The Trump Administration has been very aggressive in attempting to remove immigrants from the U.S. who seek asylum, have prior orders of removal or commit even minor crimes, such as drinking and driving. Denial rates on asylum cases have skyrocketed as a result of rulings by the Trump Administration that has severely restricted cases based on domestic violence, gang violence, or threats to family members.
Our staff of experienced immigration attorneys is in Immigration Court almost every working day, fighting for immigrants who are in proceedings. We understand that for many immigrants, returning to their home country can result in extraordinary hardship or death. If the immigration judge issues a removal order, we often recommend appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals or the federal courts in the hope that a more sympathetic administration can review these cases in the future.
The law provides that non-citizens, including permanent residents (or “green card holders”) can be deported or removed from the United States for various immigration violations. The list of these violations is extensive and includes certain obvious matters, such as entering or remaining in the US without authorization to less obvious violations such as convictions for relatively minor, nonviolent crimes. An immigrant’s legal rights can vary dramatically depending upon how, when and where they are detained by the immigration officials. An individual detained trying to enter the US, for example, may be detained and removed without benefit of an attorney under a process known as Expedited Removal.
The government cannot remove an individual under expedited removal already living in the US, already a permanent resident or if such individual requests political asylum. In these cases, the immigrant is entitled to a hearing before an immigration judge with the right to have an attorney present during every stage of these proceedings.
CONSULTING WITH AN EXPERIENCE IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY IS CRITICAL WHENEVER AN INDIVIDUAL IS PLACED IN REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS. AN IMMIGRANT SHOULD NOT PROVIDE ANY INFORMATION TO AN IMMIGRATION OFFICIAL OTHER THAN HIS OR HER IDENTITY DOCUMENTS WITHOUT SPEAKING WITH AN ATTORNEY!!!!!!!
Even if deportable, deportation can be prevented in many instances, particularly if there is a well-founded fear of persecution in the home country, if the individual is abandoned in the US and under 21 years of age, has certain close US family members in the US, or has other key factors or unusual hardships such as more than 10 years of physical presence in the US and extreme hardship to a parent, spouse or child who is a permanent resident or US citizen.
A detained immigrant will have access to a telephone. Before making a call, the detained individual should make a note of where they are detained, the “A#” or file number assigned to the case, and be able to explain the circumstances under which they were picked up to family or friends. Once an attorney is retained, that attorney will be able to speak and meet with the immigrant and help to prepare the defense. In most cases, this may include a bond application that will allow for the release from detention while the case works its way through the immigration court.
Although time frames differ between immigration courts around the country, many immigration cases are taking more than two years to get resolved and some take many years more, particularly if the case is denied by the Immigration Court and appeal is made to the Board of Immigration Appeals. More importantly, the chances of successfully fighting deportation will often depend on the judge assigned to the case.