Immigrating to the United States is the dream of a lifetime for many people around the world. Each year, however, this dream is jeopardized for thousands through deportation proceedings. The Immigration and Nationality Act divides deportation matters into two categories, inadmissibility and removal proceedings. Deportation based on inadmissibility prohibits a person from entering the United States whereas removal proceedings force individuals already in the U.S., legally or illegally, to leave the country.
There are five broad categories of grounds for deportation:
- Entering the country without proper authority such as a valid visa
- “Status Violations” which occur when an immigrant violates his or her terms of admission or works illegally in the United States
- Persons with criminal convictions or membership in certain prohibited organizations
- An individual’s application for asylum has been denied
- An alien who becomes a public charge within five years of entering the United States. Public charge determination describes immigrants who depend on public benefits that provide cash such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income for subsistence.
The Deportation Proceeding
In a typical deportation proceeding, the foreign national in question is arrested and detained by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE). Shortly thereafter, the individual will receive a “Notice to Appear” which outlines why the alien should not be allowed to remain in the United States. A USICE official will then determine bond eligibility and hold the deportation hearings. Once the decision is made after the deportation hearing, an appeal from the immigration judge’s ruling may be filed at the Board of Immigration Appeals within 30 days of the decision. It is important to note that the Board of Immigration Appeals makes its ruling on appeals based solely on the printed record of the previous proceeding, the immigration judge’s decision and the attorney’s legal briefs. The immigrant in question is not permitted to testify during the appeal process.
Our experienced team of deportation defense attorneys understands the fear and uncertainty individuals feel when they, or a loved one, has been issued a notice to appear for a deportation or removal hearing. Our firm can help you with every aspect of the deportation hearing process including preparation for hearings and drafting necessary documents. With all cases, our immigration law firm will take the time to determine whether there is basis for deportation. If our immigration lawyers find that there is not enough evidence to warrant deportation, we will move quickly to terminate the proceedings. If there is reasonable evidence to suggest that deportation is in order, we will help you explore strategies to avoid removal such as obtaining political asylum, assisting you in attaining permanent residency status, cancellation of removal or by obtaining a waiver or pardon under the Immigration and Nationality Act. If there is no avenue of relief, we can assist in negotiations which will allow you to leave the country voluntarily rather than under the order of deportation; this action can minimize the long-term consequences of deportation so that you have the opportunity to re-enter the United States in the future.