Though countless numbers of individuals from all around the world dream of reaching the United States, only a selection of them is permitted to remain as long-term residents. Those who are non-citizens living in America must always be aware of the possibility of deportation and take steps to prevent themselves from being forced to leave. When a removal proceeding is initiated against a non-citizen, the help of an experienced immigration attorney is vital to assert the most effective defenses possible.
There are a number of circumstances under which an individual could be deported from the United States, though some of the most common include:
- having entered without the required authority
- rejection of a request for asylum
- violating the original terms under which admission was granted
- criminal convictions while in the country or engaging with a prohibited group
- becoming a "public charge" after arrival
Once a non-citizen is informed that a removal proceeding will be initiated, the fear and worry can be palpable. However, there are several forms of relief, which may be obtained, provided the proper steps are taken through the use of an immigration lawyer with all possible haste. Relief commonly sought and secured in removal proceedings includes cancellation of an existing removal order, the granting of asylum, the granting of a waiver with specific conditions attached, and the adjusting of legal status for the non-citizen.
A number of factors are typically considered when relief from a removal proceeding is pursued. An immigration judge is likely to review how long the individual has resided in the U.S., his or her record of employment, whether there is a solid history of tax payment, standing in the community, whether any criminal record exists, and whether removal would create a substantial hardship on family members who would be left behind.
The good news is that there are often effective defense strategies that can be employed by an immigration attorney in a removal proceeding that can reduce the chances of deportation. Among these are arguments that asylum is justified based on the specific facts of the case, that a green card should be issued because an immediate relative is a citizen, or that the underlying rationale for deportation is factually false. It may also be possible to request that prosecutorial discretion be used in the non-citizen's favor due to his or her character references and familial links to the United States.
When a deportation or removal proceeding is initiated against a non-citizen, it is essential for those at risk to take swift action in order to safeguard their future in this country. A skilled immigration lawyer can marshal the necessary evidence and arguments in the fight for a positive outcome.