Non-U.S. citizens who are charged with criminal or immigration violations may be subject to deportation. This can occur through Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) workplace raids, ICE home arrests or run-ins with local law enforcement. When ICE decides to initiate removal proceedings, the results can be unpredictable. If you or someone close to you has recently been detained by ICE and is facing deportation/removal, it is important to speak with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible so you understand your rights and options.
At Law Offices of Tina Sharma, we have several years of experience providing skilled deportation defense for non-U.S. citizens in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Immigration law is our primary area of practice, and our mission is to be a strong voice for immigrants who have difficulty dealing with large and impersonal government agencies.
We understand the stress individuals go through when they (or their loved ones) are staring at the possibility of having to return to their country of origin and be separated indefinitely from the rest of the family. We have in-depth knowledge of the deportation/removal process (and particularly how criminal matters and immigration law intersect), and we put our extensive experience to work to provide the most practical and effective deportation defense to fit your circumstances.
The Deportation/Removal Process
When individuals are charged with violating their immigration status or having no lawful immigrant or non-immigrant status, they are served with a Notice to Appear (NTA) in front of the Immigration Court. There are two Immigration Court hearings: the Master Calendar Hearing and the Individual Hearing.
At the Master Calendar Hearing, the judge reviews the charges listed on the NTA, advises the individual of his/her rights, and asks how the respondent intends to plead. If the respondent intends to challenge the removability charge or apply for relief, an Individual Hearing is scheduled.
At the Individual Hearing, the respondent can argue (on the merits) his/her legal basis for remaining in the U.S. or why he/she qualifies for relief. During the hearing, the respondent is able to present evidence, call witnesses, testify on his/her own behalf and be cross-examined by the government attorney. It is strongly advised that you have an attorney present for this hearing.
Common Forms of Deportation Relief
If there is no legal basis for you remaining in the United States, this does not automatically mean you will be deported. There are several deportation defenses that can be used to obtain relief from removal. Some of the most common include qualification for:
- Cancellation of Removal;
- Waivers and Exceptions to Grounds for Deportation;
- Adjustment of Status;
- Violence against Women Act (VAWA) Relief;
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Relief;
- Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA)Relief.
If the immigration judge rules against you and issues an order of removal, the decision can be appealed. In most cases, an appeal functions to “stay” the removal; meaning you are allowed to remain in the country until the appeal is resolved.
If there are no valid deportation defenses or qualifying relief available and you are likely to be unsuccessful upon appeal, voluntary departure may be the least painful option. With a voluntary departure, you are able to leave the country on your own terms and avoid the consequences of having a formal removal order on your record.
Deportation/removal proceedings can be a frightening experience. There are options, however, to obtain relief – even if you lack a legal basis for remaining in the U.S. If you or a loved one has been detained by ICE and/or received a Notice to Appear, contact our office today at (202) 329-6556 to schedule a personalized consultation. We will thoroughly examine your case and review all available options to determine the best possible deportation defense.
Law Offices of Tina Sharma provides experienced and skilled deportation defense for individuals in the Washington, D.C. metro area, Virginia and Maryland; including the communities of Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas, Annandale, Springfield, Herndon, Reston, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, College Park, Germantown, Frederick, Hyattsville, Bowie, Annapolis, Fairfax County, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.