Gainesville Immigration Lawyer
7. Visiting – At Stewart, the detainee can only receive one visit per week for one hour. This does not include lawyer visits. The week ends on Saturday and starts on Sunday, so you can visit Saturday and Sunday because they are two separate weeks. To visit, you must arrive before 3pm and have a valid government issued ID. Arriving 15 minutes before visitation hours (8:45am) is advised to lessen waiting time. The detainee can file a form to get a longer visit if you drive or fly a long distance but usually if the lobby is busy you will not receive a longer visit. Weekdays are usually less busy for visitation. At CLC we can help assist you in dealing with these matters in the Gainesville and surrounding areas.
8. What to bring – The only thing you can bring for the detainees are, money (only on weekdays) and a carry-on sized suitcase (on any visit day). To bring the small suitcase, the detainee must fill out the appropriate paperwork and obtain preapproval from the ICE officer. To receive approval, detainee must file appropriate paperwork. The items that are allowed inside the suitcase are 3 pairs of pants, 3 pairs of socks, 1 pair of shoes, 1 coat, 3 shirts, 3 undershirts, 3 pairs of underwear and 1 sweater. The bag and its contents must weigh less than 45 lbs and be equal to or smaller than 22x14x9 inches.
9. Where to stay – If you are going to visit Stewart Detention Center, Alterna is an organization in Georgia, that provides services for immigrants for immigrants and their family. They provide a free place to stay at a home in Lumpkin, GA on Saturday night. They also provide meals on Saturday and Sunday. Alterna volunteers will also visit detainees when their loved ones cannot visit. The volunteers are bilingual in English and Spanish. Alterna’s contact number is 706-882-9661 and their website is http://www.alternacommunity.com. Otherwise, the closest motel is Supervalue Inn, in Richland. It is called Supervalue Inn.
10. Get Support – During this stressful time support is essential. If you don’t have one, finding a spiritual home will help tremendously. Also finding a good therapist that will understand your situation will help relieve some of the stress. There are many agencies that have sliding fee scales in which you can pay less according to your income. If you have children, they may also need therapy. No matter what their age, children will be affected by the separation. It is important to pay attention to behavior changes and seek help. For more specific support, you can join the Facebook group Waiting for a Miracle-Separated by immigration detention and deportation.
12. Find out the status of the INS case – You can call 1-800-898-7180. This is the INS case status phone line. Have the detainee’s A# ready to enter. This is the fastest way and instead of calling your lawyer to get information, you can call this number and find out most court dates with the exception of bond hearing dates.
13. Fighting the case – To make changes in the system, we must fight these cases but it is important to know, it can be a very long frustrating process. Be prepared. Court dates can get canceled and rescheduled. When court dates happen, parties involved may not be prepared or documents may be misplaced. Find support and be supportive of your loved one. Send mail, send money (if you can), and be understanding of their feelings. Also, encourage the detainee to watch and listen to the orientation video inside the detention center. It contains valuable information. Make sure your loved one gets to know their ICE officer, ICE supervisor, CCA unit manager and CCA case manager. They can help the detainees. It is important to be respectful and friendly, even when it is hard at times. Encourage your loved one to stay active mentally and physically by reading, using recreation time and interacting with others. Their emotions will be up and down. The immigration detention centers are lonely, sad, and degrading places. Remember to be compassionate and try not to depend only on them for your emotional well-being. Part of that process is making sure you take care of yourself by finding support and using resources that are available.
14. Bonds – Consult your lawyer about how and where to pay for the immigration bond. You may lose your money if you pay a local jail bond. Make sure it is an immigration bond. These are different types of bonds it is important to know the difference.
15. Take Action – Taking action can help you and your loved ones feel better. Contact your representatives and congresspeople to tell them how you feel about immigration reform. Sign petitions and write letters that are positive. Reform Immigration for America and Change.org have updates and daily actions you can take. When choosing an immigration attorney, look no further than Gainesville’s very own Corso Law Center.