Labels and words can impact a person’s life—and this is why many people (including attorney Jessica Stern who has already filed an appeal) are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to change the way they classify non-citizens.

Background

To understand why this fight is so important, you must first realize what is at stake. There are established protections in place that give non-citizens peace of mind knowing they can’t be deported. However, The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states that specific protections can be barred if the non-citizen commits an aggravated felony.

This term, one that the INA created, encompasses serious crimes such as murder, child abuse, the trafficking of drugs or firearms. It also includes offenses that aren’t necessarily as serious, like: theft, forgery, burglary, fraud, and other property crimes. Although it is broad, the law also categorizes  an aggravated felony as a “crime of violence” that has “a term of imprisonment of at least one year.”

The Eleventh Circuit Decision - Talamantes v. Attorney General

The Eleventh Circuit is a federal court with jurisdiction over Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. Their recent ruling created a scenario in which someone charged with a misdemeanor, sentenced merely to probation, could now fall under the same category as someone who committed an aggravated felony because all probation sentences in Georgia will now be interpreted as confinement. This misinterpretation puts so many non-citizens at risk of deportation.

The Eleventh Circuit Court concluded that someone charged with misdemeanor battery (and was given a sentence of one year of probation) met the criteria for INA’s definition of an aggravated felony. Why? Because this Court (inappropriately) believes this probation sentence is truly a suspended  “imprisonment” sentence that lasted a year.

The Result

Due to this ruling, non-citizens—who were previously not facing deportation—are now immersed in very murky waters. Some non-citizens committed minor misdemeanors and then ended up receiving probation sentences for a number of reasons considered by the Georgia criminal trial Judge. If that sentence was a year or longer, the very same person who committed a minor misdemeanor and got probation now meets the criteria for being labeled an “aggravated felon.”

The most critical element of the decision is that a probationary sentence is now considered the same as a period of confinement. It is paramount that any non-citizen (and their attorneys) are aware of this. Failing to understand it could result in a non-citizen accepting probation and becoming classified as someone who committed an aggravated felony. Furthermore, non-citizens who are currently on probation face the same challenges.

STERN Law, LLC 

If you are a non-citizen charged with a crime, it is paramount that you speak with an attorney who understands how that crime impacts your immigration status. STERN Law was the first law firm in America to be fully dedicated to Crimmigration. We know how and where criminal and immigration law intersect. If you are ready to speak with an attorney, contact STERN Law to schedule your consultation.

If you are a non-U.S. citizen who has been arrested, you face a two-sided problem. The first is that there are penalties, fines, and potentially jail time associated with the crime you have been charged with. More importantly, non-U.S. citizens also have to consider the impact of a conviction on their immigration status.

Considering that we rely on our legal counselors to advise us of our rights and represent us, we must fully understand the ramifications of our decisions from the vantage point of the law. The non-U.S. citizen who has been arrested needs a trusted attorney who has a result-driven reputation of successfully helping non us-citizens get their criminal charges dismissed or lessened (criminal defense law) while preserving a path towards legal immigration status for them in the United States (immigration law).

These are two different areas of the law - but the overlap and impact on each other demands a master of both practices. Your situation demands that your attorney be r understands criminal law, immigration, and how the two interact. In other words, how does a criminal conviction impact your immigration process? Suppose your attorney doesn’t understand the relationship between these two practices. In that case, they may (unintentionally) recommend an outcome that resolves your criminal charge but also jeopardizes your chances of staying in the United States.

This is one of the reasons why crimmigration attorneys exist, and they understand both areas of the law at a mastery level.

Finding a True CrImmigration Attorney

If you or a non-U.S citizen who you love needs a crimmigration attorney, you are understandably concerned about your future, especially when your immigration status is in peril. Use the following points to ensure that you select a true crimmigration attorney:

Why Choose A Crimmigration Lawyer?

