LaRose Law Georgia is a comprehensive immigration law firm, handling citizenship and green card applications, visas and family petitions as well as immigration bond and removal defense.
Foreign nationals who entered the United States without encountering a customs and border official, or who have overstayed or violated the terms of their visas have no legal immigration status and are therefore subject to removal.
While the press and the general public continue to speak of “deportation,” the process under current U.S. Immigration Law is properly referred to as “removal.”
Individuals with green cards who are legally present in the United States can also be removed if they have committed certain crimes or if they are deemed to pose a threat to the public.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of individuals are removed from the United States. The administration of President Barack Obama has conducted such removals at a rate exceeding that of any previous administration.
Under current United States Immigration law, removal proceedings are initiated against a foreign national when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issues her a notice to appear (NTA). The NTA charges the individual with being a citizen or national of another country and being present in the United States without legal status.
Although many Americans consider “illegal immigrants” to merit punishment for having violated U.S. Law, an immigration violation is a civil matter, not a criminal one. Nevertheless, ICE may detain the individual in removal proceedings in a facility that looks and feels just like prison.
The largest such immigration detention center in the country is located in Lumpkin, Georgia and is run by a for-profit corporation.
For anyone who has seen such facilities, the civil law rather than criminal law status of an immigration violation is a distinction without a difference.
If your loved one has been detained by ICE, you should contact a qualified immigration attorney today. It might be possible for the detainee to be released on immigration bond. One of the most important things a qualified Georgia immigration attorney can do is file a motion to ask the immigration judge to consider or reconsider granting release on bond .
Release on bond is also important so that the individual can assist her lawyer in preparing her defense to the removal proceedings themselves.
Even if the bond is denied, a good immigration attorney can assess all the facts and determine the best options for the individual. There may be defenses to removal. The NTA itself may be wrong or invalid. An attorney can assess all of the facts and the law to determine your best defense to removal. Without a qualified attorney it can be much more difficult to navigate the immigration court process. Even United States Citizens have been mistakenly removed by ICE, although it technically has no legal authority over them.
The removal proceeding differs from a criminal case, however, in that the government does not need to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, the individual must prove to a judge that she should be released on bond and that she should not be removed from the United States. While the individual has a right to be represented by an attorney, there is no right to a court-appointed lawyer in immigration removal proceedings
Even if the NTA is valid, there may be other avenues of relief available such as asylum, cancellation of removal or deferred action. Some of these can lead to termination of the removal proceedings, a work permit and even legal permanent resident status (a “green card”).
If ICE has detained or issued a Notice to Appear to you or your loved one, contact a qualified Georgia Immigration attorney today. It’s important to move quickly so that the attorney can assess the facts and gather the evidence needed to prove the case to the immigration judge.
But why wait to be placed into removal proceedings? Contact LaRose Law Georgia today to see if you qualify for a visa or for some other form of relief such as Deferred Action.