During August and September 2019, Lei Jiang Law Firm took six bond cases and represented these clients at Cleveland Immigration Court. Six women were not charged with any wrongdoing but were detained by immigration customs enforcement (ICE) when FBI, Ohio Investigative Unit and local police forces raided several massage establishments in Ohio in July 2019.
All six women were Asian, did not speak much English, came from New York, worked as massage therapist/masseuse, and lacked financial resources. We represented many of them pro bono, but work quality remained high. We interviewed these clients at ICE detention centers and discovered some were victims of human trafficking. As a result, we engaged victim advocacy professionals and arranged appropriate assessments.
In the Court, attorney Lei Jiang successfully argued on behalf of each woman and obtained reasonable bond for them. As a result of our effort, all six women were released by ICE and reunited with their families. But our work did not stop there. We provided further help, such as information and connecting these women with non-profit organizations in New York for future assistance. We were proud that we helped when they were in despair.
Practicing immigration law in immigration courts is a challenging task in today’s climate. Law is changing rapidly, the general sentiment is against immigration, and sympathy is rarely seen in courts. Even though such cases were not in our normal line of practice, we remind committed to the basic calling of this profession – help the needed, give a voice to voiceless, and hold ourselves to the highest professional standard.
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