What should my father do to prepare for his upcoming immigration hearing? 6 Answers as of January 24, 2011

I am writing on behalf of my father, who is unsure of how to proceed.

My father was born in Canada in 1956, and within three days of his birth was brought to the United States as a resident alien. He lived and attended school in the Metro Detroit Area, graduating high school in 1974. He received his Associate’s degree from a community college in 1975. He lived and worked consistently in the metro Detroit until 2009.

He has two children from a previous marriage, one 13 years old and one over 18, who are both US citizens. His ex-wife has custody of his youngest.

In 2006 he remarried to a Canadian citizen. He moved to Canada from 2006 to early 2010, when they separated. They now plan on divorcing. Upon their split my father wished to move back to the United States, but his green card had been revoked. He has no close family or connections in Canada, and wishes to return to the US. He is currently living with his mother in the US. My father is an intelligent man, but lately has suffered from some cognitive impairment. From what I know, he’s been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which temporarily caused him to go, for lack of a better word, fuzzy. He is trying his hardest to work through this set back, but becomes confused and has trouble thinking ahead.

As he has been out of work for a year, due to both illness and work restrictions, he does not have much money to work with. He does need a lawyer, however, for his court hearings (some approach rather rapidly now). He just recently contacted me and told me about his situation – apparently he has had hearings already, but he’s unable to tell me what went on.

My question is: What should my father be doing in order to prepare for his upcoming hearing? Does he need a lawyer to proceed?

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Carlos E. Sandoval, P.A.
Carlos E. Sandoval, P.A. | Carlos Sandoval
He definitely should retain a lawyer since to be able to advice him it would be necessary to know more about his case.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/24/2011
Pauly P.A.
Pauly P.A. | Clemens W. Pauly
You already state correctly that he needs an immigration lawyer to represent him in his removal proceedings. This is rather urgent since the Immigration Judge will have recommended your father obtain an immigration lawyer at his first Master Calender and unless your father can demonstrate that he has undertaken steps to secure counsel but has not been able at the second master calender, the judge may not be willing to grant another continuance but rather set his case down for what is called an individual hearing. The judge will most likely also have provided your father with a list of local pro bono organizations who may be able to assist your father either for free or for a reduced fee in his case. If you wish to help your father then you need to assist him in finding an immigration lawyer immediately who can review the case history and advise your father on the status and his possible relief.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/19/2011
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
He needs a lawyer. He must prepare for this upcoming hearing. He needs to gather his medical records.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 1/19/2011
Marie Michaud Attorney At Law
Marie Michaud Attorney At Law | Marie Michaud
Immigration judges usually do not feel comfortable to proceed with removal proceeding when respondents do not have an attorney. Most likely, the judge will give your dad more time, so that your dad can save money and hire an attorney. In order to remain in the US, your dad must have some sort of remedy. I t appears from your story that your dad stayed outside the US too long. This is an issue because the resident card is to reside in the US. Failure to reside here usually result in green card being taken away.

Your dad need some "relief" in order to remain legally in the US. I was wondering whether your dad's parents ever naturalized? Any grand parents born in the US? A lot of LPRs near the border are sometimes American citizen without knowing it. The laws are very complex..this is where an attorney is worth hiring. Or by any chance, is the son over age 18...does it mean the son is 19? If the son is 21 and American citizen, your father could readjust his status in court (Get a new green card showing a new date of admission). Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/18/2011
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
Where is his hearing and what is the hearing for is he contesting the abandonment of his permanent residency? Did he commit a crime of any kind? If the hearing relates solely to the revocation of his green card it might be easier to re-apply under the registry provisions or if he has a U.S. citizen child over 21 the child could petition for him and just get the hearing dismissed.

We would be happy to consult on the case but we do charge for our time $350 per hour but any consultation time paid for would be credited toward the fees for his case. There are also pro bono attorney organizations in most areas but I do not know where you are located.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/18/2011
    Nicastro Piscopo, APLC
    Nicastro Piscopo, APLC | Louis M. Piscopo
    Your father should certainly retain a lawyer to represent him. Removal hearings are extremely complicated matters that require being representation by experience immigration attorneys. No one could tell you father how to proceed in a situation such as him without reviewing all of the facts and charges.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/18/2011
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