Deportation Attorney in Lake Worth and Wellington
Deportation is one of the greatest fears of a non-U.S. citizen. Whether the noncitizen is a Lawful Permanent Resident, a person on valid temporary status, a person with an expired status, or undocumented, deportation is a possibility; the only individuals who are completely safe from deportation are lawful U.S. citizens. Deportation can occur for a number of reasons under the U.S. immigration laws, and its impact can be devastating; it can result in family separation, the loss of income, and a return to unsafe conditions.
Why You Should Hire a Deportation Lawyer in Palm Beach County, FL
The law generally allows an individual who faces deportation the opportunity to be heard in court and request relief from deportation. The forms of relief include, but are not limited to: asylum, withholding of removal, cancellation of removal, and temporary protected status. Each form of relief requires meeting certain criteria and proving eligibility at a court hearing. Deportation defense cases are one of the most complex areas of immigration law, as they require intricate knowledge of the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as case law. Additionally, deportation defense cases necessitate practical knowledge of local courtroom procedure and experience dealing with immigration judges, deportation officers and DHS attorneys.
When the stakes are so high and the issues are so complex, the best move you can make when facing deportation is to hire an experienced immigration attorney. At minimum, you should schedule a comprehensive immigration consultation to understand your options. An experienced immigration and trial lawyer can determine your eligibility for relief and fight to protect you from deportation. A great immigration attorney can give you the advantage by providing complete, accurate responses on your immigration forms; helping you gather the most helpful supporting documents and information; providing advice as to the best course of action; and making legal arguments on your behalf. Experienced representation may save you from deportation.
What Does Deportation Mean?
Deportation is the formal act of removing a noncitizen from the United States for violating an immigration law. Deportation is an obligatory form of departure from the U.S., as opposed to voluntary departure. Deportation may occur through a court order at the conclusion of removal proceedings, by stipulation of the noncitizen – known as stipulated removal or summary deportation – or via expedited removal initiated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Understanding Removal Proceedings: What It Means, and What to Expect
A person in removal proceedings is in danger of deportation. The U.S. government (usually ICE) can initiate removal proceedings (against nonresidents and residents alike) for a variety of reasons, including:
- Criminal arrests and convictions
- Illegal or undocumented entry into the country
- Fraudulent immigration paperwork
- Absence from the United States for an extended period of time
Regardless of the government’s basis for trying to remove you from the United States, immigration officials can initiate removal proceedings in one of two ways: (1) they can arrest you and detain you pending a bond determination and court proceedings, or (2) they can issue a Notice to Appear for immigration court.
In South Florida, if you are detained during removal proceedings, you will likely be held at the Krome Detention Center or Broward Transitional Center and attend your court hearings at the same location. If you are released or never detained, your court proceedings will likely be at the Miami Immigration Court in downtown Miami.
During removal proceedings, the immigration judge will ask whether you admit or deny the allegations that make you removable or deportable, and what form of relief (if any) you are seeking. It is best to speak with an experienced immigration attorney before answering these questions, as every response and action can make the difference between leaving and staying in the United States.
Eventually, you will have to choose a path for your case – whether it means asking for voluntary departure, asylum, or some other form of legal action. The judge should give you time to find a lawyer, decide on a course of action, prepare your defense, and submit information and documents. Preliminary hearings that allow for preparation are called Master Calendar hearings. Ultimately, you will have an immigration trial, called an Individual hearing, where you have the opportunity to argue your case and call witnesses. At the end of your individual hearing, the judge will decide as to your future in the United States. If you win your case, you may be able to stay in the USA and may have the possibility of gaining Lawful Permanent Resident Status. If you lose, the judge will likely enter a deportation order which will call for your removal from the U.S.
Stipulated Removal / Summary Deportation
In some circumstances, after carefully considering your options and speaking with a good immigration attorney, the best course of action is to seek voluntary departure. While nobody wants their case to end in a departure from the country they were intending to reside in, sometimes there aren’t any legally permissible scenarios for remaining in the U.S. If there are no available remedies for staying, voluntary departure would at least prevent a formal deportation order that could impact your chances of getting status in the future.
