After thinking that this case was a lost cause because the client wanted to give up, I met with this client right before his bond hearing. I gave him legal advice regarding the consequences of deportation and what giving up would mean for his ability to return to the United States in the future. After some back and forth, the client told me he was really scared to return to Honduras because he was heavily recruited by gangs. He believed he would be killed in retribution for the fact that he fled the country to avoid being forced to join the gang.
The client wanted to try to get a bond. The problem was that he had been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. Although there was no factual basis for his conviction, his criminal defense attorney told him that it was a safe plea for immigration. He relied on this terrible advice and as a result, it looked like he may be statutorily ineligible for bond.
If he did not get bond, he was going to ask to be deported, instead of fighting his case (he is scared of gangs in Honduras). He told me could not stand being detained and that he planned on immediately going to another country once he got back. Instead of getting deported, I got him a continuance on his removal hearing. During the bond hearing, I argued that the conviction was a class 3 misdemeanor, which meets the petty offense exception. I argued that he was not a flight risk and that he was not a danger to the community, so he should be granted a bond in the exercise of discretion. The Immigration Judge granted a bond, because his crime meets the petty offense exception and as a result, he is not subject to mandatory detention.
The government waived appeal. Our client is now out of detention and he is planning to fight his asylum case with his family by his side.
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