Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) activities have resulted in a heightened sense of fear amongst residents of Napa Valley. A few months ago, the International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA), a participant in the North Bay’s rapid response network, was alerted that ICE had taken a father from his wife and young daughter and infant son. He was being detained without bond, placing him in detention and causing extreme financial stress for his family due to his loss of income.
The chance that an individual will be approved for release on bond is four times greater if that person is represented by an immigration attorney. Unfortunately, Napa has a limited number of immigration attorneys. Further, the high cost of attorney fees significantly reduces the likelihood that those in detention will be represented.
IIBA’s staff attorney and North Bay Regional Director, Madeline Feldon, stepped up to assist this family. After meeting with the client’s wife to gather information, Feldon prepared for the bond hearing, making the case that this beloved husband and devoted father should be released on bond. His incarceration had significant financial implications for his family and his young daughter was distraught over her father’s absence.
Feldon successfully argued the case. The judge approved releasing the client on bond. IIBA’s client is now free from detention, reunited with his family, and able to work to alleviate his family’s financial stress.
IIBA has been serving local residents for five years, since the Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) invited the non-profit to open an office to assist to the area’s nearly 9,000 legal permanent residents who had been found to be eligible for citizenship. Since then, IIBA has conducted 5,000 legal consultations, supported 1,000 immigrants as they became citizens, and hosted dozens of community education events.
Madeline says, “Because IIBA provides high-quality, low-cost immigration legal services, we are able to help meet our community’s needs.”
IIBA North Bay Regional Director
and Staff Attorney Madeline Feldon