Criminal records carry significant weight, even beyond what you can imagine or are aware of in this very moment. This is particularly important for anyone who is in the process of trying to live in the United States permanently. As a non-U.S. citizen who has been charged with a crime, your actions get evaluated by the criminal justice system and the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). You want your attorney to be able to see ahead and protect you from all of the consequences that you are not yet aware of. The impact of the law goes much deeper than what the (untrained) eye can see.

For example, imagine that a criminal defense attorney explains that you can avoid jail time if you plead guilty. And after a specified time, your plea won’t show up on your record. However, how will USCIS or ICE view your actions? Your criminal record is fundamentally important because they look for violations of immigration law related to criminal offenses, threats to public safety while also ensuring you display good moral character. If your attorney only understands criminal law, then they are not in an ideal position to advise you. Success in a criminal court could still be catastrophic to your immigration process - and future in the U.S. overall.

STERN LAW, LLC

STERN Law prides itself on being the first law firm in the country to be wholly dedicated to Crimmigration law. We have an intimate understanding of how criminal charges impact your immigration process. Overcoming a criminal charge at the expense of deportation is falling short. Our goal is to provide professional legal counseling that simultaneously caters to your criminal and immigration law needs. Please refer your non-us citizen friends to Contact STERN Law, LLC and schedule a consultation.

STERN Law, LLC was started in 2013 and became the first firm solely dedicated to crimmigration. It centers on building a fundamental understanding of criminal law, immigration, and its impact on the other. When a non-citizen is accused of a crime, they must also defend themselves against a litany of potential challenges to their immigration status. Namely, the federal government’s requirement that they don’t violate laws of deportability or inadmissibility to enter the U.S. after certain criminal convictions. Also, a legal resident must exhibit “good moral character” to be naturalized.

For non-citizens, criminal defense attorneys are forced to look beyond their normal scope of practice. A solution to a criminal charge might inadvertently jeopardize the non-citizen’s path towards becoming a legal permanent resident or a citizen. To a criminal defense attorney, getting a client’s charges dropped if their client completes community service may appear to be a victory. In most scenarios, it could be. It is critical not to overlook how an immigration authority would view this as a dismissal. The client is left without the criminal court repercussions of a conviction, yet they still may suffer the ramifications of consequences under U.S. immigration law - like being deported, not admissible to enter or become a legal resident, or prevent U.S. naturalization.

Non-citizens view criminal attorneys as a source for resolving the apparent urgent issue at hand - the criminal allegation alone. We often hear, “we’ll deal with the immigration part afterward.” Both the client and the criminal defense lawyer may consider these as two separate legal disciplines. Still, they are inextricably intertwined and cannot be regarded as separate from the other.

The onus lies on the attorney to recognize that a non-citizen’s immigration status is at risk. Criminal defense attorneys should reach out to a crimmigration attorney as soon as they receive a non-citizen client. By consulting with a crimmigration attorney, a defense attorney has a definitive view of what the client’s best scenario truly looks like - from the very start of the criminal case and every step of the way.

Having a general command of the law is never enough; it applies to their client’s specific situation. Those principles apply very importantly to crimmigration cases as well. There is no standard set of rules that can be applied blindly to a non-citizen facing a criminal charge.

There is something distinctly powerful about having a specialized legal team. Attorneys should seek these resources out rather than shy away from them for the good of the client. A criminal defense lawyer would be remiss not to use the guidance of an expert’s analysis of a ballistics report in a case involving a firearm. In the same vein, a criminal defense attorney could utilize an expert’s opinion on a plea or verdict’s impact on a non-citizen’s status.

STERN Law, PLLC

If you are a criminal defense attorney who represents non-citizen clients, STERN Law offers consulting services. Our focus is on helping you find the best results for your client. We can provide a report and written assessment about the specific immigration status of your client.

Our legal analysis aims to assist attorneys in finding a resolution that doesn’t disrupt the immigration process or create a situation where your client is at undue risk for deportation. Contact us to see how we can consult for you.

The words we use to describe ourselves—and especially others—are of vital importance. There are words so harmful that most would never say them out loud even when others couldn’t hear them.

