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Pro Bono: New Developments in Sanctuary Case for JLF Client

May 24, 2017|Contributed by: Joseph Law Firm

Jeff Joseph, Senior Partner of Joseph Law Firm, P.C., had a victory in a pro bono case for his client, who is currently in sanctuary in a church in Denver, Colorado. Ingrid Encalada is from Peru. She entered the United States at age 17 and is now 33. She has two U.S. citizen children, an 8-year-old and an 18-month-old.

In 2010, she was arrested for using false documents. On the advice of her attorney, she pled guilty to criminal impersonation, which made her deportable and ineligible for cancellation of removal. She appealed the case, but the appeal was dismissed in 2016. She then hired another attorney to try and withdraw her guilty plea. That attorney failed to show up for the hearing and the judge denied her post-conviction motion to withdraw her guilty plea. She filed a stay with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that was denied. Because she was subject to a final order and the stay was denied, she entered sanctuary in a Quaker church and has remained there for the past 5 months.

Joseph Law Firm agreed to take her case pro bono. On May 3, 2017, she had her first hearing with the criminal court. The purpose of this hearing was to prove that her second attorney was ineffective when he failed to show in court. The judge granted this motion and found that the previous attorney was in contempt and that he intends on fining that attorney the fees and costs necessary for Ingrid to file a second post-conviction motion.

Attending this hearing meant that Ingrid had to come out of sanctuary. It took a lot of courage knowing she could be arrested and sent back to Peru. But it was successful and she is now safely back in the church. There will be another hearing on whether her initial attorney was ineffective when he recommended the plea to criminal impersonation.

Because of her success on this initial post-conviction motion, ICE has granted Ingrid a temporary stay of removal until her next court hearing.  This stay allows her to come out of sanctuary safely and without fear of being deported.

The case has made national news. Additional information is available at:

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/05/03/peruvian-woman-denver-church-refuge/ and http://www.denverpost.com/2017/05/20/ingrid-encalada-latorre-deportation-stay/