Today I was talking to a colleague who told me he was going to see a new client who was detained. The person had his legal residence but was arrested returning from a trip to his country. When immigration authorities were confirming his passport and residency, it came out that he had a conviction for a crime five years ago. My first question was “Why was I traveling?” With all the news reports in the newspapers and television and with all the cases that have been seen in recent years of the thousands and thousands of people who have been detained and deported for having committed a criminal offense, I find it difficult to understand how an immigrant with a criminal record can imagine that he can travel without problem. At the same time, I remember one of the cases I had a few months ago. I represented a Haitian in a deportation case. He had his legal residence since 1994 but in 1999 he committed a crime of fraud. He pleaded guilty, was not imprisoned and completed his probation without problem. The man traveled to his country at least 7 times a year and did so for almost 8 years without problem. Until one day the immigration authorities at the airport realized the crime and stopped her. He was held without bond because he was an immigrant entering the country. (What is called in English is a “arriving alien.”) They began deportation proceedings and he was detained for all the months he took to defend his case in immigration court. I was finally able to win your case and get you a pardon under one of the immigration laws. I also asked him why he dared to travel knowing he had a crime. His answer was that he didn’t know he was going to have a problem. I think that in his case he was very confident that he was able to travel dozens of times without problem with immigration. To the one who is reading this I advise you that if you have had any criminal problems in this country that you do not dare to travel until you consult with an immigration attorney. Travel includes by plane, cruise or car. If you leave the country you are in danger of being arrested when you try to enter again. You will also almost certainly not be able to get an immigration bond because you are an immigrant entering the country. You will need to be imprisoned (detained) while defending your deportation case. In my next writing I will talk about the problem of traveling while you are in the process of applying for your legal residency.