Those who are facing possible
deportation proceedings are likely frightened, anxious, frustrated and even traumatized
by the potential outcome. In some instances removal proceedings are started due
to a criminal conviction or from a violation of immigration laws, whether unintended
or with full knowledge. Other deportation proceedings are initiated due to a person
entering the U.S. without proper documentation.
When Immigration and Custom Enforcement
instigate a deportation proceeding, a hearing will be held at an immigration court
located throughout the United States in most major cities. The foreign-born person
will be required to appear at the immigration court for a hearing. At this time
the charges will be read, and the person could request an extension of time or relief.
Depending on the circumstances the person may be arrested although a bond may allow
release during the process.
There are a variety of forms of
relief including the following:
Cancellation of removal
Asylum and withholding of removal
Waivers of excludability and deportability
Adjustment of status to permanent residence
Suspension of deportation
Legalization and registry
Factors Which May Help the Person Under Threat of Removal
Certain factors which may work
in the favor of a person under threat of deportation and removal proceedings include
strong ties to the community, employment history and family as well as a history
of community involvement (volunteer positions, church membership, etc.) Those who
have served in the Armed Forces of the United States have a better chance of avoiding
deportation as do those who own property. Evidence of good moral character will
always work in the favor of a person under threat of deportation.
Why You Need an Attorney during Deportation and Removal Proceedings
On the date of the hearing, the
respondent may be represented by an attorney of their choice. Unlike proceedings
for a U.S. citizen, the respondent in a deportation case is not entitled to representation
and no attorney will be provided. Because of this it is definitely in the best interests
of the respondent to obtain legal representation as soon as they have been served
a Notice to Appear. Removal and deportation proceedings are among the most complicated
processes in immigration law.
Because there are so many different
types of relief from removal, having an attorney by your side who can guide you
through the process, evaluate the evidence presented by the U.S. government and
prepare appropriate arguments for your specific case can mean the difference between
being deported and being allowed to remain in the U.S. Once your attorney has filed
an application for relief, a date for a merits hearing will be set—this court date
could be within a few days, or, depending on the court backlog, could be set for
as long as a year away. During the merits hearing the respondent’s attorney can
present all evidence to the court which support the application for relief from
removal. Witnesses may be called and the respondent may choose to testify on their
own behalf. When the merit hearing concludes, the Judge will issue a decision.
The process for deportation
and removal proceedings sounds like a complicated maze—it is. The immigration attorneys
of Sullo&Sullo want to help you obtain a successful result in your deportation
case. We are compassionate to your plight and will always explain your options clearly.