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  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 5:17 pm on December 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    U.S.Immigration Laws: Do Not Enter! 


    It didn’t take long after yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the Muslim travel ban, that I got a frantic email today concerning a Pakistani Muslim woman stopped at the Houston airport and banned from entering the U.S.

    This is despite the fact that she has a valid visitor visa and that Pakistan is not even on the list of banned Muslim countries.

    Prior to yesterday’s court ruling, I had already seen an uptick in unusual denials of visitor visas at USA embassies abroad. Frequent travelers who have had visas before have been going for renewals and finding that they are arbitrarily denied, and  they are being asked obscure questions about prior visits.

    While the travel ban is limited to just a handful of countries, this Houston immigration lawyer and Miami immigration lawyer states that the practical effect is that Muslims in all countries are likely to have a much more difficult time getting a visa or entering the country. The “America First” policy, however, is not limited to excluding Muslims. I have recently seen visas denied to individuals from Ukraine, Africa and other places, where those same people had visas in the past.

    For further information, I can be reached at bruce.coane@gmail.com or 713.850.0066 or 305.538.6800.



  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 3:42 pm on July 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Immigration Arrests and Raids and Employment Law Update 

    Here is a video of a speech that I gave a few months ago to an overflow crowd in Houston. I was talking about my predictions for immigration raids of churches, hospitals, synagogues, mosques and other places where immigration officials historically would not visit.

    While the video is several months old, some of my predictions are already coming to fruition, where spouses of Americans with no criminal record are being arrested and deported and where according to some of my clients, immigration officials are “rounding-up” foreigners in some of the smaller, more rural areas. With my 30+ years of experience in immigration law, I am uniquely situated to advise individuals, companies and non-federal government agencies on how our laws work and exactly what is going on right now. I have been staying very busy, lately, doing just that.

    In other matters at our office the past couple of weeks, I had the opportunity to visit with clients from some of the smaller countries of Africa, such as Equatorial Guinea, Burkina Faso (formerly known as Upper Volta) and Angola. In addition to providing legal advice to these clients, this Houston immigration lawyer and Miami immigration lawyer always finds it interesting to talk to them about their culture, language, and other aspects of their country.

    On the employment law and employment discrimination law front, I am currently in Phoenix, Arizona for two days of depositions. My client sued Dignity Health in Phoenix, alleging he was fired due to sex discrimination and retaliation. The essence of his allegations are that his boss was sleeping with his co-worker, that Dignity knew about it and allowed it to continue, and when there was a lack of funding, his supervisor chose to keep his female co-worker (the one sleeping with the boss) , rather than my client. In addition to the two days of depositions, I have been enjoying the regional food, the dry heat and 100+degree temperatures, and the sight of all the exotic desert flowers and cactus plants.

    Lastly, it has been a busy month for court hearings on our employment discrimination cases. We went to court twice this month in our client’s case against Wells Fargo, where our client claimed race discrimination, and the bank sued her back for alleging stealing money from the vault. We also had a court hearing in our client’s case against Hobby Lobby, where he alleges he was fired in retaliation for complaining about sex discrimination.

    For further information, I may be reached in Houston at 713.850.0066 or in our Miami office at 305.538.6800. I can also be reached at bruce.coane@gmail.com.

    • Helen Surovek 6:18 pm on July 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      LOVE the great work you do, Bruce. Had I had the privilege of higher education, I would have been doing something similar…helping those in need of help. With the know-how to
      maneuver through the maze of our wonderful legal system. Keep up the good work~!

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 8:44 pm on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Police Right to Act as Immigration Officers 

    CBP Officers pay tribute to fellow fallen officers during a Law Enforcement memorial service in Washington D.C.


    In certain parts of the country, police are taking it upon themselves to act as immigration officers. In the most recent case of illegal arrests and detentions, Ariel Vences-Lopez, a 23 year old from Minneapolis was detained by a transit rail police officer. Mr. Lopez failed to pay his fare and refused to verbally respond. This led to police officer, Andy Lamers, proceeding to taser and detain Mr. Lopez due to his immigration status.

    In the New York Times article, police Chief John Harrington states that, “it is not his department’s policy to question riders about their immigration status. Harrington said the officer who questioned Vences-Lopez in the video is no longer with the department”. The police officer who over-stepped his power was disciplined.

    While most state governments ensure to keep the line between police officers and immigration officers very clear and even punishable if crossed, the State of Texas encourages their police officers to ask for immigration status under Senate Bill 4 (SB4). This new law signed by Governor Gregg Abbott, grants local police the power to act as federal immigration officers. In an attempt to curb illegal immigration, Texas has taken a very tough stand against immigrants.

    Senate Bill 4, which goes into effect on September 1, 2017 is already creating a lot of negative backlash.  Now a simple act like driving without a license can get you detained and even deported if you are of color. Police are even encouraged to ask for immigration status in domestic violence calls.  In another controversial news story from The Washington Post, a woman was detained after seeking domestic abuse protection at a Texas courthouse.

    For further information, this Houston immigration lawyer and Miami immigration lawyer can be contacted at 713.850.0066, 305.538.6800 or bruce.coane@gmail.com.

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 1:14 pm on June 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , legal rights   

    Educational Video About Deportation Court Proceedings 

    I have represented clients in deportation court on a regular basis for over 25 years. Such proceedings are very serious because if the client loses, the judge orders that they be deported. Of course, the deportation does not happen immediately because there is a lengthy appeals process and even if the client does not file an appeal, many times it could be months until arrangements are made for the actual deportation.

    Watch this video which explains a person’s legal rights and shows how the deportation court process works.

    If you wish to have a consultation regarding similar issues, visit our website or contact me.


    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law and immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at houstonlaw@aol.com, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

    • How to Golf App 10:00 pm on March 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

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  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 3:19 pm on January 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Hispanic Voters, , , Pew Hispanic Center survey   

    Deportation and the 2012 Election 

    President Barack Obama hasn’t quite received the satisfactory rating he had with the Hispanic voters in 2010, but a recent survey from the Pew Hispanic Center shows that many Hispanic voters still favor him in the 2012 elections.

    This survey was done with 1,220 Latino adults from all 50 states and the District of Colombia. The results that this survey got may not be conclusive, even though a lot of Hispanics are most likely to vote for him again, the percentage of the poll are divided into the way the Obama administration is handling the country’s general problems and the immigration and deportation problems specifically.

    Obama’s current approval rating among the general population is 46% which is 3% lower than what he received from the Pew survey’s 49%, but in 2010, he received a rating from the Latinos 9% higher at 58%. So what does this say?

    The respondents are aware that the Obama administration deports illegal immigrants faster than the previous administration did, and 77% of those who are aware of this object to the current deportation policies.

    However, high and low the ratings for Obama go, 91% of the respondents are in full support of broad immigration reform, including the naturalization of undocumented residents brought to the US as children, and the DREAM Act.


    Bruce Coane is a leading lawyer with 30 years of experience in the field of immigration law and employment law. He may be reached via email at houstonlaw@aol.com or his website at Coane and Associates.

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 3:21 pm on August 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Morton Memos   

    The Obama administration announced last week that it… 

    The Obama administration announced last week that it was going to review all 300,000+ deportation court cases and consider dismissing some of them. The stated criteria for dismissal/closure was whether the personal has not been convicted of a serious crime and has not been a habitual immigration violator. This latest statement from the administration follows earlier pronouncements (known as the Morton memos) from ICE and DHS that they would be exercising prosecutorial discretion and terminating many deportation cases.

    Since the Morton memos have NOT been followed, at least from my observations in immigration court, I was very skeptical of the latest announcements last week, which led many to suggest it was a new amnesty. While there was no statement about amnesty, the administration did say that work permits would be issued to people whose cases were closed in this process.

    I suspected that it would be “business as usual”, based on my observations following the Morton memos. Following those memos, the local prosecutors in Houston exhibited no intention of dismissing any cases (except for some during the first few weeks). The problem is that the administration in Washington makes these bold pronouncements, yet nothing trickles down to their people in the field. So, the prosecutors and the judge act as though the memos and pronouncements have no effect on them.

    Today, I had a deportation case in immigration court and figured I’d test the waters. My client is a young woman from China, and had no problems with the law and is a full-time college student. I asked the prosecutor , Dean Emmons, and the Judge Lisa Luis if they would agree to close the case pursuant to the directives from Washington, DC. The judge said,”I’m not bound by the Morton memos,” and that this was “not the right forum. The prosecutor said that he was not willing to close the case.

    So, notwithstanding directives from Washington about the new amnesty, nothing has trickled down to the field. What the government should have done was to order an immediate halt to all deportation cases until they can review the files as was promised. Going forward with such cases, in light of directives from Washington saying to the contrary, is just plain wrong.

    In conclusion, there is no new amnesty and there is no stoppage of deportation cases, at least in Houston and Miami where I handle most of my cases.


    Bruce Coane is a leading lawyer with 30 years of experience in the field of immigration law and employment law. He may be reached via email at houstonlaw@aol.com or his website at Coane and Associates.

    • Troy Sim 4:40 pm on August 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right on. Until there is guidance from Washington, D.C. things won’t change.

    • Donna 7:48 pm on June 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Before taking up space about things you know nothing about, Immigration Judges do not have the authority to extend prosecutorial discretion and the judge is right, it is NOT the forum for discussing it. Prosecutorial Discretion is just as the name suggests, at the discretion of the prosecutors. They are not obliged to terminate any case brought to them. They extend PD at their own discretion based on criminal history, immigration history and in many instances statements previously made by the respondents.

    • Bruce Coane 8:27 pm on June 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I disagree Donna. A judge can discuss anything they choose to discuss, and can instruct the parties to discuss whatever the judge wants them to discuss. And, when I wrote this almost two years ago, I was a witness to government lawyers denying PD in Houston on many cases. Things may have changed since then, but in 2011, that was certainly the case from my personal observations.

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 2:08 pm on August 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: deportation cases, immigration court hearing dismissal,   

    Immigration court proceedings are being terminated, pursuant to new policy 

    Pursuant to an August 20, 2010 directive from the Department of Homeland Security, immigration court proceedings are being terminated in many cases.

    The directive condones the dismissal of these deportation proceedings where there is specific “relief” available for the foreign national. Such relief involves things like marriage to a USA citizen, or other pending or approved visa petition.

    While the directive was issued only 7 days ago, I have already seen several of my clients’ deportation cases dismissed. This is a huge benefit for clients as it saves them the time and expense and fear of deportation proceedings.

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 12:23 am on June 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , passport seized at airport   

    Green Card Seized at Airport 

    Our client’s green card was seized by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after she tried to re-enter the USA after a short trip abroad.

    The DHS now has most USA criminal records in the database at the airports. They even have criminal records from certain foreign countries, like Canada, etc.

    If the DHS believes the crime could make the person subject to deportation, they often seize the green card at the airport. Such a person, like our client, is then left with no proof of legal status.

    In our client’s case, we tried unsuccessfully to get the green card returned, and finally, today, the DHS office in New Orleans, stamped her passport with proof of legal status.

    Obtaining that stamp was no simple task because it requires the filing of form I-90, which is normally used to replace a lost or stolen passport. In this case it was neither lost nor stolen, and it took great effort to get DHS to accept the form. And, without proof that the form was filed, DHS was refusing to stamp the passport with proof of green card status. Now that she has proof again, our client can travel abroad, renew her driver’s license, and work legally.

    • rob saijjke 8:34 pm on July 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      mr coane, how often does this happen? can DHS take away your passport on suspicion of being a terrorist or illegal alien, without any cause or does that become a criminal matter?

      • Coane & Associates 9:15 pm on July 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        DHS can pretty-much do whatever they want at the port of entry (airport), including taking your passport, green card, etc. Of course, you can “challenge” that through the court system.

        • Anonymous 7:12 am on May 9, 2011 Permalink

          hi my passport has been kept by dhs. im anf1 student and i lost my status due to missing a lot of classes, so dhs came to my house took me to detention center. I was off within couple hours on bond of $1200, but the kept my passport. I have a court date at the end of July. So in this case my ID has expired, Is there any system to renew it.

    • Sam 1:05 am on July 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Doesn’t that become a crime, then? And what is the statute of limitation for challenging the system?

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