The topic of deportation has been in the news a great deal recently. Images of parents and children separated from each other as they face removal are hard to ignore. So what happens when the threat of removal is closer to home? Who can be deported and how does the process work? Know your rights and how to protect yourself during your deportation hearing.
Who Can Be Deported
Since September 22, 2001, Congress has been expanding the criteria for removal. In general, any person who is not a U.S. citizen can be subject to deportation, including immigrants who possess a green card.
Grounds for deportation include:
- Entering the United States unlawfully
- Entering the United States with a visa but staying past the permitted time
- Using fraud to obtain a green card
- Violation of criminal laws
- Violation of immigration laws
How the Deportation Process Works
In some cases, an arrest by an immigration agency is the first sign of impending deportation. For others, the first indication of immigration concerns is the receipt of a “Notice to Appear” or NTA in the mail. Your NTA notifies you that removal proceedings have been initiated. Your NTA includes the date you must appear for your “Master Calendar Hearing.”
During your master calendar hearing, if you choose to argue you case, you will receive a date for a “Merits Hearing.” During a merits hearing, your immigration lawyer has all the time they need to prove you have legal grounds to remain in the United States. He or she may attempt to prove that immigration authorities made an error in seeking your removal.
What to Do When Facing Deportation
When facing deportation, some men and women chose to depart the U.S. voluntarily. This allows them to re-enter the country at a later date without having to wait for several years. People who have been deported must wait anywhere from five to twenty years to re-enter the United States, depending upon the reason for their removal.
You may also choose to appeal your removal decision. To do so, you must submit a written appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and possibly wait months to years for a decision. If you are considered a flight risk, U.S. authorities can hold you in custody until a final decision is made.
If your appeal to the BIA is denied, you can pursue your case one step further, appealing this decision to the local federal circuit court of appeals. During this process, your attorney may need to make an oral argument before the court. In rare cases, men and women who are denied at this stage take their case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Represent Clients in Deportation Hearings
If you have received a Notice to Appear, it is crucial that you contact an experienced Philadelphia immigration lawyer to protect your rights and give you the best chance of appealing your removal. The Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. are on top of ever-changing immigration laws and know the best legal approach to take when pursuing an appeal.
Call 215-925-4435 or use the simple online contact form to schedule a consultation with a multilingual immigration lawyer. We understand your concerns and treat every client with empathy and compassion. From our Center City Philadelphia offices, we advocate for clients throughout the greater Philadelphia area.