Legal Question in Immigration Law in Illinois

husband incarcerated for 13 years now facing deportation

My husband is currently incarcerated at a federal correctional center found guilty of possession with conspiracy and intent to deliver cocaine sentenced to 15 years,concurrent, which he has already served 12-1/2. His out date is 02/03. He is not an American citizen. He is an Italian citizen so he has an immigration hold on him. I have read about a bill HR87, Keeping Families Together Act, could that apply, or is there any kind of waiver we could use. He also has done confidentiality work while an inmate for the FBI. Could he make bond at the immigration hearing pending an appeal. I have to act now as he will be soon taken to another facility in approx. July awaiting INS hearings. I, his wife am an American citizen born here, as are his 3 children.

Asked on 1/21/02, 9:53 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Eric Schultz Sacks, Kolken & Schultz

Re: husband incarcerated for 13 years now facing deportation

The first thing I can think of based on your message is whether your husband pled guilty. The sentence imposed would appear to indicate that he did not plead guilty, quite honestly. However, if he did, and provided when he pled guilty, if he was a lawful permanent resident at the time he may have been able to expect to be eligible for a waiver of deportability. This may be worth looking into, at least to make sure you've covered all of the possibilities.

I know it's a hard time, but unless you go over your case carefully you may be unaware of all of the legal issues that are present. Best of luck.

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Answered on 1/22/02, 5:07 pm
Carolyn Goldfarb Carolyn S. Goldfarb, Esq.

Re: husband incarcerated for 13 years now facing deportation

The only possiblity there is for your husband would be if your husband could convince the FBI that he is worthy of being kept in the US. If the FBI will act as his sponsor, he could adjust his status again and remain in the US legally. Otherwise, he has no relief available and will be deported to Italy upon the completion of his sentence.

I don't know what HR 87 is. However, whatever this proposed legistion is, it is not law and does not apply to you. For the past 15 years or so, anyone who served more than 5 years was barred from any form of discretiony relief from deportation or removal.

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Answered on 1/22/02, 1:06 am
Eric Schultz Sacks, Kolken & Schultz

Re: husband incarcerated for 13 years now facing deportation

Hello again-

As a follow-up to my first reply, I wanted to point out the issues involved in whether your husband may be eligible to post bond and get released pending an immigration court hearing on whether he should be removed or if he's eligible for any relief to stay in the U.S.:

in the 7th Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Illinois, those charged as "aggravated felons", which includes those convicted for selling controlled substances, are not at this time eligible for bond or release during immigration court. However, 2 circuit courts have recently ruled that mandatory detention without eligibility for release is unconstitutional, so there is a possibility that in the future other circuits including the 7th will reconsider and allow bond hearings, or that the Supreme Court may look at the issue.

Bottom line: a potentially tough and expensive case with multiple complex legal issues lies ahead, but there may be legal arguments available to help. You should get a full review of your husband's case.

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Answered on 1/23/02, 8:52 am

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