Thousands In Miami March In Support Of High School Valedictorian Facing Deportation

After an immigration judge recently ordered the deportation of 18-year-old North Miami High School valedictorian Daniela Pelaez, 2,600 students and teachers from her school marched in protest in her support. Joining the students were Miami-Dade Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho and North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre, both of them immigrants: Carvalho is from Portugal, and Pierre is from Haiti.  by westkin, immigration lawyers in London 16 Hanover Square, Mayfair, London, W1S 1HT

“I can hardly find words to express what I feel right now as an immigrant,” Carvalho said. “As one having gone through what Daniela is going through today, I cannot say that every moment of my life in this country, that I produced papers. But you know what? I labored, I cleaned tables, I was a waiter, I did roofing, I did construction work, and today I’m superintendant of schools. That is the power of education, a power and a right that shall not be denied to Daniela.” [click to continue…]


PROTECT Program: Fighting For Immigrant Civil Rights

by Arturo R. Rios on March 1, 2012

If you’re not familiar with the PROTECT Program, we invite you to take a moment to learn about this extremely important initiative to protect the civil rights of immigrants.

Launched in September 2011 in response to a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals that adversely impacted all immigrant civil rights, the PROTECT Program gives affected individuals the opportunity to retain the Rios Law Firm as their legal counsel for a nominal annual fee so that, in the event they are detained by law enforcement for an alleged immigration violation, their rights will be protected. Of particular concern to the Rios Law Firm was protecting the rights to due process, equal protection, and freedom from unlawful detention that all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States are guaranteed, including undocumented immigrants and legal immigrant residents.

Those who retain the Rios Law Firm under the PROTECT Program are given a small packet of immigration-related documents that can be presented to law enforcement officers in the event of an arrest, and which will inform the officers that the individual has retained counsel. Among the documents is an information and identification card which states the following:

Please Exercise Prosecutorial Discretion and DO NOT place our client in removal proceedings, or release our client ROR-Bond-ISAP, or set a hearing before an Immigration Judge. Our client has been advised not to provide DHS with any statements or sign any documents without first consulting with our law firm.

The card is designed as an initial safeguard letting officers know that the individual is aware of their right to remain silent and to have an attorney represent them.

If you are in need of an attorney to assist you in an immigration matter or deportation defense, contact the Rios Immigration Law Firm based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Our attorneys, who have handled cases from around the country, can be reached at (727) 498-2938. We are also on the Web at


Deportation And Human Rights Abuses

February 29, 2012

Allegations of human rights abuses committed on foreign soil and the prospects of deportation are at the forefront of two immigration cases that have gained national attention, one in a U.S. immigration court in Orlando, Florida, and the other in a federal district court in New Hampshire.

The case before immigration judge James K. Grim in Orlando involves Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, former defense minister of El Salvador. Judge Grim recently ruled that Casanova, who served as defense minister from 1983 to 1989, can be deported for his role in committing human rights abuses during the civil war in El Salvador in the 1980s. Specifically, the judge ruled Casanova can be deported for torturing Salvadoran citizens, killing four American churchwomen, and killing two other Americans and a Salvadoran land reformer. Read more on Deportation And Human Rights Abuses…

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Supreme Court: Immigrants Can Be Deported For Filing False Tax Returns

February 28, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in Kawashima v. Holder that immigrants who knowingly file false tax returns can be deported since it is an act of “fraud and deceit” which is legally an aggravated felony.

The case involved Mr. and Mrs. Kawashima, a couple who had been lawful permanent residents of the U.S. since 1984. In 1997, Mr. Kawashima was convicted of filing a false corporate tax return that understated the couple’s income. Mrs. Kawashima was convicted of assisting him in the filing. U.S. immigration law allows for the deportation of any immigrant convicted of an “aggravated felony.” Though originally defined narrowly for crimes such as murder or drug trafficking, Congress has expanded the definition to include an act of fraud or deceit where the victim’s loss exceeds $10,000, as well as an offense of tax evasion where the loss in tax revenue to the government exceeds $10,000. Read more on Supreme Court: Immigrants Can Be Deported For Filing False Tax Returns…

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New Jersey Woman Arrested And Charged With Defrauding Immigrants

February 27, 2012

In a number of previous posts we’ve covered the important issue of immigration fraud, and have encouraged our readers to be aware of fraudsters. In one of the latest incidents that illustrates the pernicious nature of immigration fraud schemes, a New Jersey woman was recently arrested and accused of defrauding immigrants by falsely representing herself as an attorney to clients and telling them she would file documents with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on their behalf.

According to prosecutors, the woman, Mariza Chavez, operated a group called Worldwide Foundation to Rescue the Immigrant. Allegedly, she would tell her victims that she was an attorney, even though she was not licensed to practice law, and charged from $80 to $6,000 for her services, which she had no training to perform. She is alleged to have submitted applications that were incomplete, filled out wrong, or did not have the necessary fee attached. When the applications were rejected and sent back to her with a refund of the money that she sent, Chavez allegedly kept the refunded amounts. Read more on New Jersey Woman Arrested And Charged With Defrauding Immigrants…

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