My name is Brenda Perez I am a US citizen. I was born and raised in Laredo, Texas. I am married to Elvin D. Perez, and we have a 17 year old daughter.
I am writing this letter pleading for help on behalf of my family. My husband and I have known each other since 2008 and have been legally married since August 2010. We married in Webb County.
The morning of August 8, 2012 is the day when my family’s nightmare began. Immigration came to our home that morning as we were getting ready for work / school. He was taken to The Department of Homeland Security Office located at Fourwinds Dr in San Antonio, TX. He was transported to the Bexar County Jail to spend the night there and again to the DHS office. After a day or two of this he was then transferred to South Texas Detention Complex in Pearsall, TX where he has been for the past 4 months.
Elvin is from Honduras and arrived in the United States in 2000. In 2010 he was detained by immigration for an outstanding order of removal that he was not aware of. He was detained in the CCA in Laredo, TX. This is when we hired a highly recommended attorney in the Laredo area, who is very well known among the south Texas detention centers. He was able to get my husband’s case reopened and freed from the detention center. At the end of the court hearings, the immigration Judge granted my husband a volunteer departure (VD date 3/24/12). We were given 30 days to appeal that decision which the attorney had told us that he was going to do. As the due date got closer, I kept calling his office to be sure that the paperwork was or had been taken care of, with his secretaries always telling me that he was working on it. The following is what the attorney advised us in February 2012 regarding the volunteer departure: “Do not leave because we are appealing the decision”. Meanwhile we were waiting on the response on the appeal. To our surprise when we received the notice of that appeal on March 26, 2012 just 2 days after the date that my husband was supposed to have left, the notice stated that the appeal had been denied. It wasn’t denied due to any legal matter other than they received the appeal 1 day late. At this point my husband was not able to leave the country through the volunteer departure because we had already gone past that date and the VD had now converted to an order of removal with a 10 year bar. After receiving this letter, we met with the attorney and all he had to say was, “Well we tried. There is nothing we can do now, stay out of trouble.” The attorney failed to notify us the consequences of not leaving the country. He failed to tell us that not leaving the country would have ruined our lives, would separate our family for 3-5 years possibly for 10 years and that the BIA would not consider reopening his case at all. My husband is currently being detained because of failure to leave the country. All motions to reopen and asylum have been denied. I’m being told that legally there is nothing we can do other than for him to leave the country and start serving the 10 year bar. I’ve gotten advice from several attorneys and they’ve all told me that our first attorney handled the matter very incorrectly.
I honestly feel that immigration should consider reopening cases when there has been a lack of counsel and/or counsel of ineffective assistance. If we are trying to do things the right way and investing thousands of dollars with attorneys we should not be punished for one’s inability to perform their job the right way (ethically). Due to that reason now my family is subject to being separated for years which I feel is very unfair. And not to mention the extreme hardship that this causes to my family. Trying to make ends meet, getting our daughter through graduation and very soon putting her through college and on top of all that the extreme hardship this causes emotionally, physically and mentally.
Please understand that my husband is not a bad person, he is not hurting anyone. He has no criminal record. He is a hard working man who gives everything of himself to provide for his family, to be a good husband and father. We have sacrificed a lot to acquire what we do have and have not asked for any government assistance. Please help us stay together. My daughter did not have the opportunity to meet her father because he died when I was 8 months pregnant. Elvin is the closest she’s had to a father. And now that the date of her graduation is getting closer and she is making decisions for college it is devastating to us both that my husband not by choice but by force is being separated from us.
I am praying and I beg you to please have mercy on my family and help me with my situation. Please help me keep my family together. I won’t give up on us but I don’t know what else to do please help us. Please help me keep my husband here in the US. My husband is from San Pedro Sula which has been declared the most violent/deadly country in the world. The violence in San Pedro surpasses the violence in Mexico. My husband fled to the United States because he feared for his life. The night he fled from Honduras was the day that he was held at gun point being forced to work for organized crime. With the help of friends that saw what was happening he was able to break free from these individuals. He ran that night and never went back. Please help me stop my husband from being deported, help us stay together.
San Pedro Sula tallied 159 homicides per 100,000 residents in the year 2011
Please stop the deportation of Elvin Daniel Perez, who came to the U.S. fearing for his life, he has lived in the country for more than 10 years; has been a person of good moral character during that time; he has not been convicted of an offense that would make him removable; he is married to a United States citizen and has a step-daughter a U.S. citizen. He also has approved I-130s. Please release him from detention under an order of supervision, cancellation of removal, asylum or some type of relief from removal that would allow him to stay in the United States with his family.
Thank you for your time.
Director John Morton
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
500 12th St., SW
Washington, D.C. 20536
Secretary Janet Napolitano
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528