Cohen Forman Barone Client Passes Reasonable Fear Interview And Has Chance To Avoid Deportation

Cohen Forman Barone Client Passes Reasonable Fear Interview And Has Chance To Avoid Deportation

In the complex world of removal (deportation/exclusion) defense, non-citizens with perhaps the least rights are those against whom a prior immigration order has been issued and executed. This means that for those non-citizens who fled their homeland and were either caught entering the country or caught at some point thereafter by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and then were ordered deported, if they are deported and choose to flee again to the United States, such a person will have very few rights if they are apprehended again. This re-arrest and effort to remove the non-citizen again is what is known as reinstatement of removal. During the reinstatement process DHS/ICE is reinstating the previous order of removal and the non-citizen is not entitled to release on her own recognizance or bond and also not entitled to have their case reviewed by an immigration judge. Moreover, ICE officials often work quickly (just days or a few weeks) to obtain the necessary documentation and paperwork to physically remove the person they believe subject to reinstatement.

One of the very few ways to first slow and then potentially defeat this effort by ICE to reinstate the prior removal order is if the non-citizen has a reasonable fear of returning to the country to which they would be removed. Most non-citizens subject to reinstatement believe that it is too late to voice their fear of returning to their homeland and often fail to realize that when they are first processed for reinstatement it is an important time to be vocal about their fear of returning and explain why they have such a fear. If the person subject to reinstatement voices their fear to ICE officers then, by law, they must be provided with a reasonable fear interview by a designated USCIS asylum officer. However, a non-citizen who fails to voice their fear when first apprehended for reinstatement may lose forever their chance for a reasonable fear interview and the chance for protection in the U.S.

If the asylum officer determines, after an extensive interview, that the person subject to reinstatement has a reasonable fear of returning to their home country then the reinstatement process halts and the case is referred to an Immigration Judge to determine if the person is eligible for protection in the United States under the withholding of removal provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act and the international Convention Against Torture. At the reasonable fear interview the non-citizen is entitled to be represented by counsel and is given an opportunity to fully explain their fear and the reasons for it.

At Cohen Forman Barone, we recently had our first reinstatement client of the New Year (2016) granted a reasonable fear interview (because he knew to voice his fear to the initial officers that took him into custody) and then had his fear found reasonable at the interview by the asylum officer where his attorney from CFB was present. The client was thoroughly prepared for the interview by CFB attorneys and now his reinstatement has been stopped and his case is being referred to an Immigration Judge where CFB will continue to pursue protection from the harm he faces. The importance of having an attorney who understands each step of the reinstatement process and the ways to negotiate it is absolutely critical for any non-citizen who may be present in the U.S. despite having a prior removal order. If you or a loved one have similar circumstances we are available to answer your questions and will be there to get you through this scary and confusing process.


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