Some words or terms that were built into our laws, maybe unintentionally, demeans or belittles those it describes - like the term “alien” when referring to a non-citizen of the U.S. even Instead, a thoughtful choice of words is not just an effort to be “politically correct,” but instead considers the history and meaning behind them. The new administration is a prime example. Now when you look at immigration policy manuals for USCIS officers, you will no longer see the word“alien.” It may seem like just a word to some, but it sends a message to the officers who are charged with determining the grant of immigration status for non-citizens who come before them with one clear dream—to be a welcomed part of our United States.

New Language

Has the word alien become commonplace when people refer to immigrants? It has, and that speaks to the problem. That word implies us vs. them attitude. Even if it wasn’t intentional it could have a lasting effect on how we collectively view immigrants. Words are important in the sense that they impact the way people think.

Take a look old mission statement (before 2018) for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

"USCIS secures America's promise as a nation of immigrants…”

In 2018, it was changed to the following:

"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation's lawful immigration system…”

The previous administration removed the clear statement that our country was a nation of immigrants. A relatively minor rewording of a mission statement has massive implications. It implies that the people who rewrote it may not view this country as a country of immigrants. It was more concerning that they were not welcoming, and were outright hostile, towards immigrants at every front.

Changing The Way We Think

Removing the word alien signals the mindset of the people who wish to have it stricken. If you refuse to call someone illegal or an alien, you are changing the narrative. And you could change the way others think as well.

The removal of this one word is such a powerful statement. It’s indicative of our current administration’s attitude towards immigration. These words have been built into our immigration laws for centuries. They convey the idea that immigrants are strangers to us. Because our country is still so young, all of us have immigrants in our families.

Immigrants who come here are no more strangers than our ancestors. Human beings have an innate desire to contribute - to their families and the community around them. Look at our country intentionally and with thought. You will be hard-pressed not to see how immigrants have been folded into the fabric of the United States. The very fact that you are living here is because a family member, an immigrant, established a life here - and ultimately made it better for all of us.

We are a nation of immigrants—again.

Stern Law, LLC

Stern Law is the first 100% Crimmigration firm in the country. We are driven by our desire to defend the American Dream for non-U.S. citizens. Regardless of your mistakes or where you are from, you deserve to be treated better. We will ensure that happens. Contact Stern Law, LLC, to schedule a consultation.

People who have a green card or hope to one day be in the process of obtaining a green card may find themselves in legal trouble, even if their criminal case was dismissed. Having a green card means you are a Legal Resident. Because you are not yet a citizen, there are many ways you can lose it. Even just an arrest for a criminal offense can trigger problems for keeping your status or earning residency in the future, even if those charges were supposedly dismissed.

Criminal charges will almost always have some impact on non-citizens - whether you have a valid visa, a green card, or no immigration status at all. The degree of the impact is different based on your immigration status and the type of offense.

Because most immigrants (a.k.a. non-U.S. citizens) hope to become U.S. citizens, they want to know what sort of disruption a criminal charge could have now or for their future. In this scenario, we will look at the possible impact of a dismissed case.

A Dismissed Criminal Case

There are several reasons why a case may get dismissed— a lack of evidence, for example. Or you participated in a program that offers a dismissal for completing certain conditions. In most of these scenarios, you were never formally declared guilty or not guilty.

There is no single standard answer to explain a dismissed case’s effect on one’s immigration status. There is often a general misunderstanding or confusion regarding the technical resolution of your criminal charge. For example, having the charges lowered does not mean it was dismissed. It also does not mean you have avoided a negative immigration consequence if you were convicted of a misdemeanor versus a felony offense. You may be told by your lawyer that your charges will be dismissed after you complete a diversion program or term of probation.

The court or the prosecuting attorney may even use the word “dismissed.” And sometimes, a person may do community service or pay a fine for their case to be dismissed. Immigration will be aware of these charges, even if the criminal court believes them to be dismissed. It is possible that the immigration authority will not consider it to be a dismissal.

