Legal Memorandum Regarding Arriving Alien Adjustment of Status Prevents Client’s Arrest

A new client recently contacted us and faxed a letter from the Detention and Removal Office requesting that he appear in person within one week. The Detention and Removal Office is the arm of the Immigration Service that arrests, detains, and actually deports immigrants with final deportation/removal orders, and this new client had such an order. He had been living together with a woman that he called his wife for many years, but was unaware of the change in the law that made him eligible to file an application for a green card. This change in the law occurred in 2005 as a result of an appeals court decision that was subsequently codified in the federal immigration regulations. I explained to the client that he should immediately register his marriage and prepare a green card application for filing and that our lawyers would write a legal memorandum explaining that he is eligible to adjust his status (in other words, to file a green card application) under current law despite his prior order of deportation from the immigration court. He brought our legal memorandum and his marriage license to the Detention and Removal Office where an officer who would likely have arrested him reviewed the memo and decided to instead place our client on an “Order of Supervision.” While he is in the process of applying for his green card, he will be permitted to remain in the U.S. subject to his reporting to the Immigration Service on a regular schedule.

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