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Deportation/Removal from the United States
Immigration Relief from Deporation/Removal
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When an alien is placed into removal proceedings the wheels of uncertainty begin to spin. Family members are often left in a state of panic, confusion, depression and financial despair and often don’t know who to turn to for help. Getting information or simply trying to locate an alien who has been taken into custody can become time consuming and frustrating.

We have successfully represented many clients placed in removal proceedings in California and Arizona. We take on cases that we believe have a chance of winning. Generally, our clients are informed at the initial consultation if we can help them with their removal case. Before we agree to represent a client in removal proceedings, we evaluate the client’s case to determine whether immigration relief is available to the client and the chances of getting that relief granted by the immigration judge. We also determine whether the client can be released on bond and whether the case, if located in another city or state can be moved to an immigration court closer to the client’s home.

The Department of Homeland Security often transfers aliens in removal proceedings out of State and houses them in detention centers such as the Eloy Detention Center located in Eloy, Arizona. A detention center will usually have onsite immigration judges who hear removal cases.

If necessary, we will order a client’s immigration file from the Department of Homeland Security and their criminal histories from the FBI and California Department of Justice to assist us in evaluating their removal case.

An alien may be placed into removal proceedings for many reasons. These reasons are referred to as grounds of inadmissibility and grounds of deportability. In many instances, aliens are placed in removal proceeding because of their criminal history and/or illegal status.

For aliens placed into removal proceedings because of a criminal conviction, our immigration attorneys are highly experienced in determining the effect that a conviction or convictions will have on an alien’s immigration status. In addition, our attorneys will explore with a qualified criminal attorney the possibility of vacating, expunging or reducing a criminal conviction when it is beneficial to the alien’s removal case to do so.

Immigration court proceedings generally consist of a bond hearing and removal hearings. At a Bond hearing, the immigration judge will decide whether the alien should be released on bond while removal proceedings are pending. At the Master Calendar hearing, an alien will admit or deny the allegations in the charging document called the Notice to Appear, concede or deny removability and inform the immigration judge of the immigration relief that the alien will be applying for to avoid being removed from the United States.

At the Merits hearing, (also referred to as the Final, Regular or Individual hearing), the immigration judge will make determine if the alien gets to stay in the United States or will have to leave after hearing all the hearing presented by the attorney for the alien and the U.S. government’s attorney. At the hearing, the alien’s attorney will present documents, take testimony on direct examination from the alien, the alien’s family members and any expert witnesses. The government attorney will also be given an opportunity to cross-exam any witnesses presented by the alien’s attorney.

We provide represent clients at all hearings, including the bond, master and merit’s hearings in California, Arizona and any other State. Aliens placed in removal proceedings or their family members can contact the Law Offices of Raul Ray at (408) 279-5793 at anytime during the week or on weekends or email us at raulray@deportationattorney.com.

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Immigration Relief from Removal/Deportation

If you are challenging your removal from the United States and will be applying for immigration relief to avoid removal, it is very important to prepare your case well. The immigration judge will set a “Merits” hearing to determine whether you should be allowed to stay in the United States.

There are various forms of immigration relief that an alien can apply for in removal proceedings in order to preserve their legal status or to obtain their permanent resident status. We know what it takes to win in removal proceedings. We assess the best immigration relief available to our client, prepare that relief with help from the alien and their family members and aggressively represent the alien at the final hearing.

During removal proceedings, the immigration judge has the final say to grant or deny immigration relief. An alien may be eligible for immigration relief including but not limited to the following Cancellation of Removal, Adjustment of Status, 212 (c) waiver, 212(i) and 212(h) waivers, Asylum, Withholding of Removal and Convention against Torture.

1. Cancellation of Removal
This is an important legal remedy for both permanent and non-permanent residents who are in immigration court removal/deportation proceedings. This important form of relief is available for lawful permanent residents who have resided continuously in the U.S. for at least five (5) years as permanent residents and have resided continuously in the U.S. in any lawful status for at least seven (7) years. The alien must essentially demonstrate that there are more positive factors than negatives to justify being allowed to stay in the United States. In addition, a lawful permanent resident must not have been convicted of an aggravated felony.

In order for a nonresident to qualify for Cancellation of Removal for Non Permanent Residents, an alien must have resided in the U.S. continuously for ten (10) years after entering the United States without inspection, (illegally). The alien must establish good moral character during the 10 year period preceding the decision made , The alien must also demonstrate that his/her removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a qualifying relatives, a US citizen or lawful permanent resident parent, spouse or child residing in the U.S. The hardship requirement is a very difficult standard to meet and aliens are encourage to retain an experience attorney to help they in removal proceedings.

2. Adjustment of Status
If eligible to apply in the United States, certain aliens can also avoid being removed by applying for a green card through a family member.