Voluntary departure is also known as stipulated removal or summary deportation. The latter terms are most frequently used on the border, when the removal process is handled by ICE or CBP rather than an immigration judge.
ICE and CBP have the power and discretion to remove certain foreign nationals without allowing them to argue their case in immigration court. This is especially true in cases involving undocumented individuals that do not articulate an acceptable basis for arrival and those with previous deportation orders. If immigration officials wish to deport you immediately, they can initiate a process called expedited removal. Expedited removal often occurs when foreign nationals are detained at the border.
Common Causes of Deportation
While emigrating from one’s home country to start a new life in the United States is a dream come true for many, it is also a stressful experience. A new country means new laws, new social norms, and (sometimes) a new language. Add to this a handful of con artists that play on the vulnerabilities of immigrants, and you have the perfect storm of fear and uncertainty.
Misinformation and misdirection are rampant in the immigration world. Immigrants do not know who to trust and what to expect. The undocumented often retreat to the shadows to avoid detection and apprehension by immigration authorities. There is also the shameful reality that some people extort noncitizens by threatening to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if the immigrant does not meet their demands regarding money, labor or even relationships.
We are not here to add to immigrants’ anxiety about deportation, but rather, we want immigrants to know what actually causes deportation to debunk and demystify rumors, threats, and “advice” from non-lawyers. Below are three common causes of deportation:
- Detained at the Border + Inadmissible
If a person attempts to enter the United States without a valid entry document such as a Visa or Green Card, he or she is deemed “inadmissible” under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 212. A lawful permanent resident (someone with a green card) can also be found inadmissible upon attempting to reenter the United States, for reasons including staying outside of the country for an extended period of time, being diagnosed with a communicable disease, or having a serious criminal record. An inadmissible person is deportable under INA 237. If Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authorities find and detain an inadmissible person at the border, the immigrant will likely be deported by the process of “expedited removal.” An immigrant who is inadmissible should either seek a waiver prior to entry or consider claiming asylum if he or she has a fear of future persecution in his or her home country.
- Arrested for a Crime + Undocumented or Expired Status
The inadmissibility provisions of INA 212 also apply to those already inside the United States if the person has never been legally admitted (undocumented migrants) or is seeking admission under a different immigration category (a person on temporary status now filing for adjustment of status to Lawful Permanent Resident). U.S. immigration laws list the categories of crimes that make someone inadmissible (INA 212) and deportable (INA 237). These include “crimes of moral turpitude” (such as theft and assault), domestic violence, and drug offenses. If a foreign-born person has legal status in the U.S., the law generally requires either a conviction or admission of guilt before triggering removal proceedings. However, a person who is undocumented or whose status has expired can be deported by merely being arrested, regardless of the final outcome of the criminal case. Why? Being undocumented or on expired status in and of itself is a reason for deportation! When an out-of-status individual is arrested, ICE often arrives at the jail before the person bonds out. Alternatively, ICE issues an “ICE hold,” directing the local police agency to hold an arrestee until immigration authorities arrive.
It seems obvious that a person who commits fraud in order to obtain an immigration benefit such as permanent resident status or a work permit is subject to deportation. Examples of fraud include a frivolous asylum claim, a sham marriage, and falsifying civil documents. The real surprise for most people is that even minor – and sometimes inadvertent – transgressions can still be considered fraud for immigration purposes. Fraud includes misrepresentation (i.e. leading someone to believe something incorrect by act or omission), and the mistakes or bad acts of the applicant’s lawyer, “notario” or document preparer are imputed to the applicant. Although this sounds harsh, immigration officials maintain that the immigrant has the ultimate responsibility of reviewing and approving the immigration paperwork; if an incorrect response is on the application, the immigrant is liable.