The Offer May Be Too Good to Be True

As a result of your charges, you may be offered the chance to participate in a diversion program or plead guilty in exchange for some sort of agreement. The attorney may say that your charge will not be recorded after your admission of guilt during the proceedings.

After hearing that, people may think their guilty plea will not impact their immigration proceedings. And it is easy to understand why—the attorney said there would be no record of their crime. Only an experienced crimmigration lawyer can adequately advise you about your criminal charge’s true immigration consequences and impact.

Green Card or Citizenship Applications Will Show Every Arrest

When you apply for your green card or naturalized citizenship, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will pull your fingerprint record. Not only will your arrest (and conviction) appear, but they will ask you about it. Why? They will determine whether you violated criminal “inadmissibility” laws that prevent residency or that you have proven good moral character for citizenship.

During the interview, you may unintentionally say something that contradicts your criminal record or stands as an admission of guilt, even without a formal conviction.

STERN Law, LLC

If you are not a U.S. citizen, in the immigration process, now or wish to be in the future, and are facing criminal charges, contact STERN Law, LLC. Because the outcome of your criminal case can impact your immigration status, choose an attorney who can assist you with both aspects before it becomes a real issue. At STERN Law, we consider the entirety of your legal challenges. Let’s find your best outcome together.

The experience of being an immigrant in the U.S. is long, emotional, and stressful. While you are in the process of or working towards, becoming a legal permanent resident or a citizen of the United States, you don’t want to do anything to jeopardize it.

Being questioned by the police is unnerving for anyone—and it is significantly more worrisome when you are in the middle of the immigration process. You not only have to think about the answer, but you have to know how your response could impact your future. And there is the issue of whether you should answer the question. Are you giving up your rights by talking? Is refusing to speak going to get you in further trouble?

Don’t Make The Situation Worse

If you are approached or questioned by the police, try and remain calm. One of the quickest ways to get your heart to lower is to control your breathing. Though it sounds easy, it may not be. Focus on your breath. Exhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4, inhale for 4, hold for 4. Repeat. That is a method called box breathing.

Another way you can remain calm is by having a plan beforehand. You may be doing it right now by reading this.

Resist the urge to run, get angry—and never assault anyone. Lying about anything will likely only make a bad situation worse.

What Rights Do Immigrants Have?

All people within the interior of the U.S., regardless of immigration status, have the full rights and protections of the U.S. Constitution. Did you know that? However, the impact of what you say or do is going to be dependent on your immigration status. There are firm guidelines that will apply to you, regardless.

Remain silent. Express your desire to remain silent. And say that you want to speak to your attorney before answering anyone’s questions—even ones that seem simple. A police officer or an immigration agent might search you or your property with probable cause, but to preserve your rights it is best to not consent to a search.

Whatever your immigration status is, carry valid documents on you to prove it. The only time you should show these to anyone is if they are an immigration agent requesting to see them.

Loaded Questions

In addition to remaining silent, not consenting to a search (by police or immigration), and expressing your intent to speak to an attorney, there is another firm guideline: do not discuss your immigration status. Present your documentation to immigration agents when they request them, but don’t feel compelled to supply this information to the police or law enforcement officials at the jail.

The questions you may be asked may not be directly related to your status. But they may be trying to get you to talk about it. Here are examples of those questions:

Because you don’t know the true intention of the question, it is best to stay silent. The only person who you know has your interests in mind and at heart is your attorney.

STERN Law, LLC

STERN Law, LLC is proud to be the first dedicated Crimmigration law firm in the country. We focus on criminal defense for non-US citizens. This extends to post-conviction appeals and deportation defense as well. If you are in the immigration process and face or deal with criminal charges, contact the STERN Law for a consultation. We offer complimentary consultations for criminal cases.

If you are an immigrant in this country, the path to becoming a citizen is long—but there are legal advocates who want to help you. As crimmigration attorneys, we don’t want you to make this journey harder by surrendering personal information unnecessarily.

This may be the most important thing you read. Understand that you have rights under the U.S. Constitution. Whatever your immigration status may be, know what rights you do have.

