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If you wonder why you should hire an Immigration Attorney, just ask Senator Curt Thompson's Wife

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 12/6/06, Georgia State Senator Curt Thompson's wife will not be deported out of the U.S. after all. A deportation order was entered against the Colombian national, however, apparently as a result of shoddy work by a "notario". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the ordeal began as follows:

Federal immigration agents knocked on the door of state Sen. Curt Thompson's home in Tucker on Nov. 28 and informed him his new bride was to be deported.

Sascha Herrera Thompson was not home that morning. Her husband called her and then met her later at a coffee shop so he could deliver the news.

She could be arrested. She could be jailed. She could be sent back to her native Colombia.

The couple, who met last year at a Christmas play and married four months later in a mountain wedding, parted that morning. She did not return home until Tuesday.

Fortunately, the couple finally hired an Immigration lawyer who was able to persuade the Judge to throw out the deportation order:

Convinced that Sascha Thompson had been a victim of shoddy paperwork filed by a "notario" who misrepresented his expertise in immigration law, a federal immigration judge threw out the deportation order Tuesday.

The couple reportedly went through quite an ordeal, however:

Sascha Thompson, 27, will not say where she has spent the past week, though she denies she was "in hiding," as the New York Times reported. Curt Thompson, 37, said he purposely did not know his wife's whereabouts so he could honestly say so if authorities came looking for her.

Sascha Thompson will say she spent the week frightened — though not of returning to Colombia. The petite former ballerina did fear going to jail.

"I was very scared," she said as she sat close to her husband on their living room sofa Tuesday night, happy to be home with their three cats, two dogs, a fish and some birds. "I consider myself a good person and I [thought I] might go to jail for no reason."

For his part, Curt Thompson said the threat of his wife's deportation has been the "the biggest ordeal" of his life.

"I had nightmares that immigration [officials] were shining a light in my bedroom window," he said. "You don't sleep. You're not eating. You're not doing anything but dealing with this and that. It was absolutely horrible."

The media glare didn't help, the couple said. The story of a state senator's wife under deportation orders made national — even international — news, against the backdrop of debate over illegal immigration.

Many immigrants especially from Latin countries, such as Colombia, mistakenly think that a "notario" in the U.S. is the same as a "notario" in Latin countries which is NOT true. As a result, many "notarios" in the U.S. are actual scam artists:

According to her lawyer, Charles Kuck of Atlanta, Sascha Thompson is a victim of a notario. In some Latin American countries, notarios hold respected posts in the legal system. But in the U.S., notarios are usually simply notary publics — a job rarely held by somebody licensed to practice law. Advocates for immigrants say it's common for notarios in the U.S. to mislead people into thinking they have more authority here than they actually do.

Moral of the story: don't hire a "notario" for immigration matters. In the United States, one looks to licensed attorneys as the qualified professionals who are licensed to practice law.

Source article

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