An immigrant may receive a deportation order for a variety of reasons. Fighting a deportation order is extremely difficult, especially without proper legal representation. If one must protect their immigration status, they should learn the reasons for the deportation and what rights immigrants have in the United States. Common offenses that result in deportation include:
- Falsifying immigration documents
- Overstaying a visa or other immigration violations
- Marriage fraud
- Helping another immigrant come into the U.S. illegally
- Conviction of a criminal offense
If one is falsely accused of any illegal offenses, they should contact an immigration lawyer who will ensure that their client’s status is protected.
Motion to Reopen a Deportation Order in Absentia
If the recipient of a deportation order was absent during the immigration proceedings, they may be able to reopen the order. In doing so, the individual argues that their absence led to their inability to argue the deportation order. Thus, their best interest was not properly represented. However, an immigrant should note that there are strict rules regarding an absence. In fact, an absence is only permitted when the individual is facing exceptional circumstances beyond their control. If the individual was absent for other reasons, it is likely that they will not be able to file under this motion. Acceptable reasons to be absent include:
- Death or serious illness of one’s child.
- Death or serious illness of one’s parent.
- Serious illness to one’s own health.
- Battery to one’s self, parent, or child.
- Failure to receive notification of the immigration proceedings.
- Being held in federal or state custody during the immigration proceedings.
Motion to Reopen Due to Changed Circumstances
Another strategy to avoid deportation is a motion to reopen due to changed circumstances. It could be due to new evidence or a changed circumstance in the immigrant’s home country that prevents them from returning. In cases where there is new evidence, it should be relevant to the deportation order. Those looking to reopen the case have 90 days to file the motion after receiving the deportation order.
In cases where the immigrant’s home country is considered a threat to their life, they can file a motion to reopen their case. In doing so, the individual can apply for asylum or withhold removal. It is important to note that both motions do not automatically hold the immigrant’s stay. In order to do this, the immigrant should request immigration officials to hold their stay while the proceedings take place.
Adjustment of Status
In many cases, an immigrant’s status will not be changed. An Adjustment of Status (AOS) allows an immigrant to obtain legal residency. If the paperwork was not filed correctly or if they did not complete the required steps, it could cause them to be deported. For these reasons, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable lawyer when one wishes to change their immigration status. A lawyer will make sure their client completes the necessary steps to avoid any issues.
Cancellation of Removal
Those who are legally in the U.S. can file for a cancellation of removal. This is valid for those with a green card or for legal non-permanent residents. Permanent residents must have lived in the U.S. for at least seven years, be a legal resident for at least five years, and must not have been convicted of an aggravated felony to file for a cancellation of removal. For legal, non-permanent residents, the rules are stricter. In fact, these residents must have lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years instead of seven, must not have been convicted of a deportable offense, and must prove that their deportation will severely impact their family.
What Should I Do if I am Arrested?
An immigrant has the right to challenge an arrest or deportation order unless they signed a Stipulated Removal Order or took a voluntary departure. They have the right to hire a lawyer, and the court must allow them time to seek legal representation; however, the government does not have to provide one. If an immigrant is arrested, it is important that they immediately ask to hire or speak to a lawyer, especially if they fear harm in their home country. If they fear deportation because of harm, they may have additional rights.
What Should I Do if I am Wrongfully Deported?
In the U.S., approximately 40 percent of immigrants cannot afford legal representation. In a detention center, only 25 percent can find a lawyer. It is an ongoing issue in the United States; however, an immigrant may have options available. It is important that an immigrant at least consults with a lawyer, especially if their status is being challenged or questioned.
In rare cases, a legal citizen may be deported. Being held in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center or being forced back to an unsafe country is traumatic for anyone. Someone may falsify information about a legal immigrant to have them deported or paperwork may have been mishandled. Challenging wrongful deportation is complex. For this reason, it is extremely critical that one speaks to a lawyer if they suspect their legal status is being questioned.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Help Immigrants with Illegal Deportation Orders
If you are the recipient of a deportation order, contact one of our knowledgeable Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. immediately. Our lawyers help clients take the steps needed to avoid deportation. For more information, contact us online or call us at 215-925-4435 for an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and nationwide.