Being questioned by police—even at a traffic stop—can be frightening. Have a plan of what you should say to a police officer if you are questioned or detained. Because of how scary it may be, you will not be able to think as clearly as you are right now. Make a plan and know your rights ahead of time.

  1. If you have an attorney, memorize her number.
  2. If you have children, know where they will go.
  3. If you care for someone who needs medications, who will help him or her?

Being Detained By ICE

Keep this in mind: you never want to make the situation worse. And you could do this accidentally by becoming angry, fighting with officers, or being obstructive. Another way to cause problems unnecessarily is by lying. Lying will not help you.

Your crimmigration lawyer can help you. Get to her calmly, quickly, and patiently.

To do this, verbally express your desire to remain silent. Depending on your state, you may have to provide your name, but you do not have to discuss your immigration status. Be prepared for the questions to be indirect. For example, ICE may not ask about your immigration status. They may just ask where you were born.

They could search you for a weapon, but you do not need to consent to a search of your private belongings. What you should do is ask to consult a lawyer.

This is where the memorized phone number (of your attorney) comes into play. The conversations you have with your attorney are private. This includes your phone calls.

However, if you are in the custody of an immigration officer or authority, the government does not have to provide you a lawyer —as they do in criminal court cases. That does not mean that there are no options available. Reach out to us right away for help. Ask for a list of attorneys who could represent you for reduced fees, if you cannot afford to hire a lawyer. There are lawyers who care about protecting your rights.

Regardless of whether you already have the name of an attorney, channel your questions and concerns towards her once she speaks with you. You cannot guess the intentions of an ICE officer, but you can trust your crimmigration attorney.

STERN Law, LLC

If you are a non-U.S. citizen who has been charged with a crime, contact the crimmigration attorneys at STERN Law, LLC. We have extensive experience with immigrants facing criminal charges. STERN Law understands the impact it could have on your immigration status. We will be there to protect your rights. Or you can memorize our number: (404) 476-8980.

Usted puede preguntarse por qué una persona que no es un ciudadano estadounidense puede enfrentar la detención por las autoridades de inmigración (como ICE por sus siglas en inglés o Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza), para la deportación, además del castigo ya cumplido por una condena penal previa.

Los individuos nacidos en el extranjero (también conocidos como inmigrantes) que aún no se han convertido en ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos, pueden permanecer aquí (legalmente) de varias maneras:

Sin embargo, los residentes permanentes legales y los que tienen visas vigentes no son ciudadanos. Por esa razón, hay un conjunto de leyes separados que se aplican a los que no son ciudadanos estadounidenses - la Ley de Inmigración y Nacionalidad. Es importante destacar que esto significa que usted será juzgado bajo las leyes de deportación si se encuentra culpable de ciertos delitos penales, incluyendo tanto delitos menores como delitos mayores.

Usted puede arriesgarse a la deportación al no mantener su estatus de no inmigrante o no reportar un cambio de domicilio. Esto se extiende a ser acusado de ciertos delitos. Los siguientes son ejemplos:

Esta lista no es extensa. Cuando las personas se encuentran culpables de un delito, podrían enfrentarse a penas de cárcel después de la condena. Incluso después de ser acusados, condenados y sentenciados, todavía pueden enfrentar la posibilidad de ser deportados y ser detenidos durante ese proceso de deportación.

Deportación

Aquí es donde llega el "segundo" juicio. Usted será juzgado a través de un tribunal penal bajo leyes penales y luego por un Tribunal de Inmigración bajo la ley federal de inmigración. Hay leyes de inmigración de EE. UU. que dan al gobierno la capacidad de deportarle, si se encuentra culpable de delitos específicos.

Cumplir una sentencia no le impide ser deportado. Aquí es donde entra en juego parte de la confusión de la situación. Si cometió un delito y lo pagó siendo enviado a prisión, ¿por qué tiene que enfrentar la deportación?

Lamentablemente, este es el camino al que se enfrenta si no es ciudadano de los Estados Unidos. Pero eso no significa que su historia haya terminado. Tampoco garantiza que será deportado.

Abogados de Crimmigración

Esta es su oportunidad de luchar para permanecer en este país. ¿Por qué elegir a un abogado defensor penalista separado y a un abogado de inmigración diferente cuando puede contratar a solo uno para entender todos los problemas que enfrenta? Una abogada de crimmigración entiende cómo es que sus cargos penales están relacionados con su riesgo de deportación.

Su abogada de crimmigración va a saber qué opciones están disponibles. Por ejemplo, si tiene una tarjeta de residente permanente, tiene miembros de su familia que son ciudadanos, y tiene un tipo de cargo penal específico, es posible que pueda solicitar un perdón para permanecer en el país.

Hay formularios, aplicaciones y pruebas que se deben presentar y hay que planear una estrategia. Todo esto es necesario para considerar si hay alivio de la remoción o deportación de los EE. UU. Y su abogada puede hacer esto mientras usted está detenido, ya sea en el caso penal o por ICE. Cuanto antes, mejor estar bien preparado ante el Tribunal de Inmigración. Su abogada de crimmigración puede visitarlo a usted, confidencialmente y en persona.

Su abogada de crimmigración construirá apoyo para las reclamaciones de defensas contra la deportación, como pruebas de su vida en los EE. UU., actas de matrimonio, declaraciones de impuestos y declaraciones de familiares y amigos. Esto se destina a construir su caso. Su abogada de crimmigración debe demostrar cómo se aplican las leyes para protegerle de la deportación, porque usted merece estar aquí y que tiene fuertes vínculos con la familia aquí.

STERN Law, LLC

Si usted no es un ciudadano estadounidense y enfrenta cargos penales, póngase en comunicación con los abogados de crimmigración para programar su consulta. Con STERN Law, LLC usted es 3 veces más propenso a ganar su caso de deportación. Usted necesita la representación correcta, una abogada de crimmigración que puede abogar por su defensa penal mientras lucha simultáneamente por su capacidad para permanecer en este país.

You may wonder why a person who is not a U.S. citizen can face detention by immigration authorities (like ICE or Customs and Border Protection), for deportation, on top of the punishment already served for a previous criminal conviction.

Foreign-born individuals (aka immigrants) who have yet to become citizens of the United States, can remain here (legally) in several ways:

However, legal permanent residents and valid visa-holders are not citizens. For that reason, there is a separate set of laws that apply to non-U.S. citizens - the Immigration and Nationality Act. Importantly, this means you are judged under the laws of deportation if convicted of certain illegal offenses - including both misdemeanors and felonies.

You can risk deportation by failing to maintain your nonimmigrant status or not reporting a change of address. This extends to being charged with certain crimes. The following are examples:

This list is not extensive. When people are found guilty of a crime, they might face jail time after the conviction. Even after they are charged, convicted, and sentenced, they still may face the possibility of getting deported and to be detained during that process of deportation court.

Deportation

This is where the “second'' judgment comes. You will be judged through a criminal court under criminal laws and then by the Immigration Court under federal immigration law. There are U.S. immigration laws that give the government the ability to deport you—if convicted of specific crimes.

Serving a sentence does not prevent you from being deported. This is where some of the confusion of the situation enters. If you committed a crime and paid for it by being sent to prison, why do you have to face deportation?

Sadly, this is the road you face if you are not a citizen of the United States. But that doesn’t mean your story is over. Nor does it guarantee that you will be deported.

Crimmigration Attorneys

This is your opportunity to fight to stay in this country. Why choose a separate criminal defense attorney and a different immigration attorney when you can hire one to understand all of the issues you face? A crimmigration attorney understands how your criminal charges are connected to your risk of deportation.

Your crimmigration attorney is going to know what options are available. For instance, if you have a green card, family members who are citizens, and a specific type of criminal charge, you might be able to apply for a waiver to stay in the country.

There are forms, applications, and evidence to be produced and strategized. This is all necessary to consider whether there is relief from removal or deportation from the U.S.. And your lawyer can do this while you are detained - either in the criminal case or by ICE. The sooner, the better to be well-prepared before Immigration Court. Your crimmigration lawyer can visit you, confidentially, and in person.

Your crimmigration attorney will build support for the claims of defenses against deportation - like proof of your life in the U.S., marriage certificates, tax returns, and statements from relatives and friends. This goes towards building your case. Your crimmigration attorney should demonstrate how the laws apply to protect you from deportation, that you are worthy to be here and have strong ties to family here.

STERN Law, LLC

If you are a non-U.S. citizen who is facing criminal charges, contact the crimmigration attorneys to schedule your consultation. With STERN Law, LLC you are 3 times more likely to win your deportation case. You need the right representation—a crimmigration attorney who can advocate for your criminal defense while simultaneously fighting for your ability to stay in this country.

How STERN Law Fought to Keep a Father and Son Together

Right up until ICE officers came for Paul Thomas, he was the definition of an upstanding community member. Paul immigrated to the U.S. from the United Kingdom in 1982 with his parents and brother. The rest of his family pursued citizenship, but Paul never got around to it. Still, he had his green card and went on to open his own sign business, Dreamland Signworks, right here in Georgia.

Paul makes signs for dozens of local businesses and even the police department, so he’s very rooted in his community. He’s friends with both the Mayor and the Sheriff. They stood by him through thick and thin, even when Paul entered a relationship with a woman who had substance abuse and alcohol problems. It pulled him into a dark place, and she made false allegations against him, claiming he had committed acts of violence. David Thomas, Paul’s father and close friend, was shocked to see Paul get arrested.

“Paul is a very loving son, and the case against him was just something that to me was unbelievable, because I knew his way of life. He’s so gentle with everybody and very courteous. I just couldn't believe the charges against him,” David told us.

David helped Paul hire a lawyer who was able to resolve the criminal case, but that lawyer wasn’t experienced in immigration law. They told Paul that they had fixed all of his problems, but because Paul wasn’t a citizen, their solution didn’t work. Still, Paul and David thought the ordeal was over and done until one day, an ICE officer knocked on Paul’s door and arrested him.

“When Paul took a plea deal, we both thought that would be the end of it, and I was really floored when I heard that he had been picked up by ICE for deportation,” David said.

Paul spent months in deportation custody. He couldn’t get out, even though his friends were in his corner and sent letters of support. In the end, his father’s love and dedication made the biggest difference. David wanted to do whatever he could to help his son. So, he started doing research from his home in Florida.

David put in hours of effort and time looking for an immigration lawyer who could help Paul. Finally, he called an attorney who told him that he didn’t need immigration help, he needed CrImmigration. They sent him to our team at STERN Law. Making that call and engaging our representation was the very best thing David could have done in that moment.

“From that moment on, it was really just plain sailing, because of [STERN Law’s] knowledge of immigration law,” David said. “... Both Jessica and Christina, the attorney in charge of Paul’s case, did an awesome job. I was amazed at their knowledge of the law and their reassurance that things were going to turn out okay. And of course, they did!”

Working closely with Paul and David, our team was able to fix part of the problematic sentence in the criminal case and then take Paul’s case to deportation trial to fight the allegations against him. Ultimately, we won! Paul will remain in the U.S. and keep his green card. Throughout it all, I was inspired by Paul and David’s relationship. David is an incredible father, and his dedication to fighting Paul’s case showed how powerful a parent’s love can be for their child - even into adulthood. It warmed my heart to see that commitment turn into a successful, happy outcome.

Paul is back to work at Dreamland Signworks, picking his life back up where he left off. He will soon attend his son’s wedding - an important event that he would have missed if not for the victory we achieved. Looking back on his case, I’m thrilled with the resolution we were able to secure for him, but I wish he and David had found our team sooner, when the allegations of violence were first leveled. If Paul had had the right lawyer from the start, ICE never would have come knocking on his door.

If you or someone you know is in a situation similar to Paul’s, our team can help. Call us today at 404-476-5820 to share your story.

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