I spent my first day as a solo practitioner providing free legal consultations to people in Tijuana, Mexico. The legal fair was held at Casa Del Migrante, an organization serving deportees and refugees. At least half a dozen attorneys from Southern California made the trip. As always, I was amazed at the breadth of knowledge my colleagues possess, and the compassion that they constantly display.
Almost everyone I spoke with had suffered the traumatic consequences of a removal order. Some of them had been deported only a few weeks ago. Many of them still had family in the United States, including young, U.S.-citizen children. Thinking about their broken families was heartbreaking, but hearing their resolve to find a way to continue supporting their relatives, even from Mexico, was inspiring. Some of them will be able to apply for lawful immigration status sometime in the future; a few are even able to apply now. Many of them just needed to know what their options were, even if those options did not include a return to the United States. I hope my advice will help some of them to plan for their futures.