With U.S. Deportation Laws becoming strict, undocumented people and their families should be aware of the possibility of removal. Any person who is living in the country without legal papers can be asked to leave even if they have family members who are American citizens. Even if you’re an illegal immigrant, know that U.S. law entitles you certain basic rights. The expert attorneys at Jezic Law Firm advise you to get detailed information about the conditions under which you risk being sent home. Of course, the most prudent plan of action is to apply for a legal permit to live and work in the country.
Different U.S. Government Agencies Oversee Immigration Matters
Anyone wishing to stay in the country should know about U.S. Deportation Laws and organizations that handle removal of undocumented residents. Here’s some information on Nolo that you might find useful.
- USCIS – If you wish to submit applications for staying the U.S., you’ll apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS. In addition to processing applications for permanent residence in the country, the agency also handles protocols for removing aliens, if their requests have been rejected.
- The apex body that enforces immigration matters is the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, that detains illegal non-citizens. This organization also identifies people who have been arrested for criminal acts and moves them to immigration enforcement procedures after they’ve served prison terms.
- Customs and Border Protection (CBP) monitors and guards US borders. This agency has the authority to remove people trying to cross illegally without a hearing in a court of law. If needed, the CBP may refer aliens to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).
- The EOIR is a court that specifically handles immigration cases. As long as you don’t have a prior removal order on record, you can put forward defense and establish the right to stay in the country.
You Risk Deportation Under Several Conditions
If you are found guilty of any of these instances, you can expect removal as per U.S. Deportation Laws.
- Crossing into the U.S. illegally
- Staying in the country after the permitted time has expired on a non-immigrant or temporary visa
- Staying in the country beyond the stipulated time after getting entry by way of a visa waiver
- Violating the terms of the visa like, for instance, taking a job on a tourist permit
- Students staying the country even though they are no longer pursuing full-time courses
- Committing any acts included on the list of offenses for a green-card holder
- Having invalid documents like passports and visas
- Committing marriage fraud or marrying a citizen only for the purpose of getting a green card just as this feature on FindLaw explains
- Helping other undocumented immigrants enter the country without a permit is grounds for removal under U.S. Deportation Laws.
- Not informing the USCIS of a change of address, aliens must notify the authorities within 10 days of moving to a new place
- Drug abuse, drug addiction, or multiple cases of carrying more than the permitted amount of medical marijuana intended for personal use
- Committing criminal acts within five years of entering the USA or acquiring a green card
What Should You Do if Confronted by Immigration Enforcement Officials?
Like this article on Chron advises, it is advisable to be aware of your rights under U.S. Deportation Laws. Should you ever find yourself in a situation where law enforcement officials ask questions or arrive at your doorstep, here’s what to do:
- Firmly state, “I will remain silent. I want to speak with my attorney.”
- Understand that officials are usually looking for criminals. As long as you haven’t done anything wrong, you need not volunteer information.
- Carry any valid form of U.S. identification at all times. Don’t bring documents like, say, your passport if don’t have a legal visa.
- In case you’re detained, you’ll have the right to make a single phone call. Ask the officer for details like the place where you’re being held and case number. Provide this information when you contact someone, preferably a lawyer or someone you trust to handle the situation wisely. As a result, finding you in the judicial system will be easier.
- Never sign any documents without an attorney present.
- If any law enforcement officials arrive at your home, you have the option of not letting them in or even, opening the door. No one has the authorization to enter your home without a search warrant.
Retaining an Expert Attorney Beforehand is a Good Decision
Whatever may be your reasons for staying in the country without proper documentation, hiring an attorney who is well-informed about immigration laws, is a smart move. Memorize the lawyers’ phone numbers so you can contact them in case of an emergency. You’ll also want to write down the name of the firm, contact numbers, and address and place in a safe spot. Inform family members and make sure they understand who to call and what to do. Also make sure they know where you’ve stored important documents like, for example, passports, identification papers, and title deeds for the house and car. Receipts for utility bills and other monthly payments you make should also be saved carefully. Have a power of attorney for a trusted person who can act in your stead.
Coordinate with a friend or family member and discuss the possibility of getting detained. In case you have minor kids, arrange for a responsible adult to take care of them if you’re deported. You must also train children what to do if they can’t find you for around 24 hours and the designated person to contact.
Immigration regulations and U.S. Deportation Laws are no doubt worrisome for a person trying to make a living. But, the law also gives people rights and is fair. Talk to your lawyer about the options available to you and get expert advice that can prove invaluable in emergency situations.