When you have been in the United States for a long time, living as an American may be your life and your native country may seem unknown or a distant memory.  At Gamiño Law Offices, LLC our United States immigration lawyers in Milwaukee, WI understand that the idea of being deported from the United States may be terrifying.  When we accept a client facing removal and needing a strong defense team, we prepare the case thoroughly, using any case law, statutes, or public policy issues to promote our client's deportation defense.  It is our goal to protect our clients from being ordered to leave the United States, and for our clients facing removal proceedings to come away from that process having obtained a green card to remain in the United States as a lawful permanent resident.

For an initial consultation with dedicated a Wisconsin immigration attorney in Milwaukee or Waukesha doing their best to help with your immigration concerns contact us today.  Also visit our immigration law resources page.  We have Wisconsin lawyers available to help with all your other legal needs. 

Immigration Removal Proceedings: Relief and Defense

Top Immigration Attorneys at our Milwaukee, WI Law Offices

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Deportation:

What does it mean to be ordered removed from the United States?
Removal hearings are a civil proceeding resulting in the formal removal of a non-citizen admitted to the United States who is found to have violated US immigration laws.  Removal is normally ordered by a judge.  Since 1997 deportation, determinations of inadmissibility, and decisions of eligibility for relief from removal are all covered under the term, removal proceedings.  

What are the reasons why someone could face removal?
A foreign national who was inadmissible at the time of entry or adjustment of status, who violates an immigration status, or who is convicted of certain criminal offenses may be removed from the United States.
- Application for Immigration Benefits that are Denied:  An alien whose application for immigration benefits such as permanent residency, political asylum, or naturalization and whose application is denied may subsequently be placed in removal proceedings.
- Conviction of certain Crimes or an Aggravated Felony:  Any alien who has been convicted of an aggravated felony is required to be taken into immigration custody upon release from incarceration.  Conviction for other criminal offenses are result in the possibility of removal, including:  certain offenses against the government; crimes of moral turpitude where there is a possible sentence of more than 1 year, or 2 or more offenses of moral turpitude regardless of imprisonment; domestic violence offenses; engaging in detrimental national security activities; high speed flight from an immigration checkpoint; illegal voting;  offenses involving controlled substances (other than singular offense of possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana for personal use); failing to register as an alien;  falsification of immigration documents; falsely representing oneself as a citizen; firearms offenses; terrorist activity.  According to the Department of Homeland Security US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), most removal actions, and those with the highest priority for enforcement, are the result of a criminal conviction.
Deliberately or Accidentally Overstaying a Visa / Illegal Immigration Actions / Failure to Obtain the Proper Visa / Present in Violation of Law:  An alien who was admitted as a non-immigrant but failed to maintain non-immigrant status, or failed to comply with the terms or conditions of admission, or is present in the US in violation of any law, or whose non-immigrant visa has been revoked.
Entering Without Inspection:  an alien who entered the United States without going through immigration inspection, whether by crossing the border illegally from Canada or Mexico, or by the use of fraudulent documents.
Marriage Fraud:  an alien who obtains admission to the US through a marriage to a US citizen that was contracted for immigration benefits.
Public Charge:  An alien who became a pubic charge within 5 years of entry due to causes that existed at the time of entry.
Smuggling/Human Trafficking:  An alien under certain circumstances except family reunification, who assists another alien to enter the US in violation of law.
Termination of Conditional Permanent Residence
Attorneys Defending US Immigration Removal Proceedings
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Immigration Lawyers in Wisconsin Defending Immigrants in Removal Proceedings
What happens if I am facing removal proceedings or a loved one has been detained by immigration officials?
Proceedings before an Immigration Judge:
- Removal proceedings are begun by the filing of a Notice to Appear. The Notice to Appear is a charging document that must contain allegations of a violation of immigration law and explain why the alien is deportable. the Department of Homeland Security is the petitioner.  
- A hearing will be held before an Immigration Law Judge. Normally the first hearing will be within 5-10 days after someone has been placed in immigration detention.  
- A bond hearing may be requested to obtain the alien's release from immigration detention while the removal action is pending.  
- If bond is obtained, the removal process will continue at a non-detained facility with a Master Calendar hearing. This is where a plea is entered to the allegations in the notice to appear.  
 - If the allegations are disputed the removal hearing will be continued for a contested hearing. At that hearing the immigration judge will decide if the allegations have been proven and there is a proper ground for deportation.  
- If the judge finds the grounds for deportation have been proven then the judge decides whether the alien is eligible for relief from removal. The case may be adjourned to file the necessary applications.
- The last hearing is the Merits Hearing. At this hearing there is a trial on the matter and the immigration judge makes a decision and determines whether the relief is granted.
Administrative Appeal:  
-  The alien or the government may appeal the decision of the Immigration Judge to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)
Judicial Review:  
- The United States Federal Court has jurisdiction to hear some appeals of the Board of Immigration Appeals' decisions. The appellant has 30 days to file an appeal from the date of the final removal decision.

Expedited Procedure for Some Aggravated Felonies:
There is a more expedited procedure for aliens who are not legal permanent residents and who have been convicted of an aggravated felony. In this circumstance, the alien may be given notice on Form I-851, Notice of Intent to Issue a Final Administrative Deportation Order, setting forth the charge of deportability, including the facts sufficient to support the allegation that the alien is not a lawful permanent resident, is deportable for a conviction of an aggravated felony, and is not eligible for statutory relief from deportation. If an alien has been taken into immigration custody upon conviction of an aggravated felony the alien may be released if it can be demonstrated that the alien is not a threat to the community and likely to appear for scheduled proceedings. If the charge is supported by sufficient evidence the alien will be given an opportunity to inspect the evidence, rebut the charge, and may be represented by an attorney at the proceedings. There is a right to seek a limited review of the decision within 30 days.