Notice that “calling ICE” is nowhere on this list. This is because, while it is true that anybody can call an immigration hotline to report persons who are out of status, immigration authorities are less likely to pursue deportation on this basis. Knowing this, immigrants should feel empowered to stand up to the scammers who try to take advantage of them.
Deportation Defense for DACA
Following the Supreme Court ruling in June 2020 and an order by a U.S. District Court in December of the same year, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was reinstated in its original form as an immigration option that temporarily protects certain individuals from deportation. DACA began in 2012 by executive order, and its effect is to allow some people with unlawful status who entered at a young age to live and work in the United States for a renewable period of two years.
DACA not only protects certain undocumented people from deportation; it can also protect those with existing deportation orders. Because of DACA’s broad protective reach, it should never be discounted in the analysis of deportation relief. Although DACA itself is not a permanent solution to status in the United States, it can provide a temporary solution that may one day lead to other opportunities.
Removal Defense for Work-Related Immigration Violations
Certain deportation cases arise from work-related immigration violations. Visitors and students, for example, are not permitted to work in the USA (with some exceptions). Foreign nationals who are here on a work visa may not be able to quit their jobs or switch employment. Whatever the reason for the work-related immigration violation, it can result in the revocation of status and subsequent initiation of removal proceedings.
Many of the traditional forms of relief exist for work-related removal proceedings. These include asylum, cancellation of removal, withholding of removal, DACA, and TPS (Temporary Protected Status). However, in addition to these “forgiveness,” relief options, a person accused of a work-related immigration violation may take the stance that his or her actions did not constitute a violation at all. Alternatively, there may be other forms of relief based on personal or professional connections developed during the foreign person’s time in the USA, such as adjustment of status through a family-based petition for those who married a U.S. Citizen spouse.
The best way to know your options if you are accused of a work-related immigration violation is to contact a reputable immigration attorney. An attorney knowledgeable about immigration law may find a solution that you never previously considered.
How a Deportation Defense Lawyer Can Help
Our team at Casanova Law is experienced in U.S. immigration law. We have defended the rights and freedoms of individuals located in Lake Worth, Wellington, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Royal Palm Beach, and all of Palm Beach County in your same situation.
Our leading Attorney Lourdes Casanova is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese, which allows her to communicate effectively with her clients so they can understand the process and what to expect at deportation hearings.
Call our law firm at 561-236-5340 to discuss your case with an experienced lawyer. You can also send us an email.
How much does a deportation defense attorney cost?
Deportation defense is a lengthy process that normally involves years of representation. The legal work in a deportation defense case involves thousands of pages, including supporting documents, legal briefs, immigration forms and case law research. Due to the length and complexity of deportation defense cases, the legal fees are normally thousands of dollars. The exact cost of a deportation defense attorney will depend on the type of relief sought, the level of experience of the attorney, and the specific facts of the case.
I am undocumented, but my children were born in the United States. Can I be deported?
Unfortunately, having U.S. citizen (USC) children does not automatically protect you from deportation. In fact, undocumented individuals with U.S. born children are often deported because they do not legally qualify for relief. That being said, there is hope for those with USC kids that are over 21. United States citizens over 21 can petition for their parents. Alternatively, the undocumented individual may qualify for Cancellation of Removal if he or she can prove “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to a U.S. citizen child. For Cancellation of Removal cases, the undocumented person must also show that he or she has been present in the USA for at least ten (10) years and has good moral character.
If I’m deported, when can I come back to the U.S.?
Your ability to return to the United States after deportation will depend on the reason for your deportation and whether there are any available waivers in your situation. Deportations for unlawful presence are 3 or 10 years depending on the length of time you were unlawfully present in the USA. Deportations for fraud, crimes, repeated entries, and other more serious immigration violations may be longer or even permanent. Some individuals who are deported can later file Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States; this application is difficult to win, but it may be worth a try if the deported person has sufficient mitigating circumstances to justify a return to the United States.