If you face detention, deportation, and removal proceedings, you may hire an attorney to assist you with you immigration case. Non-U.S. citizens could face detention and deportation for violating U.S. immigration laws. One way to violate immigration laws is to be convicted of criminal offenses. Our immigration lawyers are experienced at handling complex deportation cases and would be happy to represent you.
Immigration detention is the process by which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) places individuals that it seeks to remove from the United States into custody. DHS can detain anyone pending a decision on whether or not they are to be removed. Only some detained individuals are eligible for release. Detained individuals are not serving criminal sentences when detained, but rather face an administrative process for removal. Working with an immigration attorney can help build your case for being allowed to stay in the country. Also, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement can arrest and detain any alien (non-citizen) who is inadmissible or deportable. Detainees may be eligible, but are not guaranteed, to be released on a bond of no less than $1,500; however, terrorist suspects and suspected security risks are detained without bail. In detention, there is no fixed sentence. The deportation process can take anywhere from weeks to months to years, particularly if there are federal appeals involved. Detention can also become prolonged if no permission is obtained from a country to send a deportee.
The Department of Homeland Security can detain asylees, refugees, lawful permanent residents, student visa holders, veterans, women, children, the elderly, and people with serious illnesses. DHS can detain individuals who entered the United States without inspection, as well as those who entered the country legally and remained here legally for many years. Although it continues to happen, DHS cannot legally detain or deport U.S. citizens.
Even convictions for minor offenses can result in deportation or mandatory detention, sometimes permanently barring individuals from returning to the United States. Consulting with an immigration attorney can help you avoid certain or all immigration consequences. If you have been detained, the government must either charge you with a crime or initiate removal proceedings within seven days.
Please contact our immigration attorneys if you have been detained and need legal representation.
The formal removal of an alien from the United States when the alien has been found removable for violating the immigration laws is known as deportation. Deportation is ordered by an immigration judge without any punishment being imposed or contemplated. Now called removal, this function is managed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. If someone is determined to be removable, they are subject to receiving a removal order and must leave the United States.
Deportation proceedings can be initiated both against legal permanent residents and illegal aliens. Lawful permanent residents are running the risk that their permanent residency in the United States may be revoked when they plead guilty to deportable offenses in criminal court. Once the arrested permanent resident is in criminal custody, he or she may be subject to the immigration hold and will be transferred to the immigration detention center for processing once his/her time in county jail/state prison expires. The same applies to illegal aliens who committed criminal offense – they are usually placed under immigration hold and are not allowed to leave jail/prison, so that they could be transferred directly to the immigration detention facility for further removal proceedings.
There are five basic reasons a non-citizen may be deported. You may be deported if:
- You were excludable at the time of entry or adjustment of status or have violated the terms of your visa;
- You have been convicted of a crime involving “moral turpitude,” are considered an aggravated felon by immigration standards, or committed a drug-related crime;
- You have failed to register or have falsified documents;
- You pose a threat to U.S. security (including acts of terrorism, violation of espionage laws, and membership in an organization whose purpose is to overthrow the government);
- You have become a public charge within five years of admission for reasons not shown to have arisen since entry.
If you face deportation, there may be a waiver or an exception that applies in your case. Please contact our experienced immigration lawyers who can provide you with a quality deportation defense.
Before your removal proceeding, you should be given notice of your acts alleged to be in violation, the law supporting the allegations, and the time and place of the proceeding.
You are entitled to be represented by counsel and should contact our experienced immigration lawyers if you need assistance. However, unlike in criminal court, immigrants in removal proceedings who cannot afford an attorney are not given one for free. In court, your hearings will be conducted in English. However, you have the right to have an interpreter present in the language you are most comfortable in. It is critical that you demand that your removal proceedings be conducted in the language in which you are most comfortable and the court must provide this for you. Your immigration lawyer can help make sure your hearing is conducted properly.
An immigration judge will hear evidence and witnesses in a trial-like proceeding. Your attorney will have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses, and you may examine the evidence against you. However, you will not have access to information related to national security.
You must appear, either in person, by phone or by video unless you have arranged for the hearing to take place in your absence. If you fail to appear, you can be removed in absentia if the government presents clear and convincing evidence that they provided you with notice and that you are removable.
If the question at issue is whether you are lawfully present in the United States, you must prove your lawful presence by clear and convincing evidence. An experienced immigration lawyer will help you gather evidence.
If the question is whether you are deportable because of a crime, violation, or security threat, the government bears the burden of proof.
If you lose your case and the Immigration Judge orders you removed, you can appeal your case to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). If you lose your appeal, DHS will begin the process of arranging for your removal unless you file a Petition for Review at the U.S. Court of Appeals within 30 days after your BIA decision. Since you may be removed if you lose your appeal, it is a good idea to consult with an immigration lawyer to try and build a winning case.
Removal proceedings can be extremely complex, and if deported from the United States, you may be ineligible to return. Our experienced immigration attorneys can ensure that you have the best possible defense.
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Contact our office today to discuss your immigration questions. We are available during regular business hours and by appointment at other times. For your convenience, we offer payment plans for our clients who need them.