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Prior criminal defense issues revisited upon immigrant's arrest

A family outside New Jersey whose main breadwinner also happens to be an undocumented immigrant recently rejoiced when the father/husband was finally released from a detention center. They will obviously never be able to recapture the six months' time they lost together as a family; however, they say they're happy to have the head of their family back under their roof. A prior criminal defense situation appears to have had something to do with the man's arrest.

The 49-year-old restaurant worker was reportedly taking his daughter to school one day when law enforcement agents wearing clothing with the word police across the back took him into their custody. As it turned out, the officials were working for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as they led the man away from his sobbing daughter. The 14-year-old girl did something at the time that would prove very helpful to her father later.

The teenager used her cell phone to film the entire immigration incident. Her father was placed in a detention center and held there for the next six months. The daughter's film of her father's arrest went viral and many immigration supporters began advocating for his release.

The deportation order leading to the man's arrest apparently had something to do with prior misdemeanor convictions. The man's criminal defense attorneys rectified the situation, and a judge dismissed a final deportation order against him in August. When he was released, he said he took with him a list of other immigrants' names and contact information after letting them know he would do everything he can from the outside to help them resolve their deportation problems. Anyone facing a similar situation in New Jersey can reach out for support through a defense attorney well-versed in U.S. immigration law.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "After six months in immigrant detention, taquero whose arrest was videotaped walks out an advocate", Andrea Castillo, Sept. 2, 2017

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