Deportation, exclusion, and removal proceedings are similar terms to describe a situation where you must appear before an immigration judge and your immigration status is being challenged.
In other words, the government is trying to send you back to your home country and may even bar you from returning to the United States. There are a number of reasons why the government may initiate such an action, including (but not limited to) if you have overstayed your visa, if you entered the United States without inspection, if you have been convicted of a crime or are in trouble with the law, or if your immigration application was denied.
When facing deportation, it is incredibly important to hire the right deportation attorney to represent you. A 2016 study by the American Immigration Council showed that immigrants represented by a deportation attorney faired far better at every stage of the court process:
- Represented immigrants in detention who had a custody hearing were four times more likely to be released from detention (44 percent with counsel versus 11 percent without).
- Represented immigrants were much more likely to apply for relief from deportation.
- Detained immigrants with counsel were nearly 11 times more likely to seek relief such as asylum than those without representation (32 percent with counsel versus 3 percent without).
- Immigrants who were never detained were five times more likely to seek relief if they had an attorney (78 percent with counsel versus 15 percent without).
- Represented immigrants were more likely to obtain the immigration relief they sought.
- Among detained immigrants, those with representation were twice as likely as unrepresented immigrants to obtain immigration relief if they sought it (49 percent with counsel versus 23 percent without).
- Represented immigrants who were never detained were nearly five times more likely than their unrepresented counterparts to obtain relief if they sought it (63 percent with counsel versus 13 percent without).
Deportation is considered a civil proceeding, and therefore, the Sixth Amendment guarantee of counsel does not apply. If an immigrant in deportations proceedings does not hire a deportation attorney on their own, they will not get one.
Additionally, although an immigration judge is expected to act in an impartial manner, they are not going to think up legal arguments for you or help you present your case. Because of their busy docket, a judge does not have time to interview you, and as a result, important factors can be overlooked, and you may be deported when a competent immigration attorney could have mounted a defense on your behalf.
If you or a loved one are in danger of deportation and/or removal, contact the Scott Law Firm today!