DMRS’ Removal Defense Program handles a wide variety of cases, including:

  • Petitions for Alien Relatives (I-130)
  • Cancellation applications for Permanent Residents and Non-Permanent Residents
  • Applications for Adjustment of Status (Permanent Residency) (I-485)
  • Petitions to Remove the Conditions on Residence (I-751)
  • Requests for Prosecutorial Discretion
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications (I-821D)
  • Asylum, Withholding, and Convention Against Torture (CAT) cases (I-589)**
  • Other applications related to benefits available to individuals currently in removal proceedings

The Removal Defense Program provides full representation to detained and non-detained individuals currently in removal (deportation) proceedings before an Immigration Judge.  If you are eligible for one of the above benefits and we accept your case, we will prepare and file any necessary applications and represent you in court.  With your continued cooperation, we will provide representation until a final decision is reached in your case.  It is important that all prior immigration history or criminal history be disclosed during the consultation; there are ways to remedy these situations if they are disclosed.  However, if you do not disclose this information, it is likely it will be discovered later in the process and may affect your application.

Information for Non-Detained Individuals

Unlike other DMRS programs, you will not meet with a legal representatives during your initial consultation. Your information and documentation will first be obtained by the Removal Defense Program’s legal assistant.  After a file is opened, a legal representative will be assigned to your case and a second consultation will be conducted to determine if your case will be accepted for representation.  After your consultation with the legal representative, you will be advised regarding your eligibility for any immigration benefits.

Information for Detained Individuals

If you are detained, you can send a family member or friend to our office to open a file for you.  After a file has been opened , one of our attorneys will visit you in the detention center to conduct a consultation and advise you regarding your eligibility for immigration benefits and whether or not your case will be accepted for representation.  If you are unable to send a family member or friend, please contact our Legal Orientation Program staff who visit the detention centers regularly and can meet with you.  After meeting with you, they may refer your case to an attorneys in our Removal Defense Program for possible representation.  DMRS provides representation to individuals detained at the following detention centers only:

El Paso Service Processing Center
8915 Montana Ave.
El Paso, Texas 79925

Otero Service Processing Center
26 McGregor Range Road
Chaparral, New Mexico 88081

**Note: Asylum applications are time-sensitive, so it is ESSENTIAL that you seek legal representation as soon as possible after you enter the U. S.  Failure to seek assistance immediately may result in your ineligibility to apply for asylum.

Initial consultations with the Removal Defense Program are conducted on a walk-in basis only (NO appointments) Monday through Thursday before 11:00am.  The consultation fee is $75 for those who do not qualify for Free Legal Services.  In order to properly assess your case and your eligibility for benefits, please bring the following documentation to your appointment:

  • Your Hearing Notice (listing the date and time that you must report to the Immigration Court) or A# (Alien Registration Number)
  • Your Notice to Appear (NTA)
  • Any other related documentation

Meet Our Removal Defense Unit Staff:
Should you have any questions about your case, please contact your legal representative.  If you have any concerns about your case that are not being addressed by your legal representative, please contact Ernesto A. Sanchez, Jr., to discuss your concerns.

NOTE: Phone and email inquiries with specific questions will only be answered for current clients.  If you would like to inquire about your eligibility, you must visit our office for an in-person consultation.  We look forward to meeting and working with you!

Marysol Bretado
Staff Attorney/Supervisor
(915) 532-3975, ext. 1401

Miriam Cruz
Staff Attorney
(915) 532-3975, ext. 1404

Marina Chavez
Staff Attorney
(915) 532-3975, ext. 1405

Valgina Rodriguez-Calderon
Staff Attorney/HIAS Border Fellow
(915) 532-3975, ext. 1412

Jesus Guereca
Staff Attorney
(915) 532-3975, ext. 1409

Suzette Meza
Legal Assistant
(915) 532-3975, ext. 1407

Cynthia Lucero
Pro Bono Volunteer Coordinator
(915) 532-3975, ext. 1006

Daniela Lagunes
Legal Assistant
(915) 532-3975, ext. 1411

Maria Najera
Legal Assistant
(915) 532-3975, ext. 1410

Adriana Nevarez
Legal Assistant
(915) 532-3975, ext. 1403

Vianey Reyes
Legal Assistant
(915) 532-3975, ext. 1413

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