James C. Ten Broeck Jr. of Chicago Immigration Advocates Law Offices, whose claim of asylum was denied by the lower Immigration courts.

Chicago Immigration Advocates Law Offices, through Attorney James C. Ten Broeck Jr., was retained after Mr. Chen lost his case before both the Immigration Court and Board of Immigration Appeals. Mr. Ten Broeck filed a Motion to Reopen before the Board of Immigration Appeals asserting that numerous errors were committed by previous counsel which were relied upon by the Immigration Court to enter an order of removal against Mr. Chen. More specifically, Mr. Ten Broeck recounted that his previous attorneys (1) mistranslated important documents, (2) his attorney twice misadvised him to get a unauthentic birth certificate for the second child, and (3) his attorney inappropriately supplied a Spanish translation of his own birth certificate without adequate explanation, among other errors relied upon by the Immigration Court to deny Mr. Chen’s asylum claim.

The Seventh Circuit agreed, saying:

"The Board never evaluated Chen's argument that, but for his attorneys' failure to resolve the inconsistencies cited by the IJ, she would not have required corroboration or would have found the corroboration (beyond the birth certificates) sufficient. For example, “the most significant inconsistency,” according to the IJ, was that Chen asserted in his written application for asylum that his wife had been sterilized but testified that she was only threatened with sterilization. But in his motion Chen offered evidence that Ming had the application mistranslated and that attorney Zhang, who spoke Mandarin, carelessly left it mistranslated. Chen's motion also goes through every other supposed inconsistency or deficiency—the Spanish translation of his birth certificate, meeting Meredith, his daughter's age, his reasons for coming to the United States, and document authentication—and offers the resolution that his attorneys neglected to furnish. The Board addresses none of this evidence or its possible effect on the IJ's decision."

Chicago Immigration Advocates Law Offices continues to demonstrate, through the efforts of Mr. Ten Broeck, that no matter how grim things might look for your case, if any lawyers are going to win your case, it will be Chicago Immigration Advocates Law Offices.

In Re: Carlos, (Chicago Immigration Court, July 13, 2011)

2011-07-13 in Cases Won

Legal challenge:

Our client was charged with deportation for the commission of two crimes of moral turpitude after entering the United States. Action Taken: Chicago Immigration Advocates filed a motion to stay the removal proceedings on the grounds that his first conviction was not a crime of moral clumsiness and was also a protected expression under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. .. Result: The Immigration Court agreed, found that our client’s first conviction was not a crime of moral clumsiness and ended the deportation case against our client. Our client remains in the United States to this day as a lawful permanent resident.

In Re: Roman (United States Immigration Services, July 2011)

2011-07-09 in Cases Won

Legal challenge:

A conditional permanent resident submitted a request to remove the conditions of his residence with another attorney. The United States Immigration Services issued a notice of intent to deny the application and terminate his resident status on the grounds that his marriage was fraudulent. Action Taken: Chicago Immigration Advocates took over the case and filed a response to the intent to deny. The response refuted USCIS ‘allegations of marriage fraud and alleviated his concerns about the client’s marriage. Result: USCIS eliminated the conditions of our client’s residence and he is a permanent resident without conditions and plans to submit the application for naturalization.

In Re: R. and S. (5/31/2011)

2011-05-31 in Cases Won

In Re: -, R & S, (Chicago Immigration Court, May 31, 2011). Legal challenge:Our clients, husband and wife, were detained, paroled and released in the United States at the Canadian border, they stated fear of returning to their country of origin. ACTION TAKEN: Chicago Immigration Advocates filed applications for asylum, withholding of deportation, and deferral of deportation in accordance with the Convention Against Torture based on their fear of returning to their country on the basis of religious persecution. Result: The Immigration Court considered that our clients established that they were practicing Christianity, and that in the future, they will be persecuted by the government of their country in the Middle East. The Immigration Court also found that clients were previously persecuted due to their religious beliefs in their home country.

In Re: Irenio, (Chicago Immigration Court, May 17, 2011)

2011-05-17 in Cases Won

Legal challenge:

Our client faced termination of his permanent resident status and deportation for his entry into an allegedly fraudulent marriage. Action Taken: Chicago Immigration Advocates stated at trial that the legal provisions by which USICE sought to revoke and deport our client did not give USICE authorization to do so. Result: The Immigration Court ruled that USICE improperly charged our client and, furthermore, failed to fulfill its obligation to establish that our client’s marriage was fraudulent. Today, our client is once again a legal permanent resident.