Understanding Grounds for Deportation
For immigrants who have chosen to make the United States their home, receiving a notice to appear from the Department of Homeland Security can be terrifying. You are now at risk of being separated from friends, family, and maybe even a business that you worked hard to build. Section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act lists over 50 reasons why a non-citizen can be deported from the U.S. They don’t only apply to anyone who is in the country illegally: those who hold a valid visa or even a green card can potentially be subject to removal after an investigation or after they apply for adjustment of status, citizenship, or asylum. Most grounds for deportation fall into one of the categories below. Criminal Conviction Not all crimes lead to deportation, but those that can include aggravated felonies, firearms offenses, drug crimes, domestic violence, and failure to register as a sex offender. If you are jailed or imprisoned, ICE can pick you up at the end of your sentence and detain you pending removal proceedings. Security Concerns Anyone who is believed to be a danger to national security or public safety can be deported. This includes alleged participation in sabotage, espionage, cyber crimes, and violating export prohibitions on listed goods. Immigration Violations If you travel to the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa, you must follow its conditions. For example, if you arrived on a tourist or student visa, decided to remain permanently without adjusting your status, and obtained employment, you could be deported for overstaying and/or failing to produce an employment authorization document. Immigration Fraud Another common reason for deportation is immigration fraud. One form that draws a lot of public attention is so-called “marriage fraud,” which occurs when immigration authorities believe that you married a U.S. citizen solely to get a green card. Entering the U.S. Illegally If you were inadmissible to the U.S. but gained entry under false pretenses, you could be deported upon discovery. For example, you may have overstayed an earlier visa and failed to disclose the fact when applying for re-entry or claimed to be the unmarried child of a U.S. citizen when you are in fact married. What to Do if You Are Facing Deportation If you don’t have a past deportation on your record, you have the right to challenge the intended removal in court. You may be able to disprove the allegations against you or apply for a waiver that allows you to remain in the U.S. To increase your chances of success with either outcome, work with an experienced Florida immigration attorney. If your residency in the U.S. is being threatened by the possibility of deportation, contact the Florida immigration attorneys at Jarbath Pena Law Group. We are well-versed in deportation defense and will employ the best strategy for your case, whether it be seeking a waiver, requesting asylum, adjusting your status, or applying for a Cancellation of Removal order. We care about your future, so reach out today.