Orlando Immigration Attorneys Deal with NTA “Fake Dates”
Orlando immigration attorneys are working harder than ever to safeguard the rights of non-citizens seeking to become law-abiding residents. The Trump administration’s anti-immigrant actions combined with the recent federal government shutdown have led to chaos in the courts. The result is frustration and bewilderment among undocumented residents.
In the most recent challenge to legal immigration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent another round of invalid court appearance notices to undocumented residents. More than a thousand people showed up at immigration courts around the country to answer a summons only to find out there was no hearing scheduled.
“Given the limited number of courts, some people travel more than 400 miles to these hearings. For example, someone travels from Pensacola to Orlando. Then the court tells them that they will need to return another day,” said Frank Symphorien-Saavedra, the managing attorney for Martinez Manglardi PA’s immigration department. “The Court staff spends hours answering the same repeated questions for people who show up.”
Orlando Immigration Attorneys and NTA Fake Dates
DHS sent out the first wave of notices with “fake dates” in the summer of 2018. That was when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Brazilian immigrant living in Massachusetts who was fighting deportation. Wescley Fonseca Pereira is married and the father of two children who are United States citizens. Pereira overstayed a tourist visa he used to come to America in 2000 when he was 19 years old. In 2006, police arrested him for drunk driving and gave him a “Notice to Appear” (NTA) in immigration court to face a deportation hearing. The notice did not specify the date of the appearance. DHS didn’t coordinate with immigration courts and sent notices stating that a date would be determined later.
Owing to confusion over his mailing address, Pereira never received the summons to appear with a date certain. When he failed to appear, the court issued a deportation order. He appealed the order, arguing that his original NTA was invalid without a fixed date. The Supreme Court agreed.
In order to comply with the Supreme Court decision and keep sending out NTA’s, the DHS simply made up court dates. In some cases, the actual dates themselves, such as September 31st, don’t exist.
Orlando Immigration Attorneys Can Help Avoid Problems
The larger impact of the court’s ruling concerns a provision of immigration law known as “cancelation of removal.” Under this provision, a resident who has entered the country illegally may avoid deportation under certain conditions if they can show they have been living in the country continuously for ten years. Eligibility rests partly on an applicant not having been subject to deportation hearings. An NTA “stops the clock” on the ten year period.
Since the Supreme Court has ruled that an NTA without a date is an invalid NTA, Periera – and potentially many other non-citizens – retained eligibility for the “cancelation of removal” provision.
Orlando immigration attorney Frank Symphorien-Saavedrap emphasized the importance of having expert legal counsel when trying to navigate the current adversarial system. In the case of the NTA “Fake Dates,” for example, he notes that a good immigration attorney will have verified court dates in advance.
If you or someone you know need help with immigration problems, reach out to the Orlando immigration attorneys at Martinez Manglardi, PA. Frank Symphorien-Saavedrap, Managing Attorney for Immigration at Martinez Manglardi PA, is a Board Certified Expert in Immigration and Nationality Law. Martindale-Hubbell rates Symphorien-Saavedrap as AV-rated “Preeminent”. Super Lawyers Magazine names him as a Rising Star.
Call 407-846-2240 for an appointment.