Foreign nationals who are present in the United States without a lawful immigration status are increasingly being targeted for deportation. Many of those people end up being placed in immigration detention centers pending their removal proceedings. Some of the reasons why the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) decides to detain an individual until the immigration case is resolved include fears that such individual could flee or pose a danger to the public because of a prior criminal conviction, a criminal warrant, criminal charges, or just an arrest. Once detained, those people often have to spend weeks or months behind bars, unless they are granted bail and post a bond.
ICE has the authority to release any person they take into custody and initiate removal proceedings against, with or without setting out a bond amount. If ICE decides to keep a person in detention instead or sets a bond amount that is too high, the detainee has the right to request a bond redetermination hearing before an immigration judge.
The person requesting the hearing has the burden of proof to show to the immigration court that they are not a flight risk or a danger to the society, and that they might be eligible for some form of relief from deportation. If successful, the bond is set to an amount that ensures the individual will appear in subsequent immigration court proceedings.
Queen City Immigration Law specializes in helping detained individuals secure a release from immigration detention on favorable conditions and a reasonable bond amount. We utilize an efficient process to analyze the eligibility for an immigration bond and to form the most effective arguments for immigration bond redetermination hearings. If your family member is detained, the first thing to do is to find out their A number (which is given to them at the detention facility) and give our law firm a call at 704-500-2075. It is also important for us to know the current status of their criminal charges and any other prior criminal history. We have relationships with several great criminal defense attorneys and can also help request and evaluate a criminal background check to determine bond eligibility.
If you are flagged for a removal proceeding, all may not be lost. Queen City Immigration Law provides advocacy for clients facing deportation and will argue a defense on your behalf using a variety of effective theories. It is best to engage the firm as early as possible to maintain as much time as possible to weigh all the options and prepare the defense. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are placed in removal proceedings. In the event that removal proceedings have begun, available defenses and options may include the following:
1. APPLICATIONS FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY / ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS:
Ideally, Green Card applications should be filed before a removal proceeding begins, but they can serve as an effective defense to deportation in the right circumstances. An Adjustment of Status application can be filed in tandem with an approved family or employment-based petition.
2. RENEWAL OF FORM I-751 REMOVAL OF CONDITIONAL RESIDENCE:
A person who is a conditional permanent resident can be subjected to a removal proceeding if they do not file an I-751 petition in time or the petition is denied. The I-751 petition can be renewed in immigration court as a defense to removal.
3. ASYLUM, WITHHOLDING OF REMOVAL AND RELIEF UNDER THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE:
Asylum or relief under the Convention Against Torture may be a formidable deportation defense for immigrants that can prove that they have suffered harm, or will suffer harm if returned to their own country. There is a specific level of harm that must be proven and the harm must apply to certain social classifications such as race, religion, or being a member of a certain political group. There are other similar removal defenses available such as Temporary Protected Status, the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA), the Violence Against Women Act, and others.
5. PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION:
It is possible to request the government to simply close or terminate a removal proceeding. The government attorneys do have the discretion to close a case and can do so on a limited basis. One reason a government attorney may terminate a removal proceeding is because the attorney has a long case load and finds that the case of the client is not a top priority due to the client's lack of a criminal history and close family ties in the United States.
6. U VISAS:
There are incentives available for immigrants that are helpful to criminal investigations. The U visas are available for victims of certain qualifying crimes who are helpful in the investigation process. Approval of a U visa can terminate removal proceedings or at least delay removal proceedings.
7. NON-LAwful PERMANENT RESIDENT CANCELLATION OF REMOVAL:
If an applicant can establish that they have physically been present in the United States for at least ten years before the removal process began, has a good moral character, and that a deportation would result in an exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a qualifying relative (a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, child or parent), the applicant can have deportation canceled and obtain permanent resident status.
8. VOLUNTARY DEPARTURE:
There are situations where there is no relief to removal proceedings and deportation is inevitable. Sometimes it is best to voluntarily depart the United States to avoid the negative consequences of a deportation, especially if the applicant might be eligible for a visa in the future.