Background on Process of Removal (Deportation)
A person can be placed in removal proceedings (deportation proceedings) through any interaction with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) if they are out of status, have a prior order of removal, have violated their visa status, or commit a crime or fraud that makes them removable.
Removal proceedings is a broad term referring to the removal of a person because they are “inadmissible” under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 212 or “removable” under INA section 237. If a person has been inspected by CBP and admitted into the United States in some form of legal status, then a person is generally under INA 237. If a person was never properly admitted and inspected (crossed the border without inspection), generally that person will be under INA section 212. Common reasons why persons are placed in removal proceedings include: being out of status and having a criminal record.
If a person is placed in removal, he or she may or may not be arrested by ICE, but will be given a document called a Notice to Appear (NTA), which is like a warrant for arrest in a criminal context. This document lists the reasons why a person is removable and may or may not provide a hearing date, time and location. If the NTA does not list a hearing date, time and location, then the person will receive a hearing notice through the mail. It is critical, when interacting with ICE or any government agency, that the person keep their address and contact information updated, especially if waiting for a hearing notice. Otherwise, the notice could go to the wrong address and a court date missed.
Prior Removal Orders and Motions to Re-open
Many people have removal orders against them and they do not realize it. It is very important to find out if there is a removal order against a person. The first way to find out is to call 1-800-898-7180 and put in the A number of the person of concern. Press 1 for pending court dates and 3 for information about the case, which will state if the person has a prior order of deportation and where it was issued. The second way to find out is to do a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request and get a complete record of all cases before ICE, USCIS and the courts.
If a person has a prior removal order, he or she should call Immigrants First as soon as possible and discuss whether or not he or she should re-open the case. It is important to determine whether a case should be re-opened because a prior removal order makes a person immediately removable by ICE if apprehended. We are careful to assess whether a case should be re-opened after examining all the facts of a situation. We have a high rate of success for cases that we determine should be re-opened.
Requests for Release with ICE and Bond Redetermination Motions with Court
Sometimes ICE will arrest and detain a person while they are pending their removal hearings. We are experts at requests for release with ICE and Bond Redetermination Motions with Court.
More frequently than not, ICE will decline to release a person, especially if there is a criminal record, however there are occasions when ICE will release upon request from our firm. If not, we proceed with a bond redetermination motion with the court. The vast majority of our bond cases, including those with complex criminal issues, are granted because of our extensive written preparation and competence in representing the bond motion in court.
There are many reasons why someone is put into removal proceedings and many ways to win removal cases. Do not give up hope! As excellent lawyers we win many difficult cases of removal. Common forms of relief in removal proceedings that our firm successfully represents include:
- Lawful permanent resident cancellation of removal
- Non-lawful permanent resident cancellation of removal
- Asylum, withholding of removal, and convention against torture claims
- Termination of removal for lawful permanent residents placed into removal because of criminal convictions
- Termination and administrative closure of cases for other reasons, such as to proceed with a provisional waiver
- Adjustment of status, with waivers if required
A last resort in removal proceedings is to request voluntary departure, or, if the person does not have the funds to purchase a flight, a request for deportation. In either a voluntary departure or deportation outcome, we work with ICE to make sure conditions are as favorable as possible for departure in terms of coordination and timing.
We handle appeals with the Board of Immigration Appeals for our own cases and those referred to us from other law firms.
Immigrants First: Many Bond and Removal Defense Cases Won
We have many, many bond and removal defense cases due to our efforts of detailed preparation of the written materials and extraordinary preparation for court, including many hours of witness preparation. Although we cannot guarantee we will win a case, we can guarantee that our representation will be excellent and will provide the most optimum opportunity to win.
Client Preparation for Bond and Removal Proceedings
As soon as a person is notified that they have been placed in removal proceedings or arrested by ICE, it is essential to contact Immigrants First. We can be reached at any hour of the day or night by calling our office at 705-335-2009 (until 6:00 pm) or Lisa’s cell phone (after hours) 703-868-8801. For urgent matters, text is best: do not leave a voice mail for urgent matters. We will immediately schedule a consultation and provide a checklist of documentation that will need to be obtained for representation, as well as discuss options, including whether a motion to reopen needs to be done expeditiously.
It is a good idea to always make copies of every page of passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, and any other form of identification documentation. Keep the copies and original documents in safe and separate locations. DO NOT carry passports because, if arrested by the police or ICE, the passport will be taken as evidence of alienage (that the person is not from the United States) and used against the person. Further, the passport will not be returned until the end of removal proceedings or deportation.
Expert Defense of Removal Proceedings
Don't hesitate to contact Immigrants First for our experienced advocacy defending against removal proceedings.