Issue: Angel entered the United States from Mexico in 1994 as a lawful permanent resident. In 1998, he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a work-related accident. He has been permanently disabled since that time. The traumatic brain injury caused Angel to experience certain personality changes, including behavioral excesses and impulsivity. At one point, these behaviors led to an altercation with his girlfriend and a domestic violence conviction. The conviction led to detention and removal proceedings.
Solution: We represented Angel before the immigration court both at the Krome Detention Center, before he was released, and at the court in downtown Miami. We first obtained his release from detention, with a bond, over the government attorney’s objection. We did this by assuring the immigration judge that we would coordinate efforts to treat our client’s mental health issues. We had our client attend counseling and undergo several psychological evaluations with a view to obtaining treatment recommendations. We made sure he saw a doctor who would evaluate the medications he as taking for appropriateness. To appease the government attorneys, we also eventually agreed, with our client’s consent, to have him placed in the supervised release program.
We attended two individual hearings to argue for his eligibility for cancellation of removal. We provided evidence that Angel would have been unable to live alone in Mexico. He is severely disabled and unable to work. He lives with his parents here in South Florida. All of his family members, including his five brothers and sisters live in South Florida. He does not have any close relatives in Mexico. He requires frequent medical attention and therapy. Finally, at a second hearing the immigration judge granted Angel’s application for cancellation of removal and thereby preserved his resident status.
Removal proceedings may have been the best thing that has happened to Angel as we were able to help him address certain mental health issues that, to date, had gone untreated. We wish him the best of luck as he continues his recovery.