One of the most complicated areas in the practice of immigration law involves the defense of individuals who are in removal proceedings, commonly known as deportation proceedings. Once such proceedings have been commenced, the ability of a person to live and work in the United States is at risk. If you or a family member are being confronted with removal proceedings and you live and work in the Central Valley, you need to contact us at Maison Law Immigration Lawyers. A skillful and aggressive deportation defense lawyer can make all the difference in a removal case. Our objective is to protect the client’s best rights and interests and keep them here with their families and jobs.
Common Reasons for Removal Proceedings
There are a wide variety of reasons of why a person might be targeted for removal from the United States. Here are a few reasons why a person might be placed in them:
- Misdemeanor, felony or aggravated felony convictions.
- Convictions for possession, delivery or the manufacture of controlled substances.
- Convictions for terrorism or national security violations.
- The loss or abandonment of permanent resident status.
- Immigration fraud.
Notice to Appear and Bond
When removal proceedings have been filed, a Notice to Appear (NTA) is issued that instructs the respondent to appear before an immigration judge at a specific location on a certain date and time. If the individual is already in custody, a bond hearing will be held at that time to determine whether the individual should be released while awaiting another court date. Respondents should always have a qualified and experienced immigration attorney representing them at the time of a bond hearing. Although a bond hearing might not be held if the respondent is accused of committing a crime, a lawyer from Maison Law Immigration Lawyers should be consulted with and retained immediately.
After a bond hearing, a Master Calendar Hearing is held. This is the initial hearing date in deportation proceedings. The respondent will admit or deny the allegations in the NTA along with whether he or she is deportable and the defenses that will be raised in the case. The case will then be set for a hearing on the individual merits of the defenses. Testimony, documents and other evidence can be offered in support of the respondent’s defenses. He or she shall be determined to be deportable if the allegations are proved by clear and convincing evidence.
Relief from Removal
If it’s determined that an individual is removable, the deportation case proceeds to a second stage of the process when he or she seeks relief from removal. Here are a few examples of what might be a basis for such relief:
- Cancellation of Removal: If the respondent meets certain requirements, he or she becomes eligible for cancellation of removal.
- Adjustment of Status: The respondent must have a valid immigrant visa at the time of applying for adjustment of status, and his or her immigration status might be changed.
- Waiver of Deportation: Extreme hardship must be shown to the respondent and his or her family.
- Granting of Asylum: An asylee can be granted lawful permanent residency after living in the United States for two years. Note that asylum rules are expected to change shortly.
- Withholding of Removal: This prohibits removal, but it does not allow for eligibility to become a lawful permanent resident.
- Suspension of Removal: If a suspension is granted, an individual can apply for lawful permanent residency.
- Legalization and Registry: Legalization occurs when amnesty is granted to an undocumented immigrant or class of immigrants. Registry is far more common, especially when an individual is eligible for citizenship.
- Voluntary Departure or Removal: A person who unlawfully entered the United States might be allowed to leave the country at his or her own expense and lawfully enter again sometime in the future.
Contact an Immigration Lawyer Today.
At Maison Law Immigration Lawyers, we represent clients from California’s Central Valley and beyond in deportation proceedings. Facing such proceedings can derail the rest of your life by being returned to your country of origin. You’ll need the help of a knowledgeable, skilled and aggressive immigration lawyer. If you or a family member receives a Notice to Appear, contact our offices immediately. We’ll be pleased to arrange for a consultation and speak with you about the unique circumstances that you or your loved one are facing and how we might address them.
Asylum/Withholding of Removal/CAT
Cancellation of Removal
Motions to Reopen
Freedom of Information Act
Writ of Mandamus