I am happy to say that today was among the most satisfying I have had as an attorney, as I was finally able to secure the release of a pro bono client who has been unjustly incarcerated for over three years.
My co-counsel Matthew Archambeault, who managed the removal proceeding and the U visa case, was able to secure a deferred U visa for my client that will be effective as of October 1st of this year. Without his excellent work, my client would have been deported.
My work on the case was limited to what I enjoy most: freeing immigrants from prolonged detention. Under the Obama Administration, immigrants like my client would have been released upon being granted a U visa, regardless of it being deferred. Under this new administration, it has become clear that the completely illogical intention is either to keep a detained immigrant in jail, or deport him immediately and not allow him to reenter the country, until his receipt of the U visa in October. In the case of my client, it was the latter.
I spoke last month at the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York about the numerous benefits of filing a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. This was exactly the type of case which warrants federal litigation. I filed a habeas in the District Court of New Jersey, which would have required immigration officials to state to a federal court judge why they detained my client. Rather than defend an indefensible incarceration, Immigration decided to release him.