Immigration Consequences of a Criminal Guilty Plea and Reinstatement of TPS Status
As we all take a moment to rejoice with the election results, we cannot lose sight that there is much work to be done to control the COVID-19 pandemic and bring back stability to our economy and government. With new leadership focused on unity, collaboration, empathy and science, we should follow the lead and focus on the rebuilding of our country and institutions, and leave all the blaming and negative feelings behind.
As a hard working society that is interested in protecting human rights and creating sustainable economic prosperity for ALL, we can find common interests that we can work with and compromise to move forward towards these universal goals. It is up to all of us to set the example we wish others to follow. For a little inspiration, we want to share a client success story that revives hope in our institutions.
Pedro was born in El Salvador and entered the United States by crossing the border in 1995. In 1997 accused of shoplifting and assaulting a police officer and arrested. He was wrongfully advised of his rights by his criminal defense attorney at the time and because of the faulty advice, he agreed to a plea that he had been assured was not a problem for immigration. In 2001 he received Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and obtained a work permit through the program. However, in 2010, immigration rescinded his TPS status due to his 1997 conviction.
In 2014, Pedro married Sarah who was a US Citizen. Unfortunately, Pedro faced a few obstacles to becoming an American resident through a marriage petition: his criminal case of 1997, and the fact that his last entry to the United States was without inspection.
Upon a recommendation, Pedro contacted the immigration and criminal attorneys at FitzGerald Law Company, who carefully reviewed the criminal case documents and identified that Pedro’s rights had been violated when he pled guilty to the charges against him. The attorneys at FitzGerald Law Company filed a petition with the criminal district court with evidence that Pedro’s plea was not made knowingly of the immigration consequences and was therefore in violation of his constitutional rights. The court granted the petition, vacated the conviction, and upon review of the evidence dismissed all the criminal charges.
With his criminal case cleared, the immigration lawyers at FitzGerald Law Company petitioned USCIS to reinstate Pedro’s TPS status. After USCIS reinstated Pedro’s TPS status, our attorneys filed with USCIS an I-131 application for a travel permit which was approved and allowed Pedro to travel to El Salvador and return to the U.S. with a lawful entry (parole).
Since Pedro’s last entry was now lawful (with inspection), he was able to file for residency through his wife in the U.S. The marriage-based green card application process was also successfully completed by the immigration attorneys at FitzGerald Law Company. After a difficult start, it was a long but ultimately successful process. Pedro is now a lawful permanent resident of the United States and he is now happily living in the U. S. with his wife.
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges or has agreed unknowingly to a plea or disposition on a criminal case without being informed of the immigration consequences of such a plea, we may be able to help. Call 617-303-2601 or schedule an appointment online to speak with one of our experienced criminal defense and immigration lawyers.