The U.S. government is represented in deportation proceedings by an attorney from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s Office of the Chief Counsel. The ICE attorney’s role is similar to that of the prosecutor in a criminal case, and in general, their job is to persuade the Immigration Judge to issue an order of removal or deportation against you. But they can change their position and join in a motion to reopen that removal hearing so you can reverse that order and apply for new relief. They can join in a motion to reopen the old case months, even years, after the fact if ICE believes that by doing so will serve the public interest and there are enough sympathetic factors to warrant this extraordinary act.
ICE can be cooperative even before a final order is issued when an experienced and knowledgeable immigration attorney can represent you in negotiations with ICE on legal issues, help narrow down the focus of the charges, and even convince ICE to agree to terminate proceedings before a hearing takes place to allow you to apply for a green card or other available immigration benefit.
It’s in your best interest to work with the immigration attorneys at SGG who have extensive experience communicating with ICE trial attorneys, filing joint motion requests to reopen old removal orders and motions to terminate, and who can arrange on your behalf with ICE postponements of merits hearings to buy you more time to assemble evidence, among other strategies. SGG attorneys have been successful in also requesting that ICE exercise “prosecutorial discretion” in closing out cases (closing proceedings) even where no apparent immigration relief or benefit is immediately available to the immigrant because we were able to argue that due to sympathetic factors, the government should agree to let our clients go.