Deportation proceedings can happen suddenly. Long-time residents can find themselves unexpectedly detained and on their way out of the country before they are prepared to mount a defense. The deportation and removal defense attorney at Nagell Law will help you find ways to fight to stay in the United States and protect the ones you love most.
Who Can Be Deported or Removed?
Anyone who does not have a valid legal status is at risk for deportation (now officially called removal proceedings). Additionally, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR's) who are convicted of certain criminal offenses may be subject to removal proceedings. If your legal status is questionable, you may worry every day that Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) will step in and separate you from your loved ones. Foreign nationals in the United States may become the target of removal proceedings if they:
- Are detained or arrested by state or local police officers
- Have been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor crime
- Stay past the end of their temporary visas (for work, tourism, or education for example)
- Are reported to ICE by a neighbor or other citizen
- Are involved in an ICE raid
- Fall within certain priority enforcement demographics under current ICE policies
Get Help When Facing Removal Proceedings
Federal immigration courts use removal proceedings to determine if an individual (often referred to as an "alien") should be removed from the United States. You could find yourself swept up in an ICE raid, or you could simply receive a "Notice to Appear" on a "charge of being removable". This notice calls non-citizens to appear in front of an immigration court judge for a "Master Calendar Hearing." You must attend this hearing. If you don't you will automatically give up any defenses you may have and an order for removal will be entered against you.
You are entitled to a removal defense attorney to present your case and protect your right to be present in the U.S. There are no court-appointed immigration attorneys. If you or a loved one are issued a Notice to Appear, it is up to you to reach out to an experienced deportation attorney who will appear with you and advocate for you and your family.
Removal Defense Strategies
Receiving a Notice to Appear doesn't have to mean automatic deportation. There are several possible defenses and strategic choices you can use to protect you, your family, and your long-term immigration interests. If you are facing deportation, removal defense attorney Peter Nagell will review your circumstances, looking for removal defense strategies such as:
- Challenges to the statements made in the government's Notice to Appear
- Qualification for family-based immigration status
- Qualification for asylum or other humanitarian status
- Mistaken identity
- "Cancellation of removal" defenses based on your time in the U.S., your moral character, and hardship your removal would cause to relatives who are legal residents or citizens
- "Voluntary departure" options that allow you to control the circumstances of the move and protect your right to legally seek a visa in the future.
Many immigrants whose status is in question are not aware of defenses that exist that could save them from removal from the United States. Without an experienced removal defense attorney at your side, you could be separated from your family even though legal reasons exist to allow you to remain.
Seeking Bond During Removal Proceedings
Just because an immigrant has been detained by ICE doesn't mean he or she will be headed out of the country right away. Delays in immigration court can mean removal proceedings can take months or even years. The government's current policy is to hold as many "illegal aliens" in custody as possible while removal proceedings are pending. But in most cases, you are entitled to a bond hearing to determine if you should be released until the immigration court decides your case.
Bond is a set amount of money — often thousands of dollars — that an individual can put on hold with ICE to ensure he or she will return for future court hearings. ICE makes the initial decision whether to allow an individual to post bond or detain him or her until the case is heard. If ICE denies bond, or sets it at a very high amount, your removal defense attorney can appear before an immigration judge and ask that bond be set at a reasonable level by showing that the detained immigrant:
- Is not a flight risk
- Is not a danger to the community
Your immigration attorney will have to act quickly to prepare documents and present the immigration judge with a clear picture of your criminal history, evidence of your good moral character, and reasons you have to return to court. Then your lawyer will appear in court on your behalf and argue for your release. A bond hearing can be the difference between months in a detention center and valuable time spent with family while your case is pending.
Contact a Deportation & Removal Defense Attorney in St. Paul, Minnesota
Facing removal proceedings can be one of the most frightening things facing U.S. immigrants today. Having an experienced deportation and removal defense attorney on your side can give you peace of mind, and protect your rights, your interests, and your family. Contact St. Paul Minnesota Immigration Attorney Peter Nagell today to schedule a consultation and start your move toward permanent legal status.