It was a Friday, March 2, day in 2019, and I was sitting in the courtroom in Houston’s immigration court with my partner.
I had just been transferred to another court and had a very good attorney working on my behalf.
We were about to start oral arguments for the deportation of my husband, who had been in our family for two generations.
Our lawyer was a talented and articulate attorney.
She was the only attorney in the entire court room.
The judge was very respectful and she seemed very happy.
We began arguing, and her arguments were strong and well thought-out.
At the end of the argument, she said, “I just want to make sure I’m clear, I have no intention of asking you to reconsider your decision to deport me.”
The judge looked at me and said, What are you talking about?
And she then told me she was not going to grant me a stay.
I felt like the judge was saying, This is a personal decision that we’re making.
I don’t think this was a decision that was a personal one.
She went on to say, I would be happy to have a conversation with you about the situation, but if you don’t agree to the stay, I will have to ask the judge to grant it.
I was so stunned, I was speechless.
I didn’t even know what to say.
I told her, I’m not going anywhere.
I think she was just trying to be polite and polite was not enough.
She didn’t respond, and we ended up being in court for the next two days, fighting in front of the judge, trying to get her to agree to a stay, arguing about her previous decision.
The next day, she agreed to the hold on my husband’s deportation, saying it was her decision and not hers to make.
We all knew that this would never happen.
I thought I was going to be deported.
But then I met with the Immigration Paralegal Association of Texas (IPTA), and I got the call from the attorney representing the ICE agency.
She said, We’re going to need to talk to you again because you’ve been very gracious.
The lawyer said, I’ll talk to the attorney about it.
We then had a chance to discuss my case with the attorney who was representing ICE.
I remember saying to him, “Well, that’s great, I don, like, want to do anything more than what I said in the first meeting, but we have to have that conversation because I want to know how ICE is going to treat me.”
He told me they were going to get to know me and how I would feel about it, so I told him that I didn, like you said, want them to deport.
They agreed to get back to me, and then we had the second meeting.
I asked him how he felt about my case.
He said, They’ll talk about it after I get my papers, and after that, you can do whatever you want.
I left that meeting with a very hopeful feeling that the ICE agent that had been working with us, the immigration judge, had decided to grant my stay.
The Immigration Parole Officer I had spoken to that day, he was very happy about the outcome.
We discussed our next steps, and that’s how we got into a process that would ultimately lead to my being released from jail.
I then started working with other families with the same case.
My work with immigrant families has been a constant source of pride for me.
I’ve been to family reunions with families with young children in the detention center, where I was able to teach them about immigration and to make them feel safe.
My first job in the field was as an Immigration Parol Assistant in October of 2016.
My supervisor, who was also a Parole Attorney, was very supportive of my work with families.
I learned quickly that the Immigration Lawyer Program (ILP) is a program that allows qualified individuals to take on the job of representing immigrant families.
The goal of the ILP is to help the family members of immigrants become better connected to immigration attorneys in order to help them resolve their issues with immigration law.
Many immigrant families have been through the system of deportation and have had to move into the United States illegally in order for their cases to be resolved.
In order to assist in their legal representation, ILP partners can help the families in their case file a motion to reopen, which is a process in which the family is given a chance for a new hearing.
When a family has exhausted all of the options available, a new case is filed with the ILPs office.
The family must then decide whether to reopen their case, and when it is reopened, the case is reviewed and then the family must decide whether or not they want to accept a new order.
When the family decides to reopen