What happens at the police station and in courts is often very confusing, even if your English is 100% perfect, which it probably wasn’t at the time. Just because it happened so long ago doesn’t mean that it’s erased from your record; it will always be in your record, even if it occurred 35 years ago! In fact, this week alone two clients whose fingerprints were run against the FBI database discovered the following:
One client thought that his court-appointed attorney in North Carolina and the Judge told him that he “could go”. What he didn’t understand was that both the Judge and his attorney meant that he could leave THAT DAY but that he still had to appear in Court for further hearings. This client is married to a U.S. citizen, has four U.S. citizen children and only last week found out that way back in 1999, when a young female friend called and asked him to pick her up from school because she wasn’t feeling feel, her parents filed criminal charges against him for kidnapping! Because he never appeared in court again, the state of North Carolina has been looking for him and has a warrant for his arrest; Another client just discovered that the car accident that he thought wasn’t a problem IS a problem—he was charged with a DUI–Driving under the Influence and recklessly endangering another—a felony. He has several warrants for his arrest in Pennsylvania because of this and another charge that he didn’t remember.
In sum, here’s the final message: Do not give up hope; we have all fought so long for this opportunity and we will continue to fight, this time in a courtroom. Get your documents in order and run your fingerprint check—do not rely on your old memories of what happened in a system that you don’t understand. Meet with and interview immigration attorneys; see who you are comfortable with and want to work with once we win and the DAPA process can begin. Remember: America is America because of the contributions of immigrants and JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL!