What is the Lopez-Venegas settlement about? Many people don't realize that the federal authorities are known to pressure undocumented immigrants into signing a document that cuts off their own legal rights and accelerates the end of their stay in the U.S. It’s called "voluntary departure," and the promise is that the detained person can get out of jail and fix their legal status from within the comfort of their own country. But what the authorities fail to disclose while pretending to be acting in the best interests of the detained alien, is that many times there is no way to fight the case, and that a 10-year-old ban makes it impossible that the person can reenter in the majority of cases.
The new agreement requires the authorities to make clear the rights and consequences that are at stake. Moreover, it opens a way in which certain people who accepted voluntary departure in the past may return to the country to fight their cases from within the country. Many restrictions apply, including that the person has to have been arrested in Southern California, that the return occurred between June 2009 and August 18, 2014, that the person was returned to and is still in Mexico, and that the person has the potential to fix their status from within the United States.
The details and the final process are still unknown. Be alert for details in the beginning of 2015. If you think you may qualify, please contact our office as soon as possible.