Top Reasons a U.S. Immigrant May be Deported
Living in a new country is intimidating. Immigrants don't have the same assurances to stay in the country that U.S. citizens enjoy. There is a path to citizenship for immigrants, but it is not right for everyone. Immigrants come to the United States for many different reasons, including education, jobs, and family.
Most immigrants who have spent the money and effort to come to the United States are genuinely interested in staying. But many immigrants are still fearful of deportation. Why do some immigrants get deported, and how can you avoid this?
What Can You Be Deported For?
Deportation (or removal) is when an immigrant is officially removed from the country due to breaking immigration or criminal laws. Deportation occurs for a variety of reasons, including criminal behavior, failing to obey the terms of your visa, or becoming a burden on society (i.e. receiving welfare).
Deportation for Criminal Behavior
Immigrants committing crimes of moral turpitude and aggravated felonies may face deportation. This includes things like embezzlement, perjury, fraud, murder, certain drug-related offenses, rape, or firearm offenses.
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Most deportations and immigration offenses result from criminal charges. An immigrant could be picked up on drug trafficking charges. Since criminal offenses are grounds for deportation, immigration offenses are tacked on, and immigration enforcement gets involved.
If this happens, it is unlikely that the immigrant will be allowed to post bail or be released, except into ICE agents' custody. Immigration will transfer the immigrant to a detention center and continue to hold them until they are deported through the legal system.
Failing to Obey the Terms of Your Visa
Immigrant visas are issued for different reasons like education, employment, and family preference. These visas usually come with a defined expiration date at which time the immigrant must file for legal resident or citizenship status or leave the country voluntarily.
Life throws curveballs, and many well-meaning immigrants enter the United States legally, and then circumstances change. A student drops out of school and loses a scholarship, so they take a job to pay the rent, and suddenly they are targeted for deportation. It doesn't always seem fair, and many skilled immigration lawyers can help when that happens.
For help fighting or appealing your deportation case, contact JLB Law Group today. We specialize in immigration law.
Failing to Notify the Government of a Change of Address
Moving from one address to another is common. One of the requirements of maintaining legal immigration status with an existing visa is that you also maintain current contact information with immigration. Changing your address with the US Postal Service does not change your address with immigration. You are required to report a change of address within 10 days of moving.
Willfully withholding a change of address from immigration is a misdemeanor. If guilty, this could mean fines up to $200 and up to 30 days in jail, plus the elephant in the room -- possible deportation. While it is possible to be deported for failing to notify immigration of address changes, it is unlikely unless combined with other charges.
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Fraud or misstatements on immigration paperwork, including falsified documents or errors on your green card application, may lead to deportation. Document fraud and marriage fraud are both pretty common in immigration and are thoroughly investigated by enforcing agencies.
Both types of fraud are felonies and will result in the deportation of the immigrant. U.S. citizens involved in marriage or document fraud will face felony charges with hefty fines and prison time. Agents may interview immigrants, citizens, and family members to gather details during an investigation and they may visit the home to ascertain the legitimacy of a marriage.
Deportation for Immigration Violations
Immigrant violations include things like overstaying a visa or violating the terms of a visa. Once a visa is set to expire, an immigrant needs to voluntarily leave the country by the expiration date or they will fall into an undocumented status which can lead to deportation.
Receiving Public Assistance
One of the key factors determined when issuing immigration visas or approving green cards is the individual’s contribution to society. Typically, immigrants are not permitted to receive public assistance like unemployment, food stamps, or subsidized rent.
Are You Worried About Deportation?
There are nearly 45 million immigrants living in the United States. The majority of these immigrants are in the United States legally and will continue to maintain legal status. But, for nearly one-quarter of those 45 million, achieving or maintaining legal status is a challenge.
Can U.S. Immigrants Stop Deportation?
Immigrants have some rights under the U.S. Constitution that can help fight deportation. Non-citizens have a right to receive legal counsel from a lawyer. A lawyer can help the immigrant understand his or her rights and help enforce those rights to make sure that the immigrant receives due process before being deported.
Fighting Deportation in Court
If you challenge the deportation, arguments will be heard in court. The government will bring skilled immigration lawyers to make a case for your deportation. Your best chance to fight back is by working with an equally-skilled immigration lawyer that will take your case. These court proceedings can be very confusing and complex due to some of the hearings ending matter in a matter of seconds, while others are 4-8 hours long. If the judge rules in favor of deportation, an order of removal is issued to provide legal standing to enforce the removal.
Related Link: How Can I Get a VAWA Green Card
Appealing a Deportation Order
In the unfortunate circumstance that you challenge the deportation and lose, a judge will issue an order of removal. It sounds final, but there may is still the opportunity to appeal. Immigrants have thirty days to appeal a deportation order, at which time the order may be put on hold while the appeal is processed. Appeals are tedious and complex; the court may decline to hear your appeal, and the additional legal burden can become very expensive.
Immigrants, even undocumented aliens, have basic civil rights under the U.S. constitution. This means that they also have a right to legal representation (at their own cost) when facing deportation. They will not be provided with a free lawyer, but instead, have the right to hire an attorney to represent them.
Our law firm can help you navigate this scary and challenging time. Contact us today for help with your deportation case.