In this interview, Yakov Spektor shares his insights and general advice regarding deportation or removal order. He also shares how offenses, violations, crimes, or misdemeanors can affect both documented and undocumented immigrants with regard to deportation or removal.
Deportation or removal orders are profoundly impactful and life-altering events that can uproot individuals from the place they call home, separating families and communities. The significance of these orders cannot be overstated, as they not only strip individuals of their right to reside in a particular country but also subject them to potential persecution, violence, or other grave risks in their countries of origin. Understanding the deportation or removal process is crucial in navigating this complex legal landscape, and seeking professional legal assistance is essential to increasing the chances of stopping or overturning such orders.
The Concept of Deportation and Removal
When discussing immigration, you’ll often hear the terms ‘deportation,’ ‘removal order,’ and ‘removal proceedings.’ These are critical components of the immigration enforcement process in the United States.
Deportation refers to formally removing an immigrant from the United States due to violations of immigration laws or criminal convictions. It’s often the final action in a series of legal steps, occurring after a removal order has been issued by an immigration judge. Deportation can have long-term effects on an individual’s ability to return to the U.S., with some people banned from reentry for a certain period while others are permanently barred.
A removal order is a mandate issued by an immigration judge ordering the deportation of an individual. This order is often the outcome of a removal proceeding. There are several types of removal orders, including expedited, reinstated, and administrative rulings, each following a different process and having other consequences.
Removal proceedings refer to the legal processes that may lead to the issuance of a removal order. It’s the court proceedings in which an immigration judge determines whether someone should be removed from the United States. During these proceedings, the person who the government is trying to remove, can defend him- or herself and argue against his removal, often with the assistance of an attorney.
Deportation and Removal
Deportation and removal often mean the same thing. The removal proceeding is the legal process determining if an individual should be deported. If the judge rules in favor of deportation, a removal order is issued. Deportation is the execution of that order—the physical removal of the individual from the United States.
The Impact of Current Immigration Policies
The landscape of immigration law is complex and frequently shifts based on current political climates and policy changes. As a legal expert, Yakov Spektor, the immigration attorney with more than 15 years of experience defending immigrants against deportation, has provided his insights into how current immigration policies have significant impacts on both documented and undocumented immigrants.
Some key trends and impacts of the current U.S. immigration policies include:
- Increased Enforcement: Recent policies have led to increased enforcement of immigration laws. This means an escalated effort to identify and deport individuals violating immigration laws.
- Expansion of Deportable Offenses: There’s been an expansion in the list of offenses that can make an individual vulnerable to deportation. These offenses go beyond severe crimes and can include minor offenses in some cases.
- Limited Legal Possibilities for Undocumented Immigrants: Policies have also limited the legal possibilities for undocumented immigrants, making it harder for them to gain or maintain legal status in the U.S.
- Increased Use of Detention: We’re seeing an increase in the use of detention in immigration proceedings, with many individuals, especially those with criminal convictions, being detained for extended periods while their cases are being processed.
These policy changes have real-life implications for both documented and undocumented immigrants:
- Facing Uncertainty and Fear: Many immigrants fear being separated from their families and returning to countries they may not remember.
- Barriers to Legal Status: Undocumented immigrants, in particular, face significant barriers to obtaining legal status, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation and creating a shadow economy.
- Limited Access to Benefits and Services: Even documented immigrants may face increased scrutiny and fear of accessing public benefits and services due to the current climate of heightened enforcement.
Understanding these impacts can help us empathize with those affected and advocate for more humane and effective immigration policies.
Sanctuary Cities and States
Sanctuary cities or states are jurisdictions that have adopted policies limiting cooperation with federal immigration enforcement agencies. These policies are designed to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation or removal and ensure they can access essential services without fear of being reported to federal authorities.
For example, cities like San Francisco in California or Austin in Texas have adopted sanctuary policies. At the state level, examples include California, Colorado, and Illinois, limiting the extent to which local law enforcement can cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
Impact on Deportation and Removal Proceedings
Being in a sanctuary city or state does not provide absolute protection from federal immigration laws. However, these jurisdictions can impact deportation and removal proceedings in several ways:
- Reduced Local Enforcement: Sanctuary policies often mean local law enforcement agencies won’t detain individuals solely based on their immigration status.
- Safety in Accessing Services: Individuals in sanctuary cities or states might feel safer accessing local services, like law enforcement or health services, without fear of being reported to federal immigration authorities.
- Community Trust: Sanctuary policies can help build trust between local police and immigrant communities, as individuals are less likely to be hesitant about reporting crimes for fear of deportation.
However, it’s vital to note that while sanctuary cities or states can offer some protection, they cannot wholly prevent federal immigration enforcement within their jurisdictions. Therefore, individuals requiring legal advice on immigration matters must consult with immigration attorneys or legal aid services.
Navigating Deportation and Removal Proceedings
Deportation and removal proceedings are complex, stressful, and often frightening for those involved. Here, we present advice from Yakov Spektor, an experienced immigration attorney, and general insights for those facing such proceedings.
Advice for Immigrants Facing Deportation
- Consult an Immigration Attorney: The first step for anyone facing removal proceedings should be to consult an immigration attorney. They can provide guidance based on the individual’s specific circumstances.
- Understand Your Rights: Immigrants need to know their rights. For example, they have the right to representation (though not at the government’s expense), examine and contest the evidence against them, and appeal a removal decision.
- Compliance is Essential: Immigrants should comply with all court orders and proceedings to avoid further complications.
Every case is unique, and the best strategy will depend on the individual’s circumstances. However, some standard legal options include:
- Seeking Asylum: If an immigrant fears persecution in their home country due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, they may apply for asylum.
- Cancellation of Removal: Certain long-term residents may apply for a “cancellation of removal,” which, if granted, can result in lawful permanent resident status.
- Adjustment of Status: If an immigrant is eligible (e.g., through family or employment), they can apply to adjust their status to a lawful permanent resident, which could halt the deportation process.
- Waivers of Inadmissibility and Deportability: Some immigrants may apply for a waiver, which can excuse a ground of inadmissibility and allow the immigrant to apply for a green card.
It is important to note that only an immigration lawyer with experience in defending immigrants against deportation can definitively assess whether you are eligible for any relief from removal. Talking to such a professional is crucial and could mean the difference between being deported or having the removal case against you dismissed and getting legal status in the United States.
Understanding Deportation and Removal Proceedings
Remember, dealing with deportation or removal proceedings is likely one of the most critical legal issues an immigrant may face. Therefore, having experienced legal counsel and fully understanding the potential strategies is crucial.
Navigating the U.S. immigration system can be daunting. The policies and procedures are intricate, and the stakes are undeniably high. However, understanding these processes and knowing your rights can be critical to navigating the system effectively.
If you’re facing immigration proceedings or are concerned about your immigration status, we strongly encourage you to seek help. Legal professionals have the experience and knowledge to guide you through the process and protect your rights. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them.
Watch the videos on YouTube where Yakov Spektor and other attorneys from the Law Offices of Spektor, Spektor & Berman provide an even deeper dive into this discussion. These videos provide a wealth of additional insights from some of the most trusted and experienced immigration attorneys.
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DISCLAIMER: This information is for reference only and might vary depending on your situation. Please always consult your lawyer for legal matters.