You or your loved one can face deportation if you are not a citizen of the United States. This is true even for green card holders or immigrants with a permanent residence status. If you are facing deportation, you must understand the implications thoroughly. There are important things you can do to prepare for a better removal defense and save the penalties that come with formal deportations. As the leading immigration attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida we’ve compiled a list of things you need to know when facing deportation.
Reasons You Can Be Removed
One of the most common reasons for facing deportation is if you or your loved one have overstayed your welcome. Explained, that is if you’ve arrived with a Visa and have stayed long after it expired. Another reason for a removal is if you’ve arrived in the country illegally. This means staying in the country without a valid visa or a permit. Other reasons include criminal activity, for example obtaining a citizenship by illegal means. You can face arrest for criminal immigration activities by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
If you haven’t had any illegal activity, then there is no arrest. However, a legal Notice To Appear (NTA) that is usually sent and served to you via United States mail. If your effort to change your legal status was denied during process, you will receive the NTA. This is a very important document that lets you know your charges and if there are any mistakes on this document, your case is affected.
When you appear in court for your hearings, you have the chance to explain and defend your deportation case to the judge. You can always prepare the removal defense yourself, however, with an experienced immigration attorney in Fort Lauderdale by your side the chances at succeeding at these hearings is much higher.
Deportation Hearing Defense and Appeal
If you or your loved one were arrested by the ICE, the ICE officials will first determine the flight risk or threat to society and then decide to or not to release them on bond. This is essentially the first hearing. Otherwise, your NTA lets you know when to appear in court for the “Master Calendar Hearing.” This to discuss your options. If you have a removal defense option that you want to present to court, then you will get a date for a “Merits Hearing.” Failing to appear in court on either of the dates, will get you or your loved one an order to leave the United States immediately.
If the court decides to deport you even after hearing your defense, you can appeal. Making appeals to several levels of courts take time and can be very costly. Depending on the severity of your flight-risk, you may or may not be held under arrest while you make your appeals. Either way, your first appeal needs to go to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
If your case is rejected by the BIA, you can then appeal to the local federal circuit court of appeals. If your case is still denied by the federal courts then appealing to the Supreme Court is your final step. While the appeals may take a few years to process, it’s important that your immigration attorney in Fort Lauderdale be there to help you succeed with your appeal at any level.
Important Things to Know
When you face deportation, at any level of the legal proceeding, make sure you have these documents in order:
- Be aware of the immigration status – whether unauthorized, green card holder, etc.
- Find out the Alien Registration Number (A#).
- The location where your loved one may be held.
- Your copy of the Notice to Appear (NTA) (Form I-862).
- Call 800-898-7180, the Immigration Court to confirm your hearing and court dates.
If you don’t want to fight your deportation, the easiest option you have is to leave the country voluntarily. This way, you will not be incriminated and will always have the chance to re-enter the United States by legal means, if you wish to later. If you were formally removed by the court then one of the implications is to wait several years before entering the country again. Depending on the case, the court may make you wait five to 20 years before re-entering the United States again.