Immigration Court Defense

Immigrants Facing Deportation Whether Detained or Non-Detained

How may a person end up facing removal (deportation) proceedings in immigration court?

A non-citizen of the United States could end up facing removal (deportation) proceedings from the United States in immigration court if the U.S. government charges the person with having committed a ground (fault) of deportability.  Non-citizens of the United States that could be placed in removal (deportation) proceedings are:

  • legal permanent residents
  • nonimmigrant visa holders within the United States
  • persons admitted through the visa waiver program
  • persons that arrived at a port of entry (international bridge, airport or seaport), without a visa, who claimed fear of persecution (also known as asylum applicant)

U.S. citizens, born or naturalized, are not subject to immigration law and therefore the U.S. government cannot place a U.S. citizen in removal (deportation) proceedings. However, Naturalized U.S. citizens might end up in immigration court facing removal (deportation) proceedings if they committed fraud in their applications for legal permanent residence or naturalization (united states citizenship).

Must non-citizens of the U.S. arriving into ports of entry (international bridges, airports or seaports) or people apprehended entering illegally into the U.S. and whom are not in possession of a visa or other document that would allow that person to legally enter the United States, are subject to a process called expedited removal, unless they express having fear of persecution if they are returned to their countries.

Non-citizens placed in expedited removal (deportation) will not have the opportunity to defend themselves against their removal (deportation) charges, before an immigration judge. The person will be removed (deported) from the United States by an immigration officer, immediately or shortly after their application for admission to enter the U.S. is denied or immediately after they were apprehended attempting to enter the U.S. illegally.

Will a person facing removal (deportation) proceedings in immigration court be detained during the entire process?

Depending on the circumstances, some non-citizens may face removal (deportation) proceedings in immigration court without being detained. This is called non-detained removal (deportation) proceedings. Other non-citizens will have to face the entire removal (deportation) proceedings detained in an ICE processing (detention) center. This is called detained removal (deportation) proceedings. Some will be detained at first, but then may be released on parole by ICE or by posting an immigration bond set by an immigration judge.

What can cause that a person be placed in removal (deportation) proceedings in immigration court?

Below are the main grounds (faults) of deportation that can cause that a non-citizen of the United States to be placed in removal (deportation) proceedings before an immigration judge in immigration court.

  • Being inadmissible at entry or adjustment of status
  • Being present in the U.S. in violation of law
  • Violating the terms of a non-immigrant visa
  • Violating a condition of entry
  • Committing marriage fraud
  • Failing to register and falsification of documents
  • Becoming a public charge after legal admission as permanent resident
  • Crimes involving moral turpitude
  • Firearms offenses
  • Aggravated felonies
  • Domestic violence, stalking
  • child neglect, abuse or abandonment
  • prostitution
  • commercialized vice

Can a non-citizen person be placed in removal (deportation) proceedings even if never been convicted of a crime?

As you might have noticed, some grounds of deportability are triggered by having been convicted of serious crimes. Other grounds of deportability can be triggered by having a conviction of less serious crimes and other grounds of deportability can be triggered if the person has engaged in conduct that, although not considered crimes, immigration law considers it reprehensible.

Is there anything a non-citizen can do to avoid being charged with a ground of deportability triggered by serious crimes?

For those grounds of deportation that are triggered by convictions of serious crimes or by the admission of having committed serious criminal conducts, the best immigration court defense is avoiding having a criminal conviction at criminal courts by a judge or jury, pleading guilty to a criminal charge, admitting the commission of any criminal conduct in exchange of a less serious punishment, being placed on probation, or accepting any type of criminal responsibility in court before consulting with an immigration attorney, because once any of that happens, it will be very challenging to overcome the ground of deportation before an immigration judge when the case is filed with the immigration court.

Immigration judges have discretion to wave some grounds of deportability if the non-citizen meets certain requirements. However, the fact that an immigration judge has discretion to waive a ground of deportability, does not mean the judge will rule in favor of the person facing deportation in immigration court.

Therefore, the best immigration court defense against a charge of deportation is preventing the charge in the first place. This means that a non-citizen of the U.S. that is charged of committing a crime must consult with an immigration attorney before accepting any offer of guilty plea or otherwise admitting having committed a crime, even partially, in exchange of time served, probation, deferred probation, release under supervision, and other less serious penalties.

It also means that the non-citizen person should avoid situations that may trigger the non-criminal grounds of deportability on the list above.

Can a non-citizen person present any defense against deportation in immigration court to avoid being removed (deported) of the U.S.?

Yes! Below is a list of the main 9 immigration court defenses that might be available to a non-citizen of the U.S. who is facing removal (deportation) proceedings in immigration courts.

  • Asylum in the United States
  • Withholding of Removal
  • Protection Under the Convention Against Torture of the United Nations
  • Legal Permanent Resident Cancellation of Removal
  • Non-Legal Permanent Resident Cancellation of Removal
  • VAWA Cancellation of Removal
  • NACARA Cancellation of Removal
  • Defensive Adjustment of Status
  • Voluntary Departure

How can an immigration attorney in our firm help you successfully defend against deportation in immigration court?

Immigration attorneys in our firm are experts determining if the person facing deportation meets the requirements to one or more of those deportation defenses. This is what you need to do:

  • Contact us to set up an immigration consultation
  • Tell your story to our immigration attorney (no worries, our immigration attorney will ask you many questions to help you recall every important detail of your story)
  • Listen to the analysis that our immigration attorney will do about your case and the defense(s) that you may qualify to present
  • Work with our immigration attorney and our firm’s staff to prepare all documents, gather and organize your cases’ evidence, contact possible witnesses, draft letters, and do everything within your possibilities to build the strongest defense possible
  • If the person is detained, our attorneys will go to the ICE detention center to help prepare for the case
  • If the person is not detained, we will work in person at one of our offices or over the phone or video conference
  • Come to meet with our attorney at our immigration court facility, to go through the experience of how things are done in immigration court proceedings. That way you will feel more confident knowing that you are prepared to perform the day of the trial

We look forward to helping you stay with your family in the United States. Facing removal (deportation) proceedings in immigration court is probably the most important battle of your entire life and we want to be by your side fighting for you until we reach victory.

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