If you are facing deportation, you are likely feeling overwhelmed. There is an extreme power imbalance when the forceful U.S. government initiates removal proceedings against an immigrant who is not familiar with the complex immigration system. You don’t have to face this process alone. A deportation defense attorney in Chicago can help you defend your right to live and work lawfully in the United States.
Deportation is the legal process by which the government has an immigrant removed from the country. Immigrants can be deported for many reasons, including committing crimes, violation of their immigration status, being a threat to public safety, or committing fraud in the immigration process. The process of deportation begins when the government files a case, and you receive notice of these “removal proceedings.”
Your notice will give the time and date of your hearing before an immigration judge. At this hearing, the government will present its case and establish that it has grounds to remove you from the country. You, in turn, can present your defense to the court. You might be eligible for relief from removal. You have the right to hire an attorney to represent you at your removal hearing. The government is not required to provide an attorney, nor must it pay for one, so be sure to consult with your own immigration lawyer as soon as you learn of any removal proceedings against you.
There are many defenses available to those facing removal proceedings. In some cases, you might merely need to prove that you have been a lawful permanent resident and present in the United States for the required length of time. In other cases, you might be able to establish that you qualify for asylum, or stop deportation on other humanitarian grounds. You might even qualify for an adjustment of status (AOS). An AOS occurs if a temporary visa holder successfully obtains lawful permanent residency. If removal proceedings have not been filed, you can apply for an AOS through the Department of Homeland Security. Once there is a removal case against you, the AOS must be heard before an immigration judge.
You have the right to appeal a deportation order before it is carried out. You can also apply for re-entry into the United States after deportation, but this is more difficult than seeking re-entry if you leave the country voluntarily. Be sure to consult with an attorney about all your legal options before your deportation case is heard by an immigration judge.
At Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, we fight hard to stop improper deportations. There are many defenses that might be available to you when facing removal proceedings. It is also important to find a strategy that will not impact your future ability to reenter the country lawfully. Contact us to schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney.