Nothing brings dread to noncitizens living in America than the mention of deportation. The dread is not unfounded because the US government has a battalion of agents within the Department of Homeland Security (known as US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents) whose responsibility is to apprehend and help in the removal (deportation) of those living in the United States without valid immigration status. At Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C., we have experienced removal (deportation) defense attorneys who help clients in the Chicago area to defend against deportation.
Deportation or “removal” is a process by which a person in the United States without valid immigration status can be legally removed from the United States and sent back to their native country or to some other country the government deems apt.
The process is initiated in one of two ways: apprehension or referral.
Under US immigration law, a person who is found in the United States without valid immigration status is subject to arrest. This is typically done during sweeps at workplaces to find people working illegally and often without valid work authorization. One can only work in the United States legally if they are US citizens, lawful permanent residents (green card holders) or under a visa that specifically authorizes the person to legally work in the United States.
Another common source for apprehension by ICE agents is when a noncitizen commits a crime and is arrested by local law enforcement. When this happens, and depending on the jurisdiction, the ICE office for that area is informed and decides whether to put a “detainer” on the person or not.
A detainer is a legal demand that the noncitizen arrested to be released only to ICE agents who will initiate deportation proceedings against the individual.
If one is not apprehended and placed in deportation proceedings, the other way one may find themselves in deportation proceedings is after an immigration benefit they applied for is denied.
For example, if one applies for a green card with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the application is denied, what typically follows is the person receiving what is known as a “Notice to Appear,” in which the person is directed to go to an Immigration Court where their case for deportation is scheduled.
Whether by apprehension or after receiving a Notice to Appear, a person placed in deportation proceedings is better off having an experienced immigration attorney to represent them. This is because deportation proceedings are no different from criminal proceedings because those charged must prove the government is wrong in charging them, or they have a defense that can set them free or otherwise prevent the deportation.
At Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C., we have decades of experience helping clients successfully defend against deportation. If you have been placed in deportation proceedings in the Chicago area or believe you might be, contact our office today and speak to an immigration attorney who is ready to help you.