Deportation & Removal Defense
All countries reserve the right of deportation of foreigners, even those who are permanent residents. In the United States, foreigners who have committed serious crimes, entered the country illegally, overstayed their visas, or otherwise lost their legal status to remain in the country may be removed by the immigration court system, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).
What Is Deportation?
Deportation, or “removal,” refers to the process by which the U.S. government seeks to remove foreign nationals from the United States. These proceedings take place in immigration court in the EOIR. They are adversarial, civil proceedings in which an alien may challenge the U.S. government’s allegations and seek to avoid removal. For deportation and removal defense, representation by an experienced attorney is crucial.
Who Can Be Deported?
If you are not a United States citizen, you can be deported. In particular, lawful permanent residents can have their permanent residency revoked if they are convicted of, or plead guilty to, deportable offenses. Persons without legal immigration status who have committed a criminal offense are subject to the same removal process as lawful permanent residents, but are often held in detention (jail) throughout the immigration court proceedings.
Generally speaking, you can be removed from the United States if you:
- Violate the terms of your visa, or if you were not eligible for entry at the time you came to the United States (or after adjustment of status)
- Are convicted of a crime involving “moral turpitude,” are an aggravated felon (as defined by immigration law), or are convicted of a drug-related crime
- Possess or have used falsified/fake documents
- Are a threat to national security, meaning that you are involved in acts of terrorism, espionage, or are a member of organizations seeking to overthrow the U.S. government
- Become a public charge within five years of entry into the U.S. under certain circumstances
Is There Relief from Removal?
There are several potential defenses and other options for avoiding deportation and removal. Some of the most common deportation defenses and other methods for avoiding removal include:
- Adjustment of status
- Cancellation of removal for nonpermanent residents
- Cancellation of removal for lawful permanent residents (green card holders)
- Temporary protected status
- I-751 petition to remove conditions on residence
- Asylum/withholding of removal
- Voluntary departure
Your immigration status and personal background will determine what, if any, defense you may have against removal. No two situations are the same. That is why it is very important to consult with a qualified immigration attorney for removal defense as soon as you learn that you have been placed in removal proceedings.
If you or a family member has been placed in removal proceedings, or if you have questions about deportation and removal, please do not hesitate to speak with a qualified immigration attorney. For a free telephone deportation defense consultation with Attorney Van Wormer, contact our office at 703-244-6733 or send us an e-mail.
Please Note: The information provided at this site is of a general nature and may not apply to any particular set of facts or under all circumstances. It should not be construed as legal advice and does not constitute an engagement of Van Wormer Law or establish an attorney-client relationship. No attorney-client relationship exists until Van Wormer Law has completed a conflicts check and the prospective client signs a representation agreement.