A bit of a mouthful for this blog title — but it is a surprisingly common topic. What steps do you follow if the case is terminated in Immigration Court, but the client is still detained. This usually happens when there is a joint motion to close (terminate) proceedings, but the Court has not yet ruled on the case. When the next status hearing (called a Master Calendar hearing in Immigration Court parlance) is several months away, or the Court has not yet set a status date, the idea of staying detained when the government has moved to close the case is…galling.
From a fellow practitioner in New Jersey:
I have a case of first impression and I hope you can give me some guidance. OCC [Ed: Office of Chief Counsel — another name for opposing counsel in an immigration case] just terminated proceedings against my client because his conviction is no longer considered a crime of violence. His next hearing date is December 13, 2016 at Elizabeth, NJ.
My question is: can I get him out sooner since OCC is terminating or must my client wait an additional month in detention (seems counter-intuitive but this is the Government) for the hearing I which the judge will release him?
That isn’t handled by the Court – early release would be through ICE (Immigration and Custom Enforcement – or ICE – is responsible for detaining aliens; although the Court can set bond in certain cases, ICE always has jurisdiction pursuant to ). I would petition his DO (deportation officer). Generally, they want the bed space. Do the following:
- Write a formal letter to the DO stating the reason for releasing your client early
- Include a copy of the Government’s motion to terminate
- Include a copy of your G28 (if you have not already)
- Include a copy of the policy memorandum governing release (see here: policy)
And then nag the hell out of the DO guy (or gal). If the DHS counsel is willing to sign on to your letter, get that signature, too. The main kick, though, is through the DO.
Do you have a question regarding immigration procedure, court, or policy? If so, call us! You can reach us at 1-800-579-9864 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our website, www.hanoverlawpc.com for additional information on immigration laws, policies, and procedures, as well as issue related to criminal, family, and business (civil) law.