My dad got arrested for public intoxication and then immigration came and took him. He has a long list of DUIs and traffic violations, but they are from over 10 years ago. He also has 2 domestic violence arrests and drug paraphenelia arrests from 17 years ago. Will ICE take into consideration that these events happened a long time ago? Does it also matter if he was not convicted or guilty? He is in immigration detention with no bond and has a hearing in Chicago in a month. Is this his final hearing before he has to go out of the country? He's already had one court where they read him his charges. What can I do for him?
My mom is undocumented and I'm sure ICE has that info. What is the risk for my mom?
First of all, when you say "no bond" - do you know if they have declined to give him a bond or if they have said he is ineligible for bond? In other words, has the judge said he can't have a bond, or that he could have a bond but won't get one? Second, a case like your dad's will require some analysis that can't really be done on a site like this. Questions about his immigration and criminal histories need to be answered in order to determine what relief - if any - he might be eligible for in order to avoid removal.
Third, to answer your specific questions: (1) the fact that criminal history was a long time ago will usually be taken into account by ICE and by the immigration judge, but unless the judge is exercising discretion (for example, to determine whether a particular form of relief is warranted) it simply may not be a factor. (2) Yes, it usually matters, although in some cases judges may also make a general finding about a person's character on the basis of arrests that did not result in conviction. (3) Based on these facts it's impossible to know whether his next hearing will be his last. A good indication will be whether it is a "master" hearing or an "individual" hearing (you can find out on the notice of hearing, or by calling the automated EOIR line at 1-800-898-7180 and entering his "A number"). If it is a master hearing it is less likely that it will be the final hearing. An attorney can review the history of the case and advise you about what you can expect next. (4) You can hire an attorney to represent him. I suggest gathering disposition documents for all of his past arrests. You can get these at the courts where the cases where heard (even the dismissed ones). You should also get a driving abstract from the Secretary of State's office. These documents will help your attorney evaluate the case, and will reduce the likelihood that a continuance will be necessary for attorney preparation. (5) Every ICE office is different, but generally speaking, your mom would probably not be at risk unless her own criminal or immigration history makes her a priority for ICE.
I strongly suggest hiring an attorney to help your dad. Good luck!
This is a very complex matter and trying to resolve it on your own is not the way to go. You need to speak to an immigration attorney and discuss your father's status, have an in depth discussion of his criminal history, and you must ask about whether detention is mandatory in his case. Don't wait until the last minute to hire and attorney as this might delay the process for your father.
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