Avoiding Deportation: Why Working With United States Immigration Lawyers Can Help You Stay In The Country
There were about 436 immigration arrests per day in the U.S. between February 2017 and September 2018. Refugee admissions are at an all-time low, with a 73.5% decrease in refugee resettlement from the fiscal years of 2016 to 2018. Visa application denials are soaring with a denial rate of 11.3% has been the highest in five years (since 2013).
The U.S. is increasingly becoming a harder place to enter and stay for immigrants. As a matter of fact, President Trump’s election has only made things worse. The good news is that there are United States immigration lawyers who are willing to help.
In this article, you’ll find out why working with a United States immigration lawyer would be in your best interest.
United States Immigration Lawyers
Let’s face it: deportation, also known as removal, is a scary thing. Deportation has been around for decades but recently, it has taken a turn for the worse. That’s why it’s important to know what can and cannot qualify an individual to stay in the U.S.
But before getting into this topic in more detail, it’s good to know exactly what deportation means. Deportation is when a government forces a person to leave their country because of their illegal status or a crime they committed.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s find out why a person could be deported from the U.S.
Breaking the Rules
This is probably the most common reason to get yourself into trouble. If your visa has expired, there are several variables to consider in how you might set forth your plans for the future.
Breaking rules like working under a tourist visa can also land you deportation. If this is something immigration authorities become aware of, intending immigrants may find themselves having to overcome significant legal hurdles.
Change of Address
It may sound harsh, but failing to advise the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) of an address change while under green card status is technically an act that has deportation consequences.
If that happens to be your case, then you’ve got ten days to notify them. You can do so by heading to their website.
Committing a Crime
Not all crimes can get you deported. Crimes such as those falling under the category of “aggravated felonies” or “crimes involving moral turpitude” can qualify to get an individual deported under immigration law. It is also important to note that immigration officials will sometimes interpret a simple violation of state law differently than local officials given differing consequences on the immigration side of the law.
Examples of such crimes include, but are not limited to, murder, rape or sexual abuse of minors, drug or firearm trafficking, theft or violent conduct worthy of a year in prison, child pornography, kidnapping, gathering information on national defense, overseeing a prostitution business, document fraud, and alien smuggling.
The list goes on. For a full list, take a look at the U.S. government’s website.
Getting a crime expunged, or erased in the eyes of the law, does not erase a crime in the eyes of the U.S. immigration. On the other hand, a full, unconditional governor or presidential pardon will excuse a crime in the eyes of immigration. Note that pardons are usually time-consuming and troublesome to get.
Abuse and Fraud
Immigrants addicted to drugs or who abuse drugs are also deportable, regardless if they’ve committed a drug crime or not.
Fraud in the form of a fraudulent marriage to get a green card, to obtain a job or government benefits, and forging are all reasons to get an individual deported.
U.S. citizens can also be deported if they used fraud to get their green card or citizenship.
Qualifying to Stay
The good news is that it’s possible to stay in the U.S. In this section, you’ll get a look at what you can do in many cases to stay in the U.S. if you’re in the U.S. without legal status.
Marriage to a U.S. citizen qualifies you as an immediate relative, which makes you eligible for a U.S. green card. But it’s not as simple as that. This process can get a little tricky depending on how you ended up in illegal status.
If you stayed past your visa’s expiration date and then married a U.S. Citizen, then you’re good in terms of threshold eligibility for at least being considered. An exception is made for you since you entered the U.S. legally.
However, if you happened to enter the U.S. illegally, then you’ll have to talk to a lawyer to check out some old laws or exceptions that may qualify you to process your U.S. permanent resident in the U.S. and without having to depart. Otherwise, departing the U.S. for your final green card interview at a U.S. consular post in your home country may be your only option. Law counsel is a great resource to have in these situations.
If you qualify for asylum, then you may be able to avoid deportation. Among the basic requirements for asylum, an apply must:
- Apply within a year of entering the U.S. and
- Show that you have been persecuted in your home country based on factors such as race, religion, nationality, political standing, or membership in a social group.
If you feel as though you may qualify, then the USCIS’s Form I-589 is where you should start.
Temporary Protected Status
You may qualify to stay in the U.S. for a maximum of 18 months if your country of origin has been designated by the U.S. government for Temporary Protected Status due to having gone through events that make it unsafe to return. This includes civil war, natural disasters, political unrest, and more. This is called TPS, or Temporary Protected Status.
In Good Hands
Getting in touch with a lawyer that can help is the single most important thing to do when avoiding deportation. A United States immigration lawyer like Richard Hanus is experienced in this type of work. His 25+ years of experience means that he will do everything in his power to help you stay in the United States, legally.