What defenses are available to avoid removal from the United States?
The best decision you can make when facing deportation is to hire an immigration lawyer to assist you.  The strong immigration litigation attorneys at Gamiño Law Offices, LLC will hold the government to its burden to prove that you are deportable from the United States and can assist you to obtain relief from removal if the government can prove its case against you.  

What should I expect to happen if a judge orders me to be removed?
- A deportation warrant will be issued.
- Physical removal will not occur until travel documentation is obtained, unless the alien is of a limited class being removed to a contiguous territory. In most cases the application for travel documentation is submitted after the deportation warrant is issued. The alien may request to be removed to any country and a request for travel document to the requested country shall be made to the authorities of the designated country, however, a simultaneous application for a travel document shall also be submitted to the authorities of the country to which the alien is likely to be removed if the country of his choice is unlikely to receive the alien. If a travel document cannot be obtained it is possible that removal can not be effected.
- When the warrant of deportation is issued and the country of deportation has been determined, the foreign national will be served with form I-294, giving notice of the country to where he or she will be deported.  
- If not detained, the alien will be served with form I-166, notice to surrender in not less than 72 hours to complete the deportation.
- Fingerprinting will occur at the time of physical removal which will be placed on the back of the warrant of deportation with the alien's signature.
- All individuals who are ordered to leave the United States but who are not found, or who have not left, are put on a deportation list.  

What are the consequences of having been removed from the United States?
- You will likely be returned to your native country
- A person who is placed in removal proceedings upon entry to the United States and was ordered removed is inadmissible for a a minimum of 5 years.
- A person who is subject to removal left without allowing the deportation to occur (self removal) is inadmissible for 10 years. 
- A person who receives an order of removal and is deported is inadmissible to the United States for a period of 10 years from the date physically removed from the US, not the date of the order.  
- A person who is removed twice from the United States, whether the proceedings commenced upon entry or otherwise, is inadmissible for a period of 20 years.
- Any person convicted of an aggravated felony is permanently inadmissible.
- Waivers of inadmissibility may be obtained for some of the admissibility periods, if the applicant can demonstrate extreme hardship would be caused to a US citizen or LPR, according to the waiver regulations.

What relief from removal is available?
At any time before the Immigration Judge enters a final order an alien subject to removal may request discretionary relief. The alien must prove eligibility for relief and that relief is deserved. The following forms of relief are available to avoid deportation:
Adjustment of Status: An alien may apply to adjust status before the immigration judge. An immigrant visa must be immediately available and the aline must be admissible as a permanent resident. 
Asylum: An alien may seek asylum if it can be demonstrated that the alien is unable to return to the alien's home country due to persecution or fear of persecution due to certain qualifying classes. However, an alien convicted of an aggravated felony, found to be a danger to national security, or outside of the time limit to file for asylum may not be eligible for asylum.
Cancellation of removal:  may be granted to qualified aliens facing removal, qualifications depend on whether the person facing removal is a legal permanent resident or a non-resident. Some factors may include time spent residing, or continuously present in the US, and whether the removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the alien's US citizen or LPR family members.   Cancellation of removal can result in the granting of permanent residence from the immigration judge.
Deportation may be suspended for individuals eligible under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act: NACARA may provide relief to eligible nationals, or former nationals, of the following countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Soviet Union or any republic of the former Soviet Union, Romania, Russia, Yugoslavia or any state of the former Yugoslavia.
Deportation may be deferred: You may request deferred action using form I-821, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, if you are now under age 31 and meet certain eligibility requirements or if you meet the terms of eligibility of a presidential directive for a country covered under Deferred Enforced Departure.  
Legalization and Registry:  Legalization is a process of granting amnesty where the alien is granted the right to remain in the United States.  Registry grants lawful permanent residence to aliens who have resided continuously in the US since before January 1, 1972, have good moral character, and who are not deportable on certain grounds, and are not ineligible for citizenship. 
- Unconditional Withdrawal: an alien demonstrating the intent and ability to depart immediately and that justice would be served based on factors directly relating to the issue of admissibility may be allowed to withdraw from removal proceedings.
Voluntary Departure: With the permission of the Attorney General an alien may voluntarily depart the US at the alien's expense. If the voluntary departure is granted before the completion of the removal proceedings the alien must leave within 120 days; if it is granted at the conclusion of the proceedings the alien must leave within 60 days, but an extension may be granted for good cause.  Voluntary departure removes a bar to admissibility that would otherwise accompany deportation.  However, failure to leave after being granted voluntary departure can subject you to civil penalties and fines, and a 10 year bar to certain immigration options.  If a person decides to leave the US voluntarily after failing to depart voluntarily as required, the later departure is classified as self-removal, equivalent to deportation.
- Withholding of Removal:  Similar to asylum, only it does not permit the alien to apply for LPR, and it only prohibits USCIS from deporting the alien to 1 particular country.
Motion to Reconsider: The alien subject to deportation is allowed to file 1 motion to reconsider, within 30 days of the date of entry of the final order of removal. 
Motion to Reopen: The alien to be deported may generally file 1 motion to reopen the proceedings within 90 days of the date of entry of the final administrative order of removal.
Stay: A stay of deportation prevents the removal order from being exectuted. A stay is automatically granted during the time to file an appeal (unless appellate rights are waived) and while an appeal is pending.

How can I return to the United States after I was ordered removed?
- When you are inadmissible you may apply for consent to reapply for admission using form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission to the United States After Deportation or Removal.
- Waivers of inadmissibility may be obtained for some of the admissibility periods, if the applicant can demonstrate extreme hardship would be caused to a US citizen or LPR, according to the waiver regulations.

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