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Mevorah Law Offices LLC
630-932-9100
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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in deportation proceedings

Chicago immigration attorneys, deportation, deportation order, deportation proceedings, lawful permanent residentSometimes, as hard as we fight, we fail to prevent deportation. There are a variety of reasons why your petition or appeal might have been declined, and if you exhaust all possible remedies, you will be removed. However, that does not necessarily end the story. Some admit defeat and resign themselves to building a life in their country of origin, despite not having any experience there since childhood. Others explore the options they have to return to the United States from their position outside. Whichever choice you decide, it is important to understand the odds of being able to return before a bar runs out.

Immigration Bars & Waivers

If you are deported from the United States, an immigration bar will be assessed against you, which can be a term of three, five, 10 or 20 years. It is important to understand, possibly above all else, that the expiration of an immigration bar on your record does not mean that you may simply walk back into the U.S. without any potential problems. It only means you may apply for permission to ask for a new visa or green card. The only way to get around an immigration bar is to apply for one of two types of waivers: first, if you are the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder) and your being barred from the U.S. would cause them (not you) exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.

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Chicago deportation defense attorneys, loved one in detention, immigration detention, deportation order, deportation proceedingsSince the new administration took office in January 2017, the number of immigrants detained while their cases are pending has more than doubled, from 27 percent to 61 percent of the total. However, border crossings have dropped significantly, which means that more people from the interior of the United States—that is, people who have been living here for some time—are being arrested and detained. In some cases, even those who have legal status have been mistakenly detained by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). If it has happened to your family member or loved one, regardless of his or her legal status, there may be steps you can take to have him or her released.

Location is Critical

It is becoming increasingly more common for immigrants, especially the undocumented, to be moved to locations distant from where they have been living, so as to prevent flight. However, this can frustrate attempts by family members to assist or comfort them. As such, knowing your loved one’s alien number or A-number is the first imperative. ICE maintains a locator tool that is updated reasonably frequently, and inputting the A-number will usually give you a location unless an arrest was very recent (within hours). There is no way to tell how often your loved one may be moved, but it at least gives families a place to begin.

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DuPage County immigration attorneys, deportation defenses, undocumented immigrantsContrary to popular belief, undocumented immigrants do have rights even when before an immigration judge, though they have fewer than a U.S. citizen would. If you are in removal proceedings or have been given a Notice to Appear, you may be able to successfully defend yourself from deportation on one of any number of grounds.

Contesting Removability and Filing for Relief

As a general rule, it is a good idea to never openly concede removability, especially not on the record at an immigration hearing. If you admit that you are removable from the U.S., then United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) does not have to prove anything, and you will have essentially done their work for them. However, this does not mean that you should lie. Lying can be seen as evidence of bad character, and a judge is very unlikely to grant relief or other requests if you acquire a reputation as a liar.

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Posted on in Immigration

cancellation of removal, Chicago Immigration LawyersWhen you or a loved one is involved in deportation proceedings, you may be ready and willing to try any possible avenue to keep your loved one in the country. Cancellation of removal—a last-ditch option that many apply for simply as a proverbial Hail Mary—may actually be the best possible fit for some cases.

History and Definition

Cancellation of removal is defined by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as an immigration benefit that can be granted by an immigration judge, and adjusts one’s status from deportable to that of a permanent resident alien. Still, it may only be granted to one who is in deportation proceedings, and more than a bit of the final determination is based on a judge’s discretion.

Cancellation of removal has only existed in its current form since April 1997, when the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) was passed. Before that date, a similar procedure— suspension of deportation—existed. However, suspension of deportation did not differentiate between documented and undocumented immigrants, and the standard one had to meet was markedly lower.

LPR vs. Non-LPR

Cancellation of removal is available, at least in theory, to any individual who is in deportation proceedings, but there are different criteria set out for lawful permanent residents (LPRs, or “green card” holders) and everyone else to meet. The rationale is that LPRs have already had to prove various factors, such as their good moral character, when applying for that status. So, unless something has fundamentally changed, there is no need to require proof of it a second time.

The criteria that must be met for LPRs to have a chance at cancellation of removal are set out in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), §240(A). There are only three: (1) an alien has been an LPR for no less than five years; (2) he or she has resided in the U.S. continuously for at least seven years in any status; and (3) he or she has not been convicted of an aggravated felony, which is a crime held to have specific immigration weight due to its involving deception or exceptional violence.

The criteria, by comparison, for non-LPRs is somewhat more involved:

    • The person must have continually resided in the U.S. for at least 10 years;

    • He or she must have had good moral character during that time;

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