The possibility of deportation – also called “removal” – raises a number of important questions and concerns for immigrants who are in the United States. In the fiscal year 2018 (which ended on September 30th), more than 250,000 immigrants were deported from the U.S.
What are the reasons why immigrants in the U.S. might be deported? How does a deportation proceeding work? Precisely who is in danger of being deported? How can an immigration law firm help?
FAQ #1: FOR WHAT REASONS MAY SOMEONE BE DEPORTED?
What are the legal grounds for deportation? Someone might be subject to removal from the U.S. if that person:
1. has violated his or her visa’s terms and conditions
2. is deemed to pose a danger to the general public
3. has been convicted of a crime
4. entered the U.S. without proper documentation
FAQ #2: HOW DOES A REMOVAL PROCEEDING BEGIN?
A deportation proceeding can sometimes begin with an arrest. Whenever an immigrant is arrested for a crime, it’s possible that the immigration authorities may initiate a removal procedure.
In other cases, an immigrant who is targeted for deportation will be sent a Notice to Appear in immigration court. Any immigrant who may be at risk for removal must be advised and represented by an immigration lawyer. Get an attorney’s help at once.
If you’re sent a Notice to Appear, you must appear at every scheduled hearing. If you don’t, an immediate Order of Removal may be issued. The first deportation hearing is “procedural.” At that hearing, the process and the law are explained. An “evidentiary” hearing is then scheduled.
At an evidentiary hearing, an immigration judge will listen to and consider the evidence presented by both sides.
FAQ #3: WHAT IF THE CHARGES AGAINST YOU ARE MISTAKEN OR FALSE?
If you receive a Notice to Appear, it should explain why you are being considered for deportation. Read it carefully and share it with your immigration lawyer. It is possible that the government’s allegations against you are mistaken or false.
Were you wrongly arrested and charged with a crime? An immigration attorney can help. Even having the same name as another person could bring you to the attention of the immigration authorities, but a good immigration lawyer can bring order quickly to that type of confusion.
FAQ #4: HOW CAN YOU FIGHT DEPORTATION?
If you are the subject of a removal procedure, you will have several options. Your immigration lawyer will explain your options and will work diligently to help you remain in the U.S.
What options may be available to you?
1. If your spouse, your child, or at least one of your parents is a U.S. citizen, you may request a visa on the basis of that family relationship.
2. If you have been in the United States for at least a decade, and you help to support your immediate family members, it is possible to have a deportation proceeding canceled if your removal would cause one or more family members to suffer exceptional hardship.
3. If you’ve been persecuted or if you are fearful of reprisals in your home country because of your ethnicity, race, political opinion, religion, or your participation in a certain group, you can request asylum. Asylum status in the U.S. qualifies you to acquire a green card.
4. You may also qualify for “withholding of removal,” which is similar to asylum, except that withholding of removal is temporary and it does not make you eligible to acquire a green card.
5. A prosecutor has “prosecutorial discretion” simply to drop the removal procedure. If you have no criminal history, your immigration lawyer may be able to persuade the government to use prosecutorial discretion to allow you to remain in the U.S.
FAQ #5: IS “VOLUNTARY DEPARTURE” A GOOD OPTION?
If a skilled Las Vegas immigration attorney reviews your case and concludes that you are probably going to be deported, “voluntary departure” is one of the options that you should take into consideration.
You may ask the immigration authorities to consider that your departure from the U.S. is “voluntary,” and a removal will not be listed on your immigration record.
But to remain in the U.S., you either must:
1. prove that the charges against you are not true (your lawyer will know what evidence you need and how to acquire it)
2. persuade authorities that you should be permitted to remain in the U.S. despite the allegations
FAQ #6: HOW WILL AN IMMIGRATION LAW FIRM HELP YOU?
If the government targets you for deportation, you will very much need an attorney who has substantial immigration experience to scrutinize the facts in your case and to suggest the most effective way for you to fight deportation.
It is important to note that immigrants with legal representation prevail in their deportation hearings far more frequently than immigrants who go to these hearings without having an attorney to help them.
In deportation proceedings, the government will not appoint a public defender to represent you. You must take the initiative to contact an experienced immigration lawyer as soon as you receive a Notice to Appear.
An immigration attorney knows the apprehension and anxiety that you and your loved ones can face when removal becomes a threat. Your attorney will answer your questions, address your concerns, and provide step-by-step guidance throughout the procedure.
You should rely on your attorney’s judgment and experience. An immigration lawyer routinely handles immigration cases and will know how to argue and negotiate effectively on your behalf.
FAQ #7: CAN A DEPORTATION ORDER BE APPEALED?
Even if an immigration judge orders your deportation, you may still have options. You have thirty days to appeal the ruling to the Board of Immigration Appeals, and if you do not succeed there, your attorney may recommend taking your case to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
If you’ve worked hard to build a life of opportunity and hope in the U.S. for yourself and your family, you can’t let that hard work go to waste. But the threat posed by deportation is real.
Deportation closes businesses, splits apart families, and destroys dreams. If you receive a Notice to Appear, there is no reason for you to panic, but you must obtain a reliable immigration attorney’s advice and representation at once.
Immigration law in the U.S. is quite complicated, and a good immigration lawyer’s help is your right. In fact, your future could depend on it.