Blog posts tagged in Chicago deportation defense lawyers
Most immigrants who petition for a stay of deportation or removal will do so based on a law they believe helps their case. Sometimes, however, an undocumented person has to depend on what is called a cancellation of removal, which is essentially prosecutorial discretion, allowing him or her to stay in the U.S., though he or she technically lacks the right to remain. Among the requirements that must be demonstrated, the immigrant must show at least “exceptional” hardship to a U.S. citizen if he or she was to be deported. This standard has become all but impossible to meet.
In order to qualify for cancellation of removal under the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA), three requirements must be met. The alien must (1) not have been convicted of certain offenses and generally been a person of “good moral character” during his or her stay in the United States; (2) resided in the U.S. for at least 7 years (or been physically present for 10, if he or she seeks to adjust status); and (3) he or she must establish that his or her removal would result in “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to his or her U.S. citizen (or lawful permanent resident) spouse, parent, or child.
In this day and age, immigration enforcement has taken on an angle that many see as cruel. Media in the U.S. and in other countries have spoken up regarding the behavior of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and immigrant rights groups in the country are making certain that the issue remains at the forefront of discussion.
However, in the midst of the actions being taken against both documented and undocumented immigrants, it is imperative to remember that immigrants, especially the undocumented, have rights. You are entitled to due process, even if you are in ICE custody.
Due Process Rights Are Clear ...
In the recent months since the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began to crack down hard on all those lacking status, the plight of the United States’ immigration courts has come into sharp relief. A shortage of judges has led many to be unaware of the answer to the simple question of what an immigration judge even does—his or her function is quite different than the run-of-the-mill criminal or civil court judge. It can potentially change your approach to your removal case if you understand the true role of an appointed immigration judge.
Origins and Loyalties
Immigration judges are appointed by the Attorney General, who is the head of the Justice Department. The Justice Department is also the federal agency which houses the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which oversees immigration matters at the basic and intermediate levels—immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) are both governed by EOIR rules.
In recent days, several raids have taken place by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), more specifically by Enforcement & Removal Operations (ERO). These raids were aimed at rounding up any and all undocumented immigrants, which is a departure from the policy of the previous administration.
Since the scale of these recent raids has been larger than usual, it has led to many finding themselves without counsel or without information about the rights they have in the United States. If ERO appears at your door, you may be too flustered to speak up then and there.
Before and During the Raid
If you are a non-citizen in the United States, you must be extra careful to obey the law. If you wind up facing criminal charges, you can face not only criminal penalties, but you may also wind up in removal proceedings or unilaterally deemed deportable. Knowing the relationship between criminal law and immigration law may save you time and trouble, depending on the nature of your case.
An aggravated felony used to mean a very specific couple of offenses, but the list has expanded over the years. At this point, it may be easier to define what is not an aggravated felony, rather than what is one. The general rule is that an aggravated felony is a criminal offense that involves dishonesty or fraud, but in reality, almost every crime under the sun can be an aggravated felony depending on the situation.