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Deportation Defense Lawyer

An experienced deportation defense lawyer can help you stay in the United States.

Looking for a deportation defense lawyer because you are facing deportation and removal proceedings?  This is a very scary situation.  The United States can be a land of opportunity.  However, you may lose this opportunity through deportation and removal proceedings.

Fortunately, an experienced deportation defense attorney can help.  Depending on your circumstances, a removal defense lawyer can help you stay in the United States.  This can keep your family together, maintain your job, or even allow you to work toward a better future.  So, if you are asking, “Can deportation be stopped?” contact an experienced removal defense attorney at Kitay Law Offices today.  You can reach us online or at 888-KITAYLAW.

What is the Immigration Court?

The Immigration Court is the mechanism through with the U.S. government attempts to remove (aka “deport”) immigrants from the United States.  An experienced deportation defense lawyer will help you navigate this complex court system.

The Immigration Court is a part of the Department of Justice.  This is one of the many departments of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government.  Importantly, the Attorney General heads the Immigration Court.  Further, the Attorney General reports directly to the President of the United States.  Therefore, the current president’s political views and agenda influences the Immigration Court and its policies.

Because the Immigration Court is a part of the Executive branch, it operates differently than the state and local Courts that most people are familiar with.  Here are some of the major differences:

  • The Immigration Court applies federal immigration laws.  Interestingly, federal immigration laws are (in most cases) the same throughout the entire United States.
  • The Attorney General appoints Immigration Judges.  Therefore, Department of Justice rules and policies bind Immigration Judges.  As a result, local laws and procedures of state and municipal Courts do not bind Immigration Judges.

A deportation defense lawyer defends you during deportation and removal proceedings

Deportation Defense - Legal Questions and AnswersWhile the Immigration Court is a part of the U.S. Government, its role is to act as a neutral decision-maker when considering immigration cases. Here, the government is represented by attorneys from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  DHS is part of the Executive branch of the federal government.  In Immigration Court, the government attorneys present the argument for removing an immigrant from the United States.  Therefore, you want to have an experienced deportation defense lawyer on your side.

A removal defense attorney defends your rights.  He or she fights for you to stay in the United States.  Interestingly, Immigration Court proceedings are NOT criminal in nature.  However, you may think of the DHS attorneys as prosecutors.  Prosecutors are the ones who enforce laws.  On the other hand, a deportation defense attorney protects individuals’ rights in the United States.

Why am I in deportation and removal proceedings?  Can a deportation defense lawyer help?

You can end up in deportation and removal proceedings for a number of reasons.  Here are a few examples:

  • Issues with crossing the border or at a port of entry
  • Family-based petition was denied
  • Denied asylum application
  • Criminal conviction
  • ICE raid

In any of these situations, having an experienced deportation defense lawyer on your side can greatly increase your chances of staying in the Unites States.

Border or Port of Entry issues

Generally, any immigrant who is not detained at the border or at a port of entry is entitled to a Hearing with an Immigration Judge before they can be deported.  However, there are some notable exceptions to this rule.  For example:

  • Immigrants who entered the United States on the Visa Waiver Program
  • If you were previously ordered to be deported

As a result, you must be familiar with your immigration history.  An experienced removal defense attorney will review this with you while preparing your case.

Family-based petition or Asylum denials

Some immigrants are referred to the Immigration Court after their family-based petition, green card renewal, or asylum application is denied by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Here, you may have a second chance to have your application or petition reviewed by the Immigration Judge.  Also, you may choose to apply for some other form of relief.

Criminal convictions can cause deportation and removal proceedings

You may end up in Immigration Court because you have committed a crime.  For example, the government may put you in deportation and removal proceedings because you violated the terms of your green card when convicted of a drug offense.

The intersection between criminal law and immigration law is especially complicated.  Therefore, speak with an experienced United States deportation defense lawyer to determine your best course of action.  Contact us online or at 888-KITAYLAW for help immediately!

Neighborhood or workplace ICE raids

ICE commonly conducts neighborhood and workplace raids in areas they expect to be able to find large numbers of undocumented immigrants.  Further, they also search databases for immigrants who have been convicted of certain crimes.  In response, ICE implements vehicle checkpoints to inspect the immigration status of anyone driving down a particular road.

Can a deportation defense lawyer explain how the deportation and removal process starts?

You may end up in Immigration Court for a wide variety of reasons.  However, the process virtually always begins the same way.  It starts when DHS serves you with a document called a Notice to Appear (“NTA”).  A properly executed NTA will include:

  1. A list of charges that the government is bringing against you;
  2. Facts that the government is using to support the charges; and
  3. The date, place, and time of your first Immigration Court Hearing.

Importantly, this is only the beginning of the Immigration Court process.  To have the best chance of staying in the United States, contact an experienced deportation defense lawyer immediately.

What happens with my deportation defense lawyer during deportation proceedings?

During deportation proceedings, there are three types of Immigration Court Hearings:

  • Master Calendar Hearings
  • Individual Hearings
  • Bond Hearings

Master Calendar Hearing

All Immigration Court cases start off with a Master Calendar Hearing.  Typically, these are short hearings – usually about five to ten minutes.  Importantly, the Master Calendar Hearing is an opportunity for the Judge, the DHS attorney, and your removal defense attorney to speak about the logistics of your case.

At your first Master Calendar Hearing, the Judge and the attorneys will generally address the charges against you.  In other words, they will discuss the reasons the government is trying to deport you.  Further, the parties will discuss the forms of “relief” you will be pursuing.  These are the reasons your deportation defense lawyer believes you should remain in the United States.

Sometimes, the Judge may schedule additional Master Calendar Hearings to allow you to submit your applications, pay any associated fees, and collect evidence in support of your case.  Most cases only need one or two Master Calendar Hearings.  However, the number can vary based on your particular circumstances.

Individual Hearing

An Individual Hearing is the Immigration Court’s version of a trial.  It is generally an immigrant’s final hearing.  Also, it is the hearing during which the immigrant and the US government will have the opportunity to fully argue their cases to the Judge.

Typically, the structure and duration of the Individual Hearing will vary depending on your particular case.  In most cases, you will have the opportunity to testify.  This means you get to tell your story in your own words.  Your experienced United States deportation defense attorney will help you do this by asking you questions.  Importantly, these questions are specifically designed to demonstrate your eligibility for relief and highlight any special circumstances you may have.

The government’s role in the Individual Hearing

Once your removal defense attorney has finished, the government attorney will then have an opportunity to question you.  Remember, their job is to show the Judge why you should be deported.  As a result, their questions can be tough and intimidating.  Fortunately, your removal defense attorney will have a second opportunity to question you when they are through.  Therefore, you have a chance to clarify or defend any issues that the government brought up during their cross-examination.

Witnesses at the Individual Hearing

If you have any friends, family, or expert witnesses who are prepared to testify on your behalf, they will be called next and will undergo a similar questioning process.

The Judge will issue a decision

In each case, the timing of the Judge’s decision will vary.  This is based on a number of different circumstances.  In some cases, the Judge may issue their decision on the spot.  In others, they may send out a written decision via mail.  Here are a few reasons the the timing can vary:

  • Complexity of your case
  • Amount of evidence presented
  • Judge’s personal preference

Your deportation defense lawyer walks you through the next steps once your case is approved.  If your case is denied, the Judge’s decision will provide instructions regarding your departure from the United States.  Importantly, you will also learn your deadline to appeal this decision if you choose to do so.

As you can see, deportation and removal proceedings are intimidating, complex, and highly important.  Ensure you have an experienced removal defense lawyer on your side.  Contact Kitay Law Offices online or by calling 888-KITAYLAW.

How can a deportation defense lawyer stop deportation and removal proceedings?

A deportation defense lawyer will help you figure out the best form of relief for your specific case.  Notably, numerous forms of relief are available through Immigration Court.  However, whether you qualify for certain applications will vary based on your particular circumstances.  In this section, we discuss some of the more common forms of relief.  Some of the requirements are very difficult to meet.  Therefore, discuss you situation with an experienced deportation defense attorney.

Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and Relief Under the Convention Against Torture

Asylum is a term we see in the news pretty regularly.  However, it is a very intricate process.  Under U.S. law, Asylum is given to someone who has experienced – or likely will experience – persecution in their home country.  Importantly, this persecution must be for one of the following specific reasons:

  • Race;
  • Religion;
  • Nationality;
  • Political opinion; or
  • Social group.

To obtain Asylum, you must submit your application within one year of entering the United States.  An experienced deportation defense lawyer will review your situation and determine whether you may qualify for Asylum.

In some cases, you may have missed the deadline to file for Asylum.  On the other hand, you may not meet one of the requirements for a successful Asylum application.  Under these circumstances, you may still qualify for relief under Withholding of Removal or relief under the Convention Against Torture.

Cancellation of Removal

Cancellation of Removal is a process by which some undocumented immigrants can obtain a green card.  Also, some Permanent Residents can use this process to have their green cards reinstated.

Cancellation of Removal is available for Certain Non-permanent residents.  Interestingly, this is also called “42B Cancellation of Removal.”  You may qualify for this process if:

  • You have been in the United States for more than ten years; or
  • You would suffer “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to obtain Lawful Permanent Residence.

Unfortunately, these standards are very high and there are only a limited number of these green cards available every year.  As a result, these are very difficult to obtain.  Make sure to consult with an experienced removal defense lawyer to find out if you qualify.

42A Cancellation of Removal

Cancellation of Removal for Certain Permanent Residents (also called “42A Cancellation of Removal”) allows some green card holders who have been convicted of certain crimes to keep their green card and remain in the United States.  In order to qualify, you must have:

  1. Had your green card for at least five years;
  2. Lived in the U.S. for at least seven years;
  3. No aggravated felony convictions;
  4. Not previously received an immigration waiver for a criminal conviction; and
  5. Show the Judge that you deserve their leniency.

As you can see, having an experienced deportation defense lawyer on your side if crucial to your success.  Contact Kitay Law Offices online or at 888-KITAYLAW.

Waivers for Certain Criminal Convictions

While having a green card allows you to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis, you can still be deported for certain criminal convictions.  Fortunately, you may be eligible for a waiver that will allow you to keep your Permanent Resident status and remain in the United States.

The relationship between criminal law and immigration law is complicated.  If you have a criminal conviction and are not a U.S. citizen, it is very important that you speak with a removal defense attorney to determine your best course of action.

What is the ICE Inmate Locator?

The ICE Inmate Locator helps you find your loved ones after they have been taken into custody by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (“ICE”).  ICE is the part of the United States’ federal government that enforces immigration laws.  On an average day in 2020, ICE made 284 administrative arrests and managed over 3 million immigration cases.

How long does it take for deportation and removal proceedings?

A number of factors determine the length of your case.  Importantly, these may include which Immigration Court you are in, which Judge you have, and how quickly you can put together your application and supporting evidence.

Sometimes, cases in Immigration Court may take several years.  This is most common for those who are not in detention.  Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Immigration Courts across the country had a severe backlog of cases.  Amazingly, some Courts would schedule hearings 2-3 years apart.

Like the rest of the nation, Immigration Courts had to shut down temporarily at the onset of the pandemic.  After reopening, they had to adjust their procedures to account for social distancing requirements.  The full impact of the COVID-19 shutdowns and adjustments on Immigration Court schedules are still unknown.  But, they are likely to push proceedings back even further.

Can a deportation defense lawyer speed up my case?

A deportation defense lawyer can work to speed up your case in certain situations.  Unfortunately, this is very rare.  Unless your application for relief is time-sensitive, or you have some other equally urgent matter, it is unlikely that the Court will move your case up.

Fortunately, you are allowed to remain in the United States while your case is ongoing.  You can still be detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if convicted of a crime while waiting.  In that situation, your case will be transferred to an Immigration Court that handles detained cases and you will have to continue it there unless you are able to receive bond.

Do I need to attend my Immigration Court hearing, or can my deportation defense lawyer attend for me?

YES!  Unless the Judge has specifically waived your presence, you MUST appear at ALL Immigration Court hearings.  Importantly, your failure to appear at an Immigration Court hearing is enough for the Judge to order you deported in your absence.  If you are ordered deported this way, it is extremely difficult to have your case reopened or to apply for any other forms of relief.  Additionally, you will be at risk of immediate deportation from the United States and will face further consequences if you try to return to the United States.  This is true regardless of whether you attempt to return legally or illegally.

However, emergencies can happen.  If you are unable to attend your hearing because of an emergency, contact your deportation defense attorney immediately.  Typically, this is only acceptable if you have suffered an accident or illness.  The Judge will determine whether your circumstances allow for an exception.  However, be aware that the Judge will likely request proof of your emergency.  For example, this could include a doctor’s note regarding your illness or the police report describing your accident.

Can I leave the United States during deportation and removal proceedings?

Generally, you should not simply leave the United States in the middle of deportation and removal proceedings.  Remember, your failure to appear at an Immigration Court hearing may lead to a deportation order.  Importantly, this is true even if you already left the United States!  In this circumstance, this deportation order will prevent you from returning to U.S. legally for at least ten years (though the timeframe may vary based on your particular circumstances).

If you want to leave the United States instead of going through the Immigration Court process, your removal defense lawyer can ask the Judge for a Voluntary Departure.  Once approved, the Judge can allow you to leave the United States without being officially deported.

Benefits of Voluntary Departure

Voluntary Departure has many benefits.  Some of these benefits may include:

  • Up to four months to handle your affairs in the United States
  • You can make your own travel arrangements
  • Upon your timely departure from the U.S., you will not have to wait to submit any applications for which you may be eligible, like a family-based green card.

If you do plan to submit an application after you return to your home country, make sure that you have some kind of documentation showing that you complied with the Judge’s deadline, such as a plane ticket or a notarized affidavit.  Consult with an experienced removal defense lawyer at Kitay Law Offices for more information about the proper documentation you should obtain.

On the other hand, there are severe consequences if you do not leave the United States after the Judge gives you Voluntary Departure.  These consequences may include the following:

  1. Your grant will automatically turn into a removal order.  If detained by ICE, you can be deported immediately.
  2. A fine is assessed ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000.
  3. You will not be able to apply for any form of immigration relief for a minimum of ten years.  As a result, you will have to wait until your ten year post-deportation period expires before you can even submit your application.  This is true even if you have a family member who can petition for you.

Therefore, consult with an experienced deportation defense lawyer at Kitay Law Offices before exploring your options with a Voluntary Departure.  Contact us online or by calling 888-KITAYLAW.

Can a deportation defense lawyer help if the Immigration Court denied my case?

A deportation defense attorney may be able to appeal if the Immigration Court denied your case.  If your application for relief is denied, the government will provide you with instructions and a timeframe for leaving the United States.  In addition, the Judge will also provide you with information about filing an appeal.  If you appeal, another Judge can determine whether they made the correct decision.

Within 30 days, either you or the government may appeal the Immigration Judge’s decision.  Importantly, this 30-day deadline is very strict.  If you think you may want to appeal the Judge’s decision, you should talk to a removal defense lawyer about your options immediately.  A late appeal will finalize your deportation order.  As a result, you must comply with any additional instructions.

Can I come back to the United States after being deported?

If you are deported from the United States, you must wait a minimum of ten years before attempting to return to the U.S. lawfully.  However, remember that USCIS will have access to your immigration history and will be aware of your deportation.  If they feel that you may violate U.S. immigration laws a second time, they may still refuse to grant you a visa or green card.

