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Deportation or Removal Proceedings For Noncitizens

Deportation or removal proceedings are legal processes through which noncitizens in the United States face potential removal from the country. These proceedings can be complicated, including a wide range of legal concerns, statutes, rules, and court rulings. Read on to learn more about the legal basis for removal and the rights of noncitizens in proceedings. In addition, we have compiled information on the recent developments in immigration law.

Legal Basis for Deportation or Removal

Noncitizens can be subject to deportation or removal from the United States based on various grounds outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Some common reasons for removal include:

  • Criminal Convictions: One of the most common grounds for removal is a criminal conviction. Noncitizens who have committed certain crimes, such as aggravated felonies or crimes involving moral turpitude, can be targeted for removal.
  • Status Violations: Individuals who have violated their visa status, overstayed their authorized period of stay, or engaged in unauthorized employment may also be subject to removal.
  • Security and Terrorism Concerns: National security concerns can lead to the initiation of removal proceedings for noncitizens who are suspected of terrorism-related activities or posing a threat to public safety.
  • Immigration Fraud: Noncitizens who obtained their immigration status through fraudulent means can be placed in removal proceedings.
  • Failure to Appear at Immigration Hearings: Failing to appear at scheduled immigration hearings can result in a removal order.

Rights of Noncitizens in Proceedings

While noncitizens in deportation or removal proceedings do not enjoy the same full constitutional rights as citizens, they have certain legal protections guaranteed by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Here are some key rights and protections:

  • Right to Legal Representation: Noncitizens have the right hire an attorney of their choice, at their own expense. If they cannot afford an attorney, they may seek pro bono legal services or representation through non-profit organizations.
  • Right to a Fair Hearing: Noncitizens have the right to a fair and impartial hearing before an immigration judge. They may present evidence, call witnesses, and cross-examine government witnesses.
  • Right to Appeal: If a noncitizen receives an unfavorable decision, they generally have the right to appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and, in some cases, to federal courts.
  • Protection Against Torture or Persecution: Noncitizens cannot be removed to a country where they would face torture or persecution. This principle is enshrined in international law and the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
  • Cancellation of Removal: Some noncitizens may be eligible for cancellation of removal, a discretionary form of relief available to certain long-term residents with good moral character.

Recent Developments in Immigration Law

Immigration law is subject to constant change. It is because different presidential administrations usually implement new policies and regulations. There were several notable developments in immigration law, including:

  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA):  The DACA program provides temporary relief from deportation. It also gives work authorization for specific undocumented individuals who came to the U.S. as children, and faced legal challenges afterwards. The program’s fate was uncertain, with potential changes or rescission under different administrations.
  • Public Charge Rule: The Trump administration’s attempt to expand the definition of “public charge” for immigration purposes faced litigation. The Biden administration sought to reverse these changes.
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS): The designation of certain countries for TPS has been subject to updates and changes. It allows nationals of those countries to remain in the U.S. temporarily. This is due to dangerous conditions in their home countries,
  • COVID-19 Restrictions: The COVID-19 pandemic brought about temporary restrictions on immigration, such as travel bans and limitations on visa issuance.

 

Noncitizens in the United States may be subject to expulsion from the country through legal procedures known as deportation or removal proceedings. