Deportation Defense

Deportation Defense

 

We work hard to obtain valuable immigration benefits for our clients.  When they are in deportation proceedings, we work equally hard to defend them.

Mind Your Visa Status

Any person who is not a US citizen may be deported from the United States if he or she enters the country illegally, overstays his or her visa status or violates other criminal or immigration laws.  Even if you are married to a US citizen, have a Green Card, paid your taxes and lived in the United States for a long time, you can still be deported.  As you can see, it is very important to properly maintain your visa status at all times.

ICE:  Not Something Cool You Put In Your Beverage!

The US government office primarily responsible for deporting people is called Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or “ICE”.  ICE employs about 15,000 officers throughout the United States and internationally.  Some investigate, detain and send people back to their home countries, others are attorneys who represent the government in Immigration Court.  All of these ICE officials are part of the Department of Homeland Security, or “DHS”.  DHS replaced the old Immigration and Naturalization Service, also known as “INS”.

 

Over the past few years, DHS has been very busy.  In 2007, DHS apprehended nearly 961,000 foreign nationals.  That same year, ICE detained approximately 311,000 and deported 244,000 people.  Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”, or the Border Patrol) deported another 75,000.  Thirty-three percent of all 2007 deportations were “expedited,” which means they were put on a fast-track.  ICE’s budget for this year is nearly $6 Billion – a 7% increase over 2008 – so we can expect deportations to remain high in 2009.

DID YOU KNOW?  ICE often investigates people based on anonymous tips from ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, ex-spouses or unhappy co-workers.  They also find people they want to deport from police, jail and court records, or from employer investigations or raids.  So, if you are not in the United States legally, it is a good idea to consult a knowledgeable immigration attorney and, if possible, take appropriate steps to legalize your status.

Deportation & Immigration Court

Deportation cases are handled by federal administrative judges in 55 Immigration Courts nationwide.  These courts are run by the Executive Office for Immigration Review, or “EOIR”.  EOIR is part of the US Department of Justice, and is not part of DHS or ICE.  In 2008, US Immigration Courts received more than 350,000 new cases.  This number represents a 17% increase from 2004.

DID YOU KNOW?  Deportation is a civil – not a criminal – process, so people in Immigration Court don’t have as many rights as criminal defendants do.  For example, they may hire their own attorney, but the government will not provide them with one.  If you are in deportation proceedings, or think you will be, it is highly recommended that you consult an experienced immigration attorney right away.

Some of the clients our firm has successfully defended in deportation proceedings include:

  • People married to US Citizens/Permanent Residents or with US Citizen/Permanent Resident children;
  • People with criminal records;
  • Victims of domestic abuse or other crimes;
  • Asylum applicants (people who fear persecution in their home countries);
  • Conditional Permanent Residents, where DHS denied the petition to remove conditions;
  • People appealing decisions of Immigration Judges; and
  • People trying to reopen their old Immigration Court cases.

 

For more information about visas, Green Cards, asylees and refugees, the appeals process or options for immigrant crime victims, visit these pages: