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Recent data published by the Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency suggests that the government conducts nearly 200,000 immigration removals per year. ICE has the authority to detain any unlawful or undocumented immigrant.
However, ICE almost exclusively focuses its efforts on undocumented immigrants with criminal records. With that in mind, individuals facing removal (regardless of the reason) risk forcible removal from the U.S. and the inability to return any time soon.
If you’ve received a “Notice to Appear” at LA immigration court and face deportation, you have rights. Most importantly, you have the right to hire a deportation defense lawyer in Los Angeles that will fight for you.
At Best Immigration Lawyer, our attorneys thoroughly investigate your case to develop the best strategies for a deportation defense. Our immigration paralegals and lawyers go into every case with the same intention – help present a five-star defense in any deportation case.What Happens During the Deportation Process in LA?
Deportation, also known more formally as “removal,” is the process of removing a non-citizen from the U.S. Removal is most likely to occur if a person violates the terms of their visa or they entered the country illegally (without inspection and a visa).
While every deportation defense case is different, most share the same process. Below, learn about what typically happens during the immigration removal process in LA.
- First, ICE detains the immigrant and/or they receive a Notice to Appear at Immigration Court
- Second, a master calendar hearing date is established
- Third, an individual merits hearing is convened
- Fourth, the immigration judge renders a decision
If you’re dissatisfied with the outcome, there may be an opportunity to appeal. You should discuss the details of your case with an experienced immigration removal attorney in LA.Who is at Risk of Deportation in Los Angeles?
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) details the four grounds for deportation. They include:
- A criminal conviction
- Unlawfully residing in the U.S.
- Entering the U.S. using forged documents
- Actively engaging in fraud
If any of these apply to you, you can be deported. Generally, the most common reason for removal is unlawfully living in Los Angeles (without a visa or past the expiration date of a visa). Other less known grounds for deportation include fraudulent marriages, false representation to obtain government benefits, and drug abuse.
It’s important to note that U.S. citizens can only be deported if they obtain permanent residency or citizenship fraudulently. A person born in the U.S. cannot be deported.
Suppose you or a loved one is currently facing deportation because of one or more of the previously mentioned grounds for removal. In that case, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced Los Angeles deportation lawyer as soon as possible.Potential Defenses to Deportation
Undocumented immigrants who are in removal proceedings don’t automatically get deported. Your Los Angeles removal and deportation lawyer can potentially mount a successful deportation defense on your behalf. Some of the most common defenses to deportation in Los Angeles include:
- Asylum / Withholding of Removal: The U.S. government offers administrative protection from removal proceedings for individuals fleeing persecution or who have a “well-founded fear” of persecution if they return to their home country.
- Cancellation of Removal: If you’re not a lawful permanent resident but can prove that you’ve lived in the U.S. for more than ten years, you may be eligible for cancellation of removal. However, you must verify that your deportation would cause exceptional hardship to a qualifying family member.
- Prosecutorial Discretion: Sometimes, your immigration lawyer can negotiate prosecutorial discretion. That means that the government stops pursuing your deportation. People offered prosecutorial discretion can apply for work authorization but will not be able to travel outside of the U.S.
- Deferred Action: In some cases, immigration can decide to put your LA deportation case on hold. That means that they don’t give you a legal status or remove you.
- Family-based adjustment of status: Individuals in removal proceedings can sometimes change from a nonimmigrant status to immigrant status. That can be accomplished through a qualifying relative who is a U.S. citizen or, in some cases, a lawful permanent resident.
The deportation defenses listed above are just a few of the most common strategies. There are countless others. Generally, if you want to make your defense as persuasive as possible, it’s in your best interest to work with a proven deportation lawyer in Los Angeles.