Deportation from the U.S.:
Whom, Why and How?
The enforcement of U.S. Immigration Law under the current administration is becoming stricter day-by-day for immigrants and requiring more focus by state authorities acting in the field of the Immigration Law. While, as a rule, only illegal immigrants live with a constant fear of deportation, even those who are in the country on a legal basis but haven’t received citizenship yet, risk being removed from the country. Already naturalized U.S. citizens, who received the Green Card and permanent residency by deceit, can be denaturalized, i.e., deprived of residency and deported.
What is deportation?
Deportation is the administrative proceeding applicable to individuals without the American citizenship present at the U.S. territory. The process results in their expulsion from the U.S. back to the country from which they arrived. Deportation can be either voluntary or forced.
The deportation proceeding may be used as a punishment for those who have committed felonies under American laws, including Immigration Law.
During the removal proceedings, the defendant attends an immigration court hearing in which the immigration judge, having considered all the details of a potential deportee’s case, rules on the matter. It’s not necessary that the judge’s decision result in the deportee’s removal from the country. In many cases, a skilled Immigration Attorney is able to convince the judge to, provide legal relief, postpone deportation, or close the case without deportation.
Even if a judge rules for deportation, a person may still have a chance to avoid being returned to his motherland.
Reasons for deportation from the U.S.
Individuals under removal proceedings fall into two major groups: people unlawfully present at the U.S. territory and people lawfully present who violated the U.S. criminal law.The common opinion is that individuals having a Green Card or present at the U.S. on some other lawful bases (e.g., on a valid visa) cannot be deported. However, the truth is that they may be removed from the United States in the event they are convicted of committing a crime.
The most common deportation causes include:
- Immigration law and immigration regime violation. The category includes individuals unlawfully present on the U.S. territory (who illegally entered or have overstayed their visa) and those who failed to perform special USCIS requirements (e.g., failed to appear at the USCIS officer interview after filing a political asylum application or failed to notify the immigration authorities of a change of address.)
- Denial of asylum for the petitioner.
- Violation of Green Card requirements by its recipient. Green Card holders tend to consider themselves to be fully legitimate U.S. citizens because they easily get accustomed to all benefits they enjoy as a legal permanent resident along with U.S. citizens. However, they may be subject to deportation if there are no legitimate grounds to extend their status, while the permanent residency application is being processed, or their Green Card has expired.
A case may go to an Immigration Court if a Green Card owner commits an aggravated felony or a repeat misdemeanor. Even a slight violation of law, e.g., shoplifting, may be a reason for deportation.
Having a criminal record seriously aggravates the situation both for the U.S. asylum seeker and illegal immigrant, and will be a negative factor in court.
Serious felonies include:
- Violation of criminal, administrative, tax code: usage of drugs, drug dealing or trafficking, trafficking of firearms, crimes against a person (assaults, robbery), financial fraud and money laundering, administrative violations, including illicit registration and forging of documents.
- Violation of social code provisions and election law violation: illegally voting, committing fraud to receive governmental benefits).
- Being considered a threat to the U.S. National Security: membership in an identified terrorist organizations, any kind of terrorist support, espionage, illegal immigration assistance, smuggling.
How are deportation proceedings carried out?
Notification of pending case. The defendant receives a Notice to Appear with a fixed date and time for an Immigration Court hearing. As a rule, the Notice to Appear will contain a list of violations that are grounds for removing process.
If an individual appears to be a threat to the U.S. national security, the person may be arrested. However, there is a possibility for the detainee to be released on bail upon a commitment to be present at every court hearing on the case.
An Immigration Judge reviews the case. This is where the help of a professional immigration lawyer is crucial because this stage can be used to submit a request for a status adjustment, a political asylum petition, or request a voluntary deportation.
The Immigration Judge decides the case. The judge may make either a deportation verdict or legitimize the status of presence at the U.S.
An individual objecting to the verdict may submit a petition for the rehearing to Board of Immigration Appeals. If it a negative outcome is not reversed at that point, the case may be appealed in the National Court.
In case the final result is negative, a removal order will be given, upon which the individual will be deported to his homeland. He usually receives his personal documents from the territory of his home country.
Individuals illegally present in a U.S. territory may undergo expedited removal. This is usually effectuated only if an illegal immigrant was arrested within 100 miles of the border and has been in the U.S. no more than 2 weeks. A verdict of an expedited removal may not be appealed. However, a petition to cancel the order may be filed in connection with the fact the order was issued incorrectly.
Currently, the administration seeks to improve Immigration Law enforcement relative to the expedited removal process. Changes presuppose that the expedited removal will uncover illegal immigrants caught at any place of the U.S. if living within its territories for less than 2 years.
How to avoid removal process? Better ask an Immigration Attorney!
The best answer to the question is to live in the U.S. legally and respect the law.
But the question of how to save oneself from deportation, or at least to postpone it, is of significant and immediate importance for hundreds of people who currently have no legal grounds to stay at the U.S., as well as for valid visa and Green Card holders who have violated American laws.
The most important thing here is to avoid making additional mistakes. Contact an Immigration Attorney as soon as possible. Every day you delay may lead to dramatic unintended consequences when it comes to deportation.
People hoping to immigrate to the U.S. need to understand U.S. Immigration Law and plan wisely The best advice for these people determining how to arrive and stay in the States legally is the same: to visit an Immigration Attorney. An attorney will help to avoid situations that end up in removal processes.
Deportation could become a reality for almost any U.S. non-resident. Don’t wait until a deportation case is filed or hope to avoid this unpleasant proceeding. A timely Immigration Attorney's help clarifies any situation and may increase your chances to remain and live peacefully in the United States.
Disclaimer: the article contains basic information and doesn’t include the legal advice for any individual case