The United States is welcoming to immigrants from other nations, issuing over 200,000 visas each year. Obtaining a visa and other forms of residence is a privilege that comes with certain rules to be followed. Violating the terms can result in being removed from the United States through deportation, including those who hold permanent resident status. There are many reasons the American government can deport an immigrant, including:
- Failure to obey terms or maintain status: There are many types of visas and other forms granting temporary entrance to the United States and each comes with its own set of rules and conditions. For instance, exchange students may not leave the program and obtain a job. Failure to follow the rules and conditions can result in deportation.
- Commit a crime: Most crimes are deportable offenses, though not all. The Immigration and Nationality Act detail deportable crimes, including but not limited to terrorism, fraud, money laundering, fraud, espionage, immigrant smuggling, domestic violence, document fraud, firearms trafficking, and all serious felonies such as murder and rape. Each state’s crime classifications vary, so charges can simply be labeled misdemeanor or felony, however, the federal government has its own classification for immigration law purposes and will make its own determination as to whether the offenses are deportable.
- Immigration law violations: The United States has certain separate laws that apply to immigrants. Violations such as fraudulent marriage or human trafficking can be deportable offenses.
- Failure to report address changes: When relocating, all immigrants are required to report their new address to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within 10 days following relocation. Failure to do so can result in being deported.
- Extended government assistance: One of the main terms of green cards and several other visa types is to show proof that the immigrant will not use government assistance programs in order to reside in the United States. All others are permitted to use government assistance temporarily up to five years. Immigrants continuing to receive assistance after five years may be deportable.
Those living in the United States illegally will be deported immediately upon discovery. If you are in violation of one of these terms, or others, and facing deportation, you should consult an experienced immigration attorney immediately. There may be alternative options you could be unaware of.
Can I Dispute My Deportation?
Though the federal government has the authority to deport any immigrant, including green card holders, immigration laws offer potential options for preventing deportation, such as:
- Asylum: Eligible asylees are allowed to remain in the United States. If you have suffered or fear persecution in your home country due to your nationality, race, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, you can apply for asylum in the United States.
- Waiver: Being convicted of a crime can not only cause you to be deported but can also ban you from ever returning to the United States. However, you may be able to apply for an immigration waiver to halt removal proceedings. Depending on the circumstances to your case and specific conviction, you can apply for a waiver, and you must prove that your family members will suffer extreme hardship upon your removal.
- Status adjustment: Depending on your circumstances and status, you may be eligible to apply for a change of status to a legal permanent resident if you are a spouse, parent, child, or widow of an American citizen.
- Appeal: The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is the highest authority on the interpretation of immigration laws. If you have been found to be deportable, you can appeal the decision with the BIA, provided your case has valid legal grounds.
- Voluntary departure: Leaving the United States voluntarily will not prevent your status as deportable, but will allow you to return years later, depending on the seriousness of your violation. Once you have been notified of your deportation, you can apply for voluntary departure during the process and before removal proceedings. If granted, you will have 120 days to leave the country voluntarily and at your own expense.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Represent Clients Facing Deportation from the United States
Being deported is frightening, especially when it separates immediate family members. If you are facing deportation, the experienced Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. can guide you through the deportation or appeals process. Call us today at 215-925-4435 or contact us online for an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and nationwide.