Immigration

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Deportation Defense

The Atlanta immigration lawyers at Pozo Goldstein, LLP are uniquely qualified to represent clients in defending them against deportation from the United States. Anyone who is not a United States citizen can be placed in removal proceedings and ultimately be deported. Even a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) can be deported under certain circumstances.

Those in the United States on a temporary visitor, work or student visas can be deported for violating the terms of their visa. Violations range from working when not permitted and overstaying the length of authorized stay, for instance. Those admitted and under threat of deportation have a right to appear before an Immigration Judge to defend themselves against deportation.

Green card holders, who are permanent residents of the United States can also be placed in removal proceedings for being convicted of certain criminal offenses or because of the discovery of fraud in their adjustment of status process. Certain crimes are defined by immigration case law as “crimes involving moral turpitude” and, in most cases, convictions for these crimes result in removal proceedings. Additionally, drug-related crimes are deportable crimes under the Immigration and Nationality Act. It is critically important for non-citizens to consult an Atlanta immigration attorney before accepting a plea deal in any criminal proceeding. After the plea is complete, and the conviction is final, there is generally nothing that can be done to reverse the damage to one’s immigration status if there is not a waiver available. While Congress provided for waivers to certain crimes and grounds of deportability, not everyone can take advantage of these waivers due to the types of crime or the timing of the conviction.

Defense against deportation comes in various forms. The affirmative defenses come in the form of adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident, for example and the defensive applications can come in the form of political asylum or waivers such as a 212(h) waiver or cancellation of removal application. It is critical to be represented by a professional and competent Atlanta immigration lawyer if you face removal proceedings and deportation from the United States. The landscape of immigration law and procedure is fraught with pitfalls and obstacles that can have an adverse effect on your immigration status and future in the United States.

Removal proceedings take place in Immigration Court. There is an Immigration Judge who presides as the impartial finder of fact, a prosecutor who has the United States government as his or her client, and the respondent represented by an immigration attorney. The removal hearing is conducted much like other court hearings except that, unlike the criminal court, the burden of proof is on you, the respondent to show why you should be permitted to remain in the United States. The burden of proof is not on the government and you only have a right to a lawyer at your own expense. The government will not provide an attorney for you.

The U.S. government has all the resources it needs to prosecute the case for deportation against you. As former immigration prosecutors, our Atlanta immigration attorneys have stood in the shoes of those who will prosecute the case against you. The prosecutors have the resources to obtain evidence, witnesses, and use investigators in their case. You cannot represent yourself in deportation proceedings and have a chance to prevail. It is absolutely important to hire the best Atlanta immigration lawyer possible to help you defend yourself and fight for your rights and that of your family.

Deportations are at an all-time high and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are working very hard to sustain the amount of deportations as they anticipate comprehensive immigration reform on the horizon. While President Obama has relaxed deportation of certain individuals, such as parents of minor children, this does not include anyone convicted of a criminal offense.

If you are facing removal proceedings or anticipate facing removal proceedings; if you are facing criminal charges and you are not a U.S. citizen, call now for a free in-house consultation in our Atlanta office.