Proceedings Frequently Asked Questions
Although I’ve had a green card for many years, I had a
criminal violation a few years ago and I’m on probation. Will the government try to have me deported and, if so, what
should I do?
I’ll need to know more details in order to address your concerns. However, I can tell
you that it is common for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Immigration Customs Enforcement
(ICE) to survey Court and probation records and arrest an alien when he or she is reporting for their monthly probation meeting.
In that regard, if the criminal offense which you committed is a “deportable” offense under the Immigration and
Naturalization Act, you would then be subject to ARREST and DETENTION together with removal proceedings in Immigration Court.
A deportation case begins with the government issuing a Notice to Appear in Removal Proceedings. Thereafter, you
are required to appear for a Master Calendar hearing in the Immigration Court so that you may respond to the government’s
charges. Forms of relief such as adjustment of status, voluntary removal, asylum, and withholding of removal may be available
to you if you are found to be removable. Additionally, cancellation of removal may be available to you as a permanent resident
who has continuously resided in the USA for 7 years. Cancellation of removal may also be available to a non-immigrant
who has been continuously present in the USA or 10 years. If you are statutorily eligible for relief, an Immigration
Judge would then decide if you merit the relief requested.
Many aliens in removal proceedings are released upon
posting a bond and may therefore remain in their homes and with their families until their case is heard in Immigration Court.
However, aliens charged in removal proceeding as aggravated felons may not be entitled to bond and may even be administratively
removed (deported) without being referred to the Immigration Court. Unfortunately, some offenses which seem relatively minor
are now considered to be aggravated felonies under present immigrations law(s). There is some good news, however, because
the Supreme Court has recently ruled that some offenses are no longer deportable offenses and, in some cases, an alien may
even seek previously unavailable relief if he or she pleaded guilty to an aggravated felony or if it is appropriate to reopen
a prior deportation case.