Deportation – Removal – Detention Attorney Miami, FL
LEGAL AID AGAINST DEPORTATION
The United States Department of Homeland Security together with the Bureau for Immigration and Customs Enforcement have a mandate to launch deportation proceedings against anyone who is deemed to be residing in the United States illegally. This can happen when:
- A person has no legal immigration status – This may be someone who managed to get into the United States without the knowledge or prior authorization from the immigration authorities.
- When a person violates their Visa status – Deportation may occur when the terms set for a specific Visa are not adhered to. For example, when a person who has been granted a tourist Visa seeks employment in the US, or when they change their physical address without notifying immigration authorities.
- When a person engages in criminal activity – Anyone who is not a legal citizen of the United States risks deportation if they are found guilty of committing a crime. However, not all crimes warrant deportation proceedings. Deportation mostly occurs when more serious crimes are committed such as drug trafficking, money laundering, alien smuggling, terrorism and murder.
- When fraudulent information is provided to immigration authorities – When a person submits incorrect information when obtaining their Visa, they may get deported when the authorities find out. For example, when a person falsifies their marital status, provides incorrect data or even submits fabricated financial records in order to obtain legal documents.
The US has a very strict immigration policy and you may find yourself in trouble when you least expect. The process of going through deportation proceedings can be very frustrating. Your life can change forever, especially when you are at a risk of being separated from your family or forfeiting your career or business in the US. Whenever this happens, your chances of being legally permitted to return to the US in future become very slim.
THE DEPORTATION PROCESS
The US Department of Homeland Security and the Bureau for Immigration and Customs Enforcement will first investigate if a person’s resident status in the US is worth reviewing. If they find enough evidence to warrant deportation, the person will be issued with a Notice to Appear (NTA). This document will contain all the factual allegations that provide the justification for deportation, the date, time and location for commencement of the hearing. In some rare cases e.g. when the individual is facing criminal charges, they may be taken into custody.
It is advisable to get in touch with an immigration attorney immediately after the Notice to Appear is issued. You should under no circumstances intentionally fail to honor the court hearing for your case. Doing this may force the judge to automatically issue a deportation order in your absence.
During the hearing date, the immigration judge will ask you to plead to the charges raised on the NTA. After taking your plea, your immigration lawyer will present any legal briefs and witness statements to the judge in your defense. The government attorney will also be given an opportunity to cross-examine you and any witness you present. The judge will then make a ruling on whether you should leave the US or stay.
RELIEF FROM REMOVAL
Depending on the specific nature of the deportation case, you may be eligible for relief against removal. In such a case, the judge will ask whether you would like to apply for any form of relief. The different forms of relief that you may apply for include the following:
- Voluntary departure
- Adjustment of their immigration status
- Application for political asylum
- Deferred action (appeal for a second hearing)
If the judge fails to grant relief, you will be required to leave the country immediately.
MERITS HEARING AND APPEALS
If you are granted with a form of relief that warrants a second hearing (merits hearing), you will be required to appear in court again on a date specified by the immigration judge. Here, you will be given an opportunity to argue your case afresh and provide the judge with any further supporting documents. The judge will then make a ruling on the case either orally or through a written judgment which will be sent to you by mail at a later date.
If you are still not satisfied with the ruling made by the immigration judge, you will have the final option of filing an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals. This must be done within 30 days after the merits hearing.
WHY LEGAL REPRESENTATION IS NECESSARY
Anyone who is facing deportation, removal and detention from the United States is entitled to a fair hearing to defend themselves and respond to any allegations raised against them. They also have the constitutional right to obtain legal representation. However, unlike in other legal proceedings, the US government does not provide legal aid to anyone facing deportation. You will either have to find your own immigration lawyer to represent you in court or fight the charges raised against you by yourself.
Defending yourself during deportation proceedings will immediately tilt the case in the prosecution’s favor. The US government takes immigration matters very seriously. You will therefore have to face a formidable team of federal prosecutors who will exploit any loopholes and inconsistencies in your statement to win the case. This situation is very unfavorable for anyone with no legal background. Several people get deported each year even when they had a good chance of winning their case, simply because they buckled under pressure from the prosecution and incriminated themselves or failed to justify their circumstances in a legally satisfactory manner.
Getting an immigration lawyer will significantly increase your chances of winning a deportation battle. An immigration lawyer will carefully review the specific details of your case and devise a suitable defense strategy. A good immigration lawyer will also possess a deep understanding of immigration laws which will come in handy when poking holes into the prosecution’s case. The sooner you seek legal counsel the better your chances will be. This is because the immigration court sets a strict deadline for anyone facing deportation to obtain legal representation and apply for relief against detention and removal.