Importantly, re-entering the U.S. illegally at any time after being deported carries severe consequences.  You will be subject to immediate removal from the United States.  Alarmingly, this can happen without the opportunity to speak to a Judge.  Further, you will be ineligible for most forms of immigration relief.  Finally, you will be permanently banned from ever returning to the United States.  Sometimes, you may eventually be able to apply for a waiver to the permanent bar.  However, these waivers are extremely difficult to obtain.

My loved one is being held by ICE.  Can a deportation defense lawyer help get them released?

Whether an immigrant who is being held by ICE is eligible for bond is a complicated determination.  Importantly, a deportation defense lawyer will carefully review your loved one’s immigration history, criminal history, and ties to the United States.

Some immigrants with certain criminal convictions and immigration violations are subject to mandatory detention.  As a result, they are not eligible for bond.  Therefore, they must remain in detention until the Judge makes a decision on their case.

Immigrants who are eligible for bond can make their request two different ways:

  1. From ICE; and
  2. To an Immigration Judge.

In both circumstances, the immigrant must meet certain criteria.  Generally, this includes showing:

  • They are not a flight risk
  • Their release will not put the community at risk; and
  • They are eligible, and applying for, some form of immigration relief.

However, it is important to remember that neither ICE nor the Immigration Judge are required to grant your loved one bond.  This is true even if they seem to meet all of these requirements.

How can I request a bond determination?

To request a bond determination from ICE, your removal defense lawyer will submit a written request and supporting documentation.  Importantly, these materials will go directly to your loved one’s immigration officer.  Then, the immigration officer will decide whether to release your loved one from detention.

Your removal defense attorney can also help request a bond determination from an Immigration Judge.  Here, you will ask the Court for a Bond Hearing.  Interestingly, Bond Hearings often occur in conjunction with Master Calendar hearings.  However, the two hearings are actually separate proceedings.

During the Bond Hearing, the Judge will review your loved one’s case from both their perspective and the government’s perspective.  After that, the Judge will decide whether your loved one may be released.  Finally, the Judge will decide the amount of bond that must be paid for your loved one to actually be released.

If being released, you must pay the bond directly to ICE.  Also, the person making payment must be a U.S. Citizen or a green card holder.  Thankfully, however, your loved one is typically released within several hours after the bond is paid.

Is the case over after being released on bond?

NO!  After being released on bond, your case is transferred to the appropriate non-detained Immigration Court and will follow the process outlined above.  Remember, you can still be deported even though you are out on bond.  Unfortunately, this frequently happens if you don’t appear at your scheduled Court date.

Can I get my bond money back?

Yes, you can get your bond money back.  This can happen under two circumstances:

  1. The immigrant is ultimately successful in winning their Immigration Court case; or
  2. When the immigrant is unsuccessful in their case.  Here, the bond may still be returned if the immigrant complies with all deportation or voluntary departure requirements.

Importantly, the money is not returned to you automatically.  You must ask ICE to return the bond after showing proof that the immigrant’s case is complete.  An experienced removal defense lawyer can help you navigate this process.

Can a deportation defense lawyer help if my loved one doesn’t get bond?

Yes, a deportation defense lawyer can definitely help in this situation!  If ICE and the Judge deny bond, your loved one will have to remain in detention while they go through the Immigration Court process.  Your lawyer will help every step of the way.

Generally, the format of the hearings is identical to the process described above.  However, there is one important difference: the overall time frame is much shorter.  Non-detained Immigration Court cases can take several years.  On the other hand, detained Immigration Court cases generally only take several months.

Detained Immigration Court cases move at a quicker pace so that the immigrant does not have to wait in detention for several years if they are ineligible for bond or if their bond request is denied.  However, it becomes even more important to move swiftly and efficiently to present the best case possible.

As you can see, this process is complicated.  It also means the difference between your loved one remaining detained or rejoining you and your family.  So, contact an experienced deportation defense lawyer at Kitay Law Offices for help.  You can reach us online or by calling 888-KITAYLAW.

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