Practicing immigration defense in Arizona, the state with nation’s second heaviest immigration caseload (behind Texas), attorney Darius Amiri spends alot of his time in the courtroom. When he is out of court, he can often be found in his office at the law firm of Alcock & Associates in downtown Phoenix. When not litigating or preparing motions for the court, attorney Amiri devotes his time to communicating with clients and concerned family members regarding their immigration cases. “A big part of the job is communicating the work we do in and out of the courtroom to our clients and their families. Immigration law can be convoluted for practicing attorneys, so imagine what its like for someone with limited knowledge of the law. A big responsibility is filling in our clients on the work we are doing for them and giving them a better understanding of their case.”
A crucial time for effective communication between clients and their immigration lawyers in removal proceedings comes once a bond has been secured. Often times, a period of up to ten months can elapse between an immigration defendants bond hearing and their next master calendar hearing. The principal reason for this is that a bond hearing is generally conducted in a detention center, such as the ones in Eloy, Arizona, and Florence, Arizona. Once the bond has been secured, an immigration defense lawyer in Arizona will submit a change of venue motion to have the jurisdiction of the case changed to Phoenix, Arizona. The immigration court in Phoenix is solely a courthouse, not a detention center, and thus more accessible (and less intimidating) to clients, families, and attorneys.
Amiri comments, “after bonding out and securing a change of venue, it is very important to maintain communication with our clients. For one, a long period of time can elapse between bonding out from say, Eloy, and the first master calendar hearing in Phoenix. As immigration attorneys, it is our responsibility to stay in touch with our clients, ensure that they are keeping the court informed of their whereabouts, and above all, make sure they remember to show up for Court!”
For the immigration defense attorneys at Alcock & Associates, the next logical step after securing a bond and change of venue is to meet with the client, explore all possible avenues of relief available at the time, make an informed decision on the type of defense the attorney will pursue, and inform the client of all the steps necessary to prepare for the upcoming court date. “Let’s say we have determined that a client is eligible for cancellation of removal, we now must review the steps necessary for the client to optimize their chances at trial and inform them of the opportunities available to them under the laws of the United States while they are fighting their case.”
One such opportunity is an i-765 application for employment authorization, or work permit. “A client that is eligible for certain forms of relief from removal is consequently eligible to apply for employment authorization, and if granted, work legally in the United States for the duration of their immigration case,” says immigration lawyer Amiri. “After identifying eligibility, it becomes our job to effectively represent the client in all steps of this process, from filling out the initial application to renewing the work permit each year.”
Another opportunity available to clients after bonding out of immigration detention is the ability to secure an Arizona ID or driver’s license. Assuming the client is eligible for a license, can pay the fee and pass the exam, all that he or she would need to provide is proof that they have bonded out of an immigration detention facility, and a notice of an upcoming hearing. “Many clients are not aware of this at the outset of their case, so it is our job to inform them of how to go about securing a valid license or ID, a benefit they may not have been afforded prior to the initiation of immigration proceedings,” remarks Amiri.
So while Darius Amiri is responsible for securing great results for his clients in the courtroom, informing clients of the opportunities available to them and assisting them in securing these opportunities is just as an important aspect of the job. Amiri concludes, “honestly, one of the best parts of my job is when a client comes back a few months later and shows me his license or her work permit. I know they are doing the right thing, and we have helped them in the process.”
Darius Amiri and the immigration attorneys at Alcock & Associates are standing by to help you or a loved one in your immigration needs, whether it be an adjustment of status, naturalization, or defending a removal proceeding. We never charge for a consultation, so do not hesitate to contact us today. Thank you!