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Consulting with an Immigration Attorney-Deportation Case

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A consultation with an immigration attorney is one of the most crucial steps in the process of dealing with a deportation/removal case. A deportation case is a long and harrowing process that requires knowledge and experience to traverse to have a chance for potential success. Because the immigration attorney will be your guide in the process as well as counsel you regarding the rights, strengths, and weaknesses of your case, the noncitizen will need to be prepared to be honest and as clear as possible when answering the attorney’s questions pertaining to the case. Furthermore, the noncitizen should attempt to provide as much as possible any documentation, the noncitizen may have received since being detained and since the court proceeding was commenced for the attorney to review to be able to provide the best analysis and counsel possible. You can read our discussion of the different stages in a deportation case here.

Why is the noncitizen being deported?

This is the first step in the analysis of the case. The first piece of information the attorney will attempt to discern is whether the noncitizen is present in the United States under a lawful immigration status or if the noncitizen has no lawful immigration status whether it’s because the noncitizen entered the United States without being inspected by an immigration officer or has fallen out of status. You can read our discussion of reasons a noncitizen may face deportation proceedings here. You can also read our discussion for reasons a noncitizen without status may face deportation proceedings.

Initial information about the noncitizen and his case

An attorney will first ask initial questions that will help him determine If the noncitizen is present in the United States under a lawful immigration status and determine if present under a lawful immigration status, whether the noncitizen is has committed an immigration law violation that exposes the noncitizen to deportation. Additionally, to aid the attorney in determining the basis for the deportation case, it is helpful and most often necessary to provide the attorney any court notices, as well as any kind interview notes with immigration agents the noncitizen may have been provided when released from immigration custody or when immigration authorities communicated that the noncitizen was being detained or placed in immigration court proceedings.

The best document that will clarify to the attorney what the deportation case is about, is a document titled as a Notice to Appear, “NTA” where the actual allegations and legal authority are articulated that allow the government to deport the noncitizen.

Information relevant to analyze potential strategy including chances of release from immigration detention/jail, manner of defending against allegation of deportation and qualifying the noncitizen from a form of relief to stop deportation

Next, the attorney now begins to determine next steps in the case and the overall strategy if anything to defend the case. If the noncitizen is detained, the attorney will evaluate the chances of being released while at the same time attempting to determine whether the noncitizen can beat the charges of deportation or whether the noncitizen can qualify for a benefit to stop deportation in the event the charges of deportation cannot be challenged. With respect to custody determination, the attorney will need to address before an immigration agent or judge whether the noncitizen is a flight risk and if the noncitizen can be considered a person dangerous to the community.

In weighing these factors, the agent or judge will want to know about the noncitizen’s criminal and immigration history; ties to the community including relationships to close family members in the United States and whether the noncitizen has a strong case to either challenge the charge of deportation or potentially stop deportation based on qualification for an immigration benefit. The following information will therefore be critical for the immigration attorney to assess the case:

-Time that the noncitizen has been present in the United States.

-If there is close family present in the United States, such as a spouse, parent or children that are either U.S. Citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States.

-If there are any medical, mental health/behavioral, educational issues, the noncitizen or his close family members are suffering from.

-If there are any ways, especially potentially unusual reasons a family member depends on the assistance of the noncitizen.

-The noncitizen’s employment history in the United States.

-Any criminal history the noncitizen may have.

-Any history of being present in the United States without legal status.

-Any past significant encounters with immigration agents, whether attempting to cross into the United States or anytime within the United States.

There may be additional information required depend on the particular circumstances of the case.

It is important to understand that the time, emotional and financial investment required to defend a deportation case is substantial. Therefore, being as best prepared as possible for the immigration consultation is important to best leverage the knowledge and experience of the attorney for the attorney to properly advise you and your family of the potential of success for your case.

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