3. 212(c ) waiver
A 212(c) waiver is available to eliminate certain criminal convictions including those considered to be aggravated felony convictions if the alien:

a. Plead, (as oppose to going to trial), to criminal charges before April 24, 1996;

b. Is a lawful permanent resident

c. had a green card for at least seven consecutive years prior to the date of final order of deportation.

d. Is not subject to deportation or removal on the grounds of terrorism or national security.

e. Is not unlawfully present in the United States after a previous immigration violation, or have been convicted of a firearms offense, or have been convicted of an aggravated felony offense (or offenses) for which he served at least five years in prison.

4. 212(i) and 212(h) waivers
An alien may also apply for a waiver under section 212(i) of the INA for fraud or misrepresentation and under section 212(h) of the INA for crimes of moral turpitude if the alien is placed in removal proceedings.

5. Asylum
Asylum may be granted to aliens who are already in the United States and are unable to return to their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.

An alien must file an asylum application within one year of arrival in the United States. An asylum application may be filed later than a year, if conditions in the home country have changed or if the alien’s personal circumstances have changed within the past year prior to requesting for asylum and those change of circumstances affected the alien’s eligibility for asylum.

Furthermore, an alien may be excused from the one year filing deadline if extraordinary circumstances prevented the alien from filing within the one year period after arriving in the United States, so long as asylum application is submitted within a reasonable period of time in light of those circumstances.

An alien granted asylum will be able to apply for permanent resident status one year after being granted asylum status.

6. Withholding of Removal
Withholding of Removal is an alternative form of relief for an individual fearing persecution in her country of origin. To win “Withholding” an alien must demonstrate that he or she is “more likely than not” to face persecution if returned to his or her country. An individual is not eligible for withholding of removal if he is a persecutor or has been convicted of a particularly serious crime.

Aliens who win “withholding” have a final order of removal (deportation) against them. However, they can remain in the U.S. and work legally.

Unlike asylees, however, aliens granted “Withholding” do not have the right to apply for legal permanent residence.

7. Convention Against Torture
To obtain C.A.T. relief, an alien must demonstrate that it is more likely than not that you will be tortured, killed or sustain great bodily injury if you are returned to your home country;

An alien who has been granted CAT cannot be removed to the country in which he would face torture. However, a CAT grantee has no ability to obtain legal permanent residence, to travel abroad, or to sponsor family members. Furthermore, CAT grantees are not guaranteed the ability to obtain employment authorization or even the right to be released from detention.

8. Voluntary Departure
This form of relief, if granted by an immigration judge, will avoid a removal order and thereby allow you to return to the U.S. without a mandatory 5 or 10 year bar of reentry which would otherwise result from a removal or deportation order.

An Immigration Judge can grant up to 120 days of voluntary departure time if voluntary departure is requested at the Master Calendar hearing, (prehearing voluntary departure) or 60 days if requested at the Individual hearing.

A showing of good moral character is not required for prehearing voluntary departure. However, good moral character is required if voluntary departure is requested at the Individual hearing, along with a showing of being physically present in the USA at least 1 year prior to being served with the Notice to Appear.

A $500.00 bond will also be required by the Immigration judge if voluntary departure is requested at the Individual hearing. An alien convicted of an aggravated felony is ineligible for voluntary departure at either the Master Calendar or Individual hearing stage.

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Bond for Aliens in Custody

A person can be placed into removal proceedings without being taken into custody. On the other hand, immigration customs and enforcement, (ICE), can take an alien into custody and set a bond amount if the alien is not subject to mandatory detention. If an alien is subject to mandatory detention, no bond will be permitted.

ICE will initially set bond at an amount that they believe will ensure the alien’s appearance at future immigration court hearings. If an alien establishes that they are not a flight risk and a danger to the community along with a showing that immigration relief is available to the alien, then there is a good chance that ICE will grant bond. The bond money will be returned to the person who paid it after removal proceedings are completed and bond conditions fulfilled.

If ICE grants high bonds or denies bond, the alien can request a bond re-determination before an immigration judge after he is placed into removal proceedings.

After bond has been granted by ICE, the amount of the bond can be challenged later at a hearing before an immigration judge, or even later before the Board of Immigration Appeals. The hearing to challenge the bond amount is referred to as a “bond redetermination hearing”, which means that the bond could be decreased, remain the same, or even be increased.

The minimum amount of an immigration bond is $1,500. A person can be placed into removal proceedings without being taken into custody.

ICE must take into custody without bond, all aliens who are inadmissible because of criminal convictions. Lawful permanent residents are also subject to mandatory detention without bond if they have been convicted of an aggravated felony, two or more crimes of moral turpitude or control substances and the completion of sentence occurred after October 18, 1998.

Our attorneys are ready to represent clients at bond hearings in Arizona, California or any other State. If you need help, contact the Law Office of Raul Ray at (408) 279-5793.

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