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If you or a loved one has been affected by a potential deportation, you understand the stress, anxiety and devastation this can cause. For this reason, it’s important that you understand your legal rights. Although the prospect of deportation is scary, we’re here to guide and protect you through the process. We’ve had tremendous success in immigration court, sometimes winning cases that other immigration lawyers were too afraid to touch. Knowing the intricacies of the law is essential to success in this area.
You deserve to be represented by a strong defense team of experienced immigration attorneys.What is Deportation?
In simple terms, “Deportation” is known as the removal of a foreign national from United States soil back to their home country for not adhering to the requirements outlined in the Immigration and Nationality (INA) Act. If deported or “removed,” you’ll never be able to legally return to the U.S. for at least 10 years. Immigrants that are considered Legal Permanent Residents (green card holders) of the U.S. can also be deported.
The circumstances for removal of a foreign national can be initiated based upon many reasons.Grounds for Initiating Deportation
As an immigrant, you have the potential of being deported from the U.S. regardless of whether you are a legal or illegal resident.
The circumstances for your deportation can include:
- Participating in unlawful criminal activities (theft, aggravated felony, domestic violence)
- Violating visa requirements such as marriage fraud or overstaying
- Smuggling other people into the U.S.
- Illegally residing in the U.S.
- Falsification of documents
A Notice to Appear (NTA), Form I-862, is a document filed with the immigration court to formally charge you and begin removal (deportation) proceedings. The form explains why the prosecution (government) believes you are deportable and is sent to you as a formal notice of the proceedings.
The proceedings post-NTA are:
- An initial court hearing
- Secondary court hearing (usually after a few months to a year)
- Removal or no removal from the U.S. issued
It’s important that you know there are options for fighting against your deportation. As stated in the INA, “no decision on deportability shall be valid unless it is based upon reasonable, substantial, and probative evidence.” The three main ways to attack deportation are (1) to challenge the Notice to Appear that you received, (2) to argue that you’re not removable as charged and (3) to seek relief by adjusting your status.Defense #1: Notice to Appear (NTA) Was Improperly Served
If the NTA was sent to the incorrect address or sent to someone that was not you on the receiving end, then that gives your lawyer the opportunity to argue that you were never formally notified or informed about the proceedings. Your deportation proceedings could essentially be dropped based on the government’s mishap.Defense #2: You Are Not Removable as Charged
In deportation proceedings, the government has the burden of proving your grounds for removal. If you can establish sufficient facts to prove against removability, the proceedings will be dropped and you will not face repercussions.Defense #3: Adjustment of Status
If you’re a Lawful Permanent Resident of the U.S. but you forgot to update your paperwork or extend your visa, in most cases like these, as long as there is a valid proof of your legality, the immigration courts will adjust your status and drop all deportation proceedings.
In cases where you are not residing legally in the U.S., you can also apply for “Adjustment of Status” in immigration court. There is the possibility, by applying for a visa through the embassy or consulate of your home country, that you could adjust your status to a legal resident. Having a good record and a family relative who is a legal resident or citizen of the U.S. will provide additional proof that you’re deserving of becoming a legal resident.Las Vegas Immigration Court
All deportations occur in immigration court and are presided over by an immigration judge. The Las Vegas immigration court is located in downtown Las Vegas. In Las Vegas, there are currently 5 immigration judges that preside over cases. All cases are governed by immigration court procedures which are set forth in a manual published by the United States Department of Justice.