Lexington Deportation Attorneys
How Deportation Lawyers Can Help You
The United States of America is a “melting pot.” Citizens from around the world come here to work, live, have families, and become part of what makes this country desirable.
However, people from other countries cannot just arrive here and be admitted. The United States has laws regarding “aliens” or “non-citizens.” These laws, known as the U.S. immigration laws, determine three things:
- When a non-citizen may or may not be admitted
- How long and for what purpose(s) they may be admitted
- Under what circumstances they may be removed.
There are several ways a non-citizen may be allowed to live in the United States legally. You may be:
- Admitted on a work visa
- Granted a “green card” with legal permanent resident status
- Granted asylum or refugee status
- In the process of attempting to be legally admitted to the United States.
Even if you have been allowed to live here for any of those reasons, the U.S. government still has the right to remove you from this country or deny your admission. Known as “deportation,” this removal may happen if you have been convicted of certain crimes or have violated immigration laws. The laws regarding removal are complicated, and the chances of being deported in today’s political climate are very high.
This is nothing you should try to fight on your own. If you or a loved one is facing the possibility of removal through deportation or denial of admission, you should get legal assistance. Your future is too important to risk.
The Kentucky immigration lawyers at Carman Fullerton, PLLC are here to help people who are faced with removal. We know the laws, the system, and the best approach to take to fight removal and get you on the path to citizenship. We are aware of how important it is for families to be able to stay together and be allowed to live and work in the United States. We will aggressively fight against unjust removal.
We offer a consultation to discuss the facts of your individual situation and answer your questions about Kentucky immigration laws. Call us today at 859-971-0060 to see how we can help.
Deportation Lawyers Explain Deportation and Removal Terms
It is difficult to understand the laws and terms regarding deportation. Our deportation attorney can help.
In the past few decades there have been changes not only to immigration laws, but also to the terminology. In 1996, the U.S. Congress passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), which changed immigration laws and terms.
The IIRIRA strengthened U.S. immigration laws and added penalties for undocumented immigrants who commit crimes while in the United States or who stay in the U.S. for defined periods of time. The purpose was to improve border control by imposing criminal penalties for racketeering, alien smuggling and the use or creation of fraudulent immigration-related documents, and increasing interior enforcement by agencies charged with monitoring visa applications and visa abusers. The Act also allows for the deportation of undocumented immigrants who commit a misdemeanor or a felony.
The Act also changed certain terms as follows:
- When talking about entering the United States, the old term “entry,” was changed to “admission.”
- The term “deportation,” the process by which a non-citizen was forced to leave the United States, became “removal.”
- Usually, for a non-citizen without legal status or an admission, the non-citizen is found to be “inadmissible” and either removed or not admitted.
- A non-citizen who has legal status or admission is usually found “deportable” and therefore removed.
Removing a non-citizen from the United States is still commonly referred to as “deportation.” No matter which term is used, if you are found “inadmissible” or “deportable,” you are faced with the same removal proceedings.
Changes After Sept. 11
Other changes dealing with deportation and removal were put into place after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The U.S. Congress passed the Homeland Security Act which created three new agencies within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to replace the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). These are:
- Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
- Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
ICE is the main enforcement organization that deals with deportation and removal.
Because immigration laws and terms have changed multiple times in recent decades, it is hard to know what laws affect non-citizens in the U.S. and how those laws will impact their lives. If you are unsure whether you may be deported and would like to know your rights, talk to our deportation lawyer about your situation.
Deportation Laws in Kentucky — What Leads to Removal
Our Kentucky deportation defense attorneys can help if you are faced with removal.
A person who does not have U.S. citizenship status can be removed under certain circumstances. These include:
- Being present in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act or other U.S. immigration law
- Violating non-immigrant status or a condition of entry into the U.S.
- Terminating conditional permanent resident status
- Encouraging or aiding another non-citizen to enter the United States illegally
- Engaging in marriage fraud to gain admission to the United States
- Being convicted of certain criminal offenses
- Failing to register or falsifying documents related to entry into the United States
- Engaging in any activity that endangers public safety or creates a risk to national security
- Engaging in unlawful voting.
There are also criminal offenses that may lead to removal. They include:
- aggravated felonies
- drug crimes
- firearm crimes
- domestic violence
- crimes of moral turpitude (e.g., theft, forgery, robbery, fraud, etc.).
Whether or not you have a status that allows you to be in the United States, if you violate immigration laws or receive a criminal conviction, the U.S. government may start removal proceedings against you. If you find yourself facing possible removal from the U.S., get legal representation quickly.
A deportation lawyer at Carman Fullerton is highly experienced in immigration law and can help you understand your legal rights, as well as how our team can help protect those rights.
Delaying can only make your situation worse, so call Carman Fullerton today at 859-971-0060.
What Happens in Kentucky During the Removal Process?
If you are faced with removal in Kentucky, there are specific steps in the process. You can expect the following to occur:
1. Notice to Appear
ICE is the principal investigative and enforcement arm of DHS. If ICE determines that it has grounds to remove you, it will send you a Notice to Appear (NTA). This document provides the reason ICE identifies to begin the removal process. ICE also files the NTA with the immigration court; once it does so, the removal proceedings begin.
The immigration court and ICE are in separate agencies. ICE is the police and prosecutor that enforces the law. The immigration court makes sure the law is followed correctly and that your rights are respected. The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), part of the Department of Justice, contains both the immigration court and the Board of Immigration Appeals.
2. Hearing Before a Judge
Once the NTA is filed, there will be a hearing before an immigration judge. The immigration judge first decides whether you may be removed due to the NTA charges against you. If the immigration judge rules for removal, you are allowed to apply for relief from removal.
3. Applying for Relief from Removal
Relief from removal can include (among other things) cancellation of removal for permanent and non-permanent residents, asylum, victim of certain crimes, U.S. citizen spouse, etc.
If you are not eligible for this relief, you may ask the immigration judge for voluntary departure. Voluntary departure may allow you to legally return to the United States more quickly than with a removal order.
Our deportation lawyer at Carman Fullerton can evaluate all factors that impact your immigration status and help you determine whether you should request a voluntary departure. If you don’t qualify for voluntary departure, or your request is not approved by a judge, our team of immigration lawyers will use all legal options to ensure your rights are protected.
Deportation Attorney Can Help Avoid Removal
If you have been found to be removable, your deportation attorney can apply for one or more forms of relief to avoid deportation. The types of relief that non-citizens are granted are usually either discretionary relief, administrative relief or judicial relief.
Types of Relief to Avoid Deportation / Removal
Some examples of relief you may receive to avoid removal are:
Discretionary Relief: Discretionary relief can apply while your removal proceedings are going on. You would have to prove you are eligible for this relief under the law. Talk to our deportation lawyer to learn details about your eligibility for discretionary relief.
Cancellation of Removal: If you qualify for a cancellation of removal, your status will change from “deportable” to “lawfully admitted for permanent residence.” For this type of relief, you must apply during a hearing before an immigration judge.
Asylum: You may be granted asylum if you qualify as a “refugee.” To apply, you must file Form I-589 within one year of arrival into the U.S. If you need help completing the form, or to learn all legal options available to you to gain refugee status, our attorneys can explain the process and the applicable laws.
Administrative/Judicial Relief: Administrative and judicial forms of relief are available after removal hearings have ended. These are similar to appeals for the purpose of overturning an order issued by an immigration judge.
To increase your chances of avoiding removal, contact our Lexington deportation attorneys for help at 859-971-0060.
Kentucky Deportation Lawyer Answers Frequently Asked Questions
If you or a loved one is an immigrant in fear of deportation, it’s natural to have questions and concerns about your situation. Here are some answers to questions our deportation lawyers are frequently asked:
How long will it take for an undocumented immigrant to be deported after an immigration arrest?
The amount of time to be deported depends on the individual situation and factors, that include:
- Current U.S. policies – policies for removal change according to the current political climate.
- Prior entries and removals — If you have had a previous order of removal, it can be used to send you back to your previous country right away.
- How much time you have spent in the U.S. Recent arrivals may be deported quickly, without a hearing before an immigration judge. Immigrants who have been in the U.S. for ten or more years, have good moral character, and can show that deportation would cause “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” may have hearings in courts that can take years to resolve, or they may even qualify for a green card.
- Conditions in your home country, such as fear of persecution or torture.
- Whether you are a high priority for deportation.
- Whether you are willing to leave voluntarily, without a removal order.
What can I do if a judge orders me to be deported?
If a judge orders you to be deported, you should see an immigration lawyer to determine if you have grounds to file an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Your deportation will be held off while you pursue that appeal. If you do not have grounds, you may apply for voluntary departure and will probably be allowed to leave at your own expense and within a reasonable schedule without having an order of removal on your immigration record. If you receive a removal order from a judge, you probably will have some time in the U.S. home while the government arranges travel, and your lawyer may be able to get your deportation postponed by filing a “stay.”
Will I be deported if ICE is tipped off that I am in the U.S. illegally?
ICE doesn’t have the resources to follow up on every tip they get, and sometimes they will ignore it. They may look at your individual case and decide whether or not to initiate deportation proceedings. If they do decide to deport you, you will be charged with being deportable, released on bond, and told to appear in Immigration Court. If you have any defenses to deportation, you can ask for a full court hearing and have your immigration lawyer defend you at the hearing.
What rights do I have if ICE approaches me in public?
There are some so-called sensitive locations, such as schools, healthcare facilities, places of worship, and funerals and weddings, where ICE has stated that it will seek to avoid arresting or detaining people unless there are circumstances where they feel dangerous conditions exist. If ICE does stop you in a public situation, you should try to remain calm and be aware of your rights. You have the right to:
- Ask the ICE officer whether you are free to leave, and if you are not free to leave, you may tell the officer clearly that you wish to remain silent and do so.
- Refuse to show identity documents that say what country you are from. Do not show any false documents.
- Refuse to consent to a search of your person or your belongings unless you are arrested by ICE or the agent believes you have a weapon.
- Contact and speak to an attorney if arrested.
- Contact your home country’s consulate.
A Deportation Defense Attorney Can Help if You Are Facing Removal from the U.S.
If you are a non-citizen in the United States and are facing possible removal by ICE, you are surely worried how it will affect your future and that of your family. All your efforts to keep your family safe and stable may be at risk. You may already have lost the job that put food on the table and provided a safe home for your family. The education and economic stability you hoped would be part of your children’s future seems impossible.
Even if your situation looks bleak, you may still have legal options. You should never give up on the American dream. Representation by a dedicated immigration attorney may mean the difference between being allowed to remain in the United States or removal.
A deportation attorney at Carman Fullerton, PLLC is ready to help you in your fight against removal from the United States.
Call Carman Fullerton, PLLC today at 859-971-0060 or use our online form to get help now.