Deportation, referred to as “removal” by immigration authorities, is an intimidating possibility for foreign nationals, even for those with green cards. Defending yourself against deportation is a complicated and lengthy process. If you are facing deportation proceedings, the best thing to do is to contact an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible. 

Common Issues That Can Lead to Deportation

The government can begin removal proceedings for various reasons depending on your situation and immigration status. Some of the most common reasons that lead to removal include the following: 

  • A criminal conviction, including what some might consider “minor” or misdemeanor convictions
  • Illegal entry
  • Status violations
  • Failure to obey visa terms
  • Denial of an affirmative immigration petition or application 

Overstaying your visa or failing to remain employed while under a work visa can expose you to removal. Some issues can be addressed before removal proceedings are initiated. If you are worried about your ability to remain in the country, you do not need to wait until you are facing removal.

Helping You Navigate the Deportation Process

If removal proceedings have already begun, do not lose hope. Understanding how the process works and the options available to you will give you the clarity you need to achieve the best possible outcome. 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) begins the process by issuing a “Notice to Appear.” This is the equivalent of a court summons, and it will indicate the date and time of your hearing and where you need to appear for the hearing. 

It is vital that you appear in court on the assigned day and time. Otherwise, the judge will enter a removal order against you if you fail to appear, and it can be very difficult to reverse this decision. 

The first court appearance is brief and is largely procedural. You will have the opportunity to admit or deny the charges in the Notice to Appear. The next step is to schedule merits or the individual hearing. At this hearing, the government must prove that you are residing in the country illegally and that you should be deported. You will have the opportunity to present evidence on why you should not be deported. At the conclusion, the judge will decide whether or not you should be deported. 

You May Be Entitled to Relief from Deportation

You may be able to avoid deportation if you can demonstrate that you are entitled to remain in the country for some other reason. For example, you may be entitled to asylum, cancellation of removal, or relief under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT). A knowledgeable immigration attorney will know your options if the judge does not rule in your favor. 

Contact Lotfi Legal if You Are Facing Deportation

Deportation proceedings can be terrifying. The good news is that you do not have to endure them alone—contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can help.