DEPORTATION WIN (LPR Caught at Border for Alien Smuggling, Motion to Terminate granted)

Respondent, native and citizen of Mexico, was placed in proceedings on April 22, 2007, for alien smuggling. At all times, Respondent maintained that she was unaware that the adults in her vehicle were undocumented. Respondent appeared with her previous counsel, contested the charge of removability and indicated she would seek termination of proceedings. In support of the charge, the DHS submitted Form I-213, the record of deportable/inadmissible alien. The Court instructed Respondent to file a Motion to Terminate and any objections to the form I-213 by November 6, 2007. On November 7, 2007, the Respondent’s attorney filed a Motion to Terminate Proceedings, but did not specifically object to the I-213. Respondent’s prior counsel never consulted with Respondent about whether to object to the I-213. Instead, the motion merely presented Respondent’s account of events, but did not provide a legal argument. On December 6, 2007, the DHS filed an Opposition to the Motion to Terminate. It argued that the Form I-213 established Respondent’s removability as charged. Since Respondent did not file any objections to the I-213, the DHS asserted that the Court should admit the I-213. The Court concluded that DHS made a prima facie showing of removability, reasoning that Respondent did not object to the I-213. Consequently, it admitted the item into evidence. The Court accepted the narrative offered by that document. It stated that based on the DHS’s evidence Respondent drove the vehicle, allowed the undocumented passengers to enter the vehicle despite knowing that the documents had been purchased. The Form I-213 further indicated that during the primary inspection, Respondent claimed that all minors in the vehicle were her children. Based on the foregoing, the Court denied Respondent’s Motion to Terminate, as Respondent lacked sufficient evidence to suppress the I-213.

In 2011, Respondent retained our office to represent her. Our office immediately requested the FOIA of Respondent’s videotaped statement. The FOIA coordinator would not provide our office with the videotaped sworn statement. We then requested the Honorable Immigration Judge to subpoena a request. After receiving the sworn video statement, review of the sworn videotape revealed that Respondent at all times denied knowledge of the smuggling act after repeated questioning. We then filed another Motion to Terminate, and ultimately, the government agreed to have the case terminated.

During the duration of Respondents case, she suffered from extreme depression, anxiety disorder and a plethora of other medical complications- all derived from the stress imposed on her after placed in proceedings.

Had Respondent originally hired an experienced attorney, this trauma could have been avoided. Our office investigated all facts and tentatively listened to Respondent’s version of the facts. A careful review of the videotaped sworn statement not only corroborated our client’s story, but made it very clear- Respondent was not an alien smuggler!