Articles Posted in Deportation / Removal Defense

Many of the undocumented immigrants who find themselves facing deportation may choose to avail themselves of the process known as “cancelation of removal.” A new ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court says that many of those applicants may, even if unsuccessful at the agency level, continue pursuing their case in the federal courts. Whether you’re before an immigration judge, the Board of Immigration Appeals, or a federal court, your odds of success are greatest when you have legal representation from an experienced Maryland deportation defense lawyer.

The immigrant in the Supreme Court case – S.W. — faced deportation following a 2019 arrest on drug charges. Although local prosecutors later declined to pursue the criminal case, immigration authorities went forward with the deportation action against the man.

The immigrant acknowledged that he was eligible for deportation (he had long overstayed the tourist visa he obtained in 2003,) but argued that he was entitled to a cancelation of removal.

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The effects of an unsuccessful asylum application can be catastrophic. It can mean being uprooted from your home and your family, being sent to a country you’ve never known as home, and possibly a place where you may find yourself to be a target for hate and violence. For these reasons and more, you must put forward the strongest asylum application possible. Statistics show that asylum applicants with attorney representation are six more likely to succeed than those without, so don’t delay retaining an experienced Maryland asylum lawyer to assist you.

Membership in any collection of people that U.S. immigration law recognizes as a “particular social group” can be essential to a successful asylum application. You can qualify for asylum if you are a member of one or more of these groups and you present proof that, if you are returned to your home country, you either (a) have a reasonable fear of harm or (b) a history of past harm as a result of your membership in the group.

To succeed on this basis, you need the right social group undergirding your application. Simply asserting, for example, “Honduran females” as your group will almost certainly be deemed too broad. An overly broad group will doom your application and leave you subject to deportation, as was the case with one California man recently.

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When people hear the phrase “deferred action” concerning immigration law, they may initially focus on the DREAMers. Other processes beyond just Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, or DACA, potentially can help immigrants protect themselves from deportation, however. To find out if you can shield yourself from deportation through a deferred action process (or other means,) consult an experienced Maryland immigration lawyer.

One form of deferred action (outside of DACA) was in the news earlier this year, and it safeguards immigrant workers caught in an all-too-common situation. You may have even seen fictionalized versions of this circumstance play out on television. The undocumented worker is the victim of (or otherwise witnesses) his/her employer engaging in illegal practices. The employer then blackmails the worker into silence by threatening to contact “Immigración” (a/k/a federal immigration authorities) and get the worker deported.

The Department of Homeland Security has long had a process to allow these workers to pursue deferred action and protect themselves from removal. Earlier this year, DHS announced that it had “streamlined” the process, allowing workers to receive “expedited” processing of their deferral requests.

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Back in July, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling overturning a removal order in the case of a Salvadoran woman and her minor son. The ruling in favor of the asylum applicant represents just the latest in a series of appellate and Supreme Court rulings related to defective immigration notices, and points out how even very technical defects in the notices to appear the government issues may eventually help applicants avoid removal. Success in these matters often requires in-depth knowledge of the law and the procedural requirements, which is why you should definitely consult with an experienced Maryland deportation defense lawyer about your situation.

The applicant, A.A.L.-G., and her minor son entered to the United States from El Salvador without authorization. Immigration authorities detained them in Texas. At that time, the mother told a federal asylum officer that gang members in El Salvador had threated to rape her and kill her son as a result of her refusal to cooperate with the gang. The officer believed that the mother was credible and referred her case.

A few weeks later, in late May 2019, the government served a “notice to appear” before an immigration judge. In the space where the date and time of hearing should have appeared, the form said simply “TBD,” which would seem to mean “to be determined.”

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The laws that impact your immigration status are sometimes a complex web traversing multiple areas of law. So, you may wonder, what happens if a criminal statute is amended and that change alters the status of my deportation case? Potentially, that kind of change may be a crucial event in your favor. A knowledgeable Maryland deportation defense lawyer may be able to help you use that change to get your deportation order reversed.

To get an example of how the process unfolds, we can look at the deportation case of D.W., an immigrant from Jamaica. In 1987, he moved to the U.S. and became a permanent resident. He was six years old at that time.

A 2003 run-in with police in Virginia resulted in a conviction for assault and battery of a police officer, obstructing justice, and disorderly conduct. According to the court, all those crimes were the result of D.W.’s resisting an officer who was trying to mace him after the officer had already handcuffed him.

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Countless numbers of people enter this country — some illegally — to escape persecution, torture, and possible death in the country they left behind. For those people, the option may exist to defeat a removal order and remain in this country if they can credibly establish that the threat exists and meets the criteria the law requires. If you find yourself in that position, it’s vitally important to have on your side a knowledgeable Maryland deportation defense lawyer who understands the law in all its intricacies and knows how to make your case.

An example of this sort of deportation defense was the immigration case of a man named Adan. He was a Guatemalan man who had entered the United States illegally (for a second time) in 2018.

Again, Adan faced removal. At that time, he declared his fear that, if he returned to Guatemala, he would face persecution and/or torture at the hands of the gangs who tried to recruit his son and with whom he fought regarding the son.

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As most lawyers — and a lot of other people who interact with the legal system can tell you — the law has many quirks, peculiarities, and loopholes. Sometimes, those nuances may work to your benefit. Other times, though, they represent potential pitfalls to be avoided. These loopholes represent just one more serious reason why, if you’re a non-citizen facing possible criminal charges here, it pays to have a Maryland attorney on your side who’s familiar with both immigration law and this state’s criminal laws.

A lot of states have something called “probation before judgment” (PBJ). This is when a criminal defendant is placed on probation before a judgment is entered in their case. If that person complies fully with the terms of his/her probation, then no conviction is entered on his/her criminal record.

Delaware has PBJ. Virginia does as well. Maryland also does but, for the unwary non-citizen, Maryland law contains a potentially catastrophic loophole, which some state legislators are seeking to close.

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If you are someone who is in the United States and is undocumented, you know that you may be at risk of “removal,” a/k/a deportation. You should also know that the law has several forms of relief from removal. Your case might make you eligible for “cancellation of removal,” or for “administrative closure,” allowing you to remain in the country. Obtaining these or other forms of relief requires an in-depth knowledge of immigration law and procedure, as the processes are often intricate and complex. That’s why you should retain an experienced Maryland immigration lawyer when you’re facing deportation.

An undocumented Honduran man named Jesús faced that potential reality. In 2014, his wife, who was a United States citizen, filed a Form I-130, known as a “Petition for Alien Relative,” which the federal government approved in November 2015. This is the procedure for obtaining a Green Card for a family member of a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.

If, as Jesús was, you’re already in the U.S. and facing deportation proceedings, then you may also need to pursue what the law calls “administrative closure.” This is a process, used by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and immigration judges, that effectively suspends your deportation proceeding indefinitely.

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