False ICE reports and detaining U.S. citizens



A new report by the University of Syracuse just released an analysis that shows that only 2.8% of the 270,000 cases filed at immigration courts have “criminal activity” cited. This contradicts the statements made by thecurrent ICE director, Matthew Ablence who has stated that, “Approximately 90 percent of ERO’s administrative arrests in the interior of the country are of aliens that have prior criminal convictions, face pending criminal charges, are immigration fugitives or have been previously removed from the country and have illegally reentered.”

This concludes that the grand majority of people being detained and deported back to their native countries are not criminals, but everyday immigrants looking for opportunity. The ICE directors statements misleads congress and it mainly misleads the American people into believing that ICE is deporting criminals. When in fact they are deporting our neighbors, friends, and family with no real criminal history.

Our very own Abogado Ray, who is the leading immigration attorney at the firm has stated, “most people that are being detained and deported are gardeners, construction workers, and cooks”. The reason why the ICE report states that 90% of these people are “convicted criminal” is because they have entered the country illegally. However, other than that most immigrants that are deported have no other criminal background, and are sadly being labeled as dangerous and harmful.

A report by, The Washington Post and many other studies have found that illegal immigrants are far less likely to commit crimes than native born citizens. The majority of immigrants that come to the United States are only in search for a better life for themselves and their families. To avoid the hardships of poverty and violence they face in their country of origin.

Disgraced Guatemalans over United States and Guatemalan asylum agreement

On Friday, President Trump and the Guatemalan government had announced that they had come to an agreement of setting Guatemala as a processing checkpoint for asylum seekers seeking refuge in the United States. The news devastated many Guatemalan and latino communities in the United States as many Central and South-Americans know that Guatemala is not a “safe third world country.” Our very own Ana Guzman, who is a Senior Immigration Paralegal at the firm and a Guatemalan herself expressed disappointment on the asylum agreement between the two governments.

Ana Guzman has stated that having Guatemala as a checkpoint can cause more of a crisis  for the country and migrants seeking asylum. She has stated that Guatemala does not have the resources or infrastructure to deal with large numbers of migrants, and that Guatemala is not a safe place to stay as violence and poverty is widespread in the country. Also including that the country’s very own citizens flee and look for refuge in the United States as the Guatemalan government can not keep its own citizens safe.

A report by Arizona’s Telemundo found that a majority of illegal border crossings in the United States are mainly by Guatemalans. Showing a rise from 50,401 family border crossings in 2018 to 167,104 family border crossings in 2019. This demonstrates how the Guatemalan government is ill prepared to handle the migrant crisis in Central and South America and may poses a greater threat to those seeking opportunities and refuge.

Arizona Supreme Court Victory-Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Our office was overjoyed to receive the news that we attained a positive result from the Arizona Supreme Court in the case of Mr. Nunez-Diaz. In 2013, Mr. Nunez-Diaz’s family came to our office distraught and angry. They felt they had been tricked and lied to by a local law firm. They recounted their story how they only signed up with the law firm of Alcock and Associates because they were told the criminal case would be resolved in a manner as to not negatively impact the immigration case. Instead, the exact opposite happened.

Mr. Nunez-Diaz’s attorney from Alcock and Associates told him to accept the plea offer and it would not have immigration consequences. In reality, the Alcock and Associates attorney was aware of the negative and severe immigration consequences and did not disclose this to Mr. Nunez-Diaz and his family. Instead, after they plead guilty they were informed by an immigration attorney at the same law firm that their was nothing that could be done because of what he plead guilty to. The family felt humiliated and deceived.

Our office took the case because we had heard numerous stories of Alcock attorneys misrepresenting our community. We saw a pattern of our community being lied to, only to get their money and then not have their cases adequately litigated. Many families have sat in our office in tears over how poorly their cases were handled by Alcock attorneys.

“Our office was proud to get this victory for Mr. Nunez-Diaz, his family, and our entire community,” said attorney Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado. “We continue to grow our services so that our community can have a law firm where they can come to and get an honest opinion about their case and the most vigorous representation possible. We hope to someday see an end to the law firms that abuse our community and hope to see them instead focus on serving our community.”

Telemundo Arizona produced a two-minute segment which features our attorney Juliana Manzanarez, our client, and his family. The segment is titled “Asesoria Legal Equivocada Resulta en Deportacion.”  We also received coverage from the Arizona Capitol Times, (State Supreme Court Gives Deported Man Second Chance at Trial), Prescott Daily Courier, (Arizona Supreme Court Allows Do-Over in Deportation Case), and the Eastern Arizona Courier, (New Trial for Deported Immigrant).

The full decision from the Arizona Supreme Court can be found here.



Immigrant Scholarship Hustle: Ray Ybarra Maldonado keynote speech

IMG_5353.jpgAbogado Ray Ybarra Maldonado with DACAmented and undocumented students from the Immigrant Scholarship Hustle Program.


On July 16, Abogado Ray Ybarra Maldonado visited the Phoenix Coding Academy to speak with students from the Immigrant Scholarship Hustle Program. The Immigrant Scholarship Hustle is an intensive scholarship program for immigrant students in the State of Arizona.

Abogado Ray began with sharing his story on how immigration has impacted his life. He spoke about growing up in Douglas, Arizona and how the borderland was his playground, crossing to and from Mexico with little to no enforcement. However, in 1999 that changed as migrants from Mexico crossed at higher rates and white nationalist minutemen took action to stop them. Abogado Ray took action to record and photograph the minutemen who’s goals were to harass and demoralize migrant families from coming into the United States. He succeeded in protecting migrant families and began his first steps in the legal process.

He later spoke to students about attending ASU and Cochise Community College in Douglas, AZ on an athletic scholarship playing baseball. After graduating with a  bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies he attended the prestigious Stanford Law School. Expressing to the students that despite living in a household that lived paycheck to paycheck and coming from a place with little resources.  That it is our work ethic and our desire to succeed that will help us progress. Inspiring an entire room of students who may feel like they have little to look forward to.

Abogado Ray also informed the students about the history of DACA and the DREAM act. What each piece of legislation means and the requirements the students need to meet for each program. Ray also mentioned the different and most popular types of VISA’s that the students could possibly qualify for in the near future. The students took notes and were provided with resources by Ybarra Maldonado Law Group for them to keep and utilize. The students asked questions about their legal status and situations that may favor them to one day become legal residents. Ray also handed out books and a t-shirt to one lucky student who asked a remarkable question at the end of the presentation.

Abogado Ray hopes that his presentation and story has inspired and well informed the students to look towards the path of citizenship. Leaving the students with more information, tools, and resources than they may have previously had.



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Victory in the Arizona Supreme Court! Such an honor to stand in front of Arizona’s highest court and argue for Mr. Nuñez-Diaz, his family, and the entire immigrant community in Arizona. The State argued that undocumented immigrants are not entitled to the protections of the United States Constitution and the AZ Supreme Court “granted review to consider whether deportable immigrants can show prejudice if their lawyers’ deficient performances lead them to plead guilty and suffer attendant immigration consequences – a recurring issue of statewide importance.”

Happy to report they ruled in our favor. Yes, our community does have the right to effective assistance of counsel and we will walk into any courtroom, any day of the week, to defend that right. A victory of this magnitude, of course,took our entire team and then some. Amazing brief writing by Juliana Manzanarez and much respect to every single one of our team members who worked on the case and held down the fort so we could put the time necessary into preparing for argument. (Angeles Maldonado, Carina Guillén, Janet Rocha, Aarón A López Anchondo, Lizeth Escalante, Mari Cruz, Lucy Sproule, Ana Guzman, Lerman Montoya). And a special shout out to Jazmin Alagha who filed original Rule 32 in Superior Court! Also thanks to amicus attorneys Keith and David who provided tremendous support.

#dreamteam #arizonaattorney #ymlg #abogadoray

Ask Juliana: FOIA

“Ask Juliana” is a video series starring our associate attorney, Juliana Manzanarez. Every week, Juliana will answer your immigration questions and explore different topics in immigration law and policy. Stay tuned! Don’t forget to subscribe!