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Removal order not always the end of one's immigration story

For a variety of reasons Individuals from all countries seek to make their way into the United States each year. As readers based in the Miami area are likely aware, the process is not always a smooth one. A 32-year-old actor, born in Albania, knows this all too well. A year ago, the man, who came to America as a 16-year-old, was arrested and slated to be deported. Many things can change in the course of a year however and now, not only is the man still in the U.S., he even has a work visa. 

The man’s first interaction with immigration officials came after he had lived in the U.S. for six years. At that point, a removal order was issued, but because the officials never sent him a letter to inform him that he must leave, he did not. Eventually, officials caught up with him and ironically his arrest occurred as he made his way to the premiere of a film about his life story, focusing on his experiences living as an undocumented individual in the country.

After spending more than a week in custody, during which time his friends, including a well known film editor involved in the short film worked tirelessly to get him out, he was released. Shortly after that, his deportation case was re-opened and the work permit was granted. In addition to the development of a feature film on his life being worked on, the man is also in college. His case will eventually be heard by a judge.

As this man’s story illustrates a removal order is not always the end of one’s immigration story. Though usually not easy, it is possible to navigate the immigration system. It is likely that the man in this case has achieved the success he has through the assistance of an immigration lawyer.

Source:  East Hampton Patch, “Actor Nabbed by Immigration Remains in Country, One Year Later,” Taylor K. Vecsey, Oct. 14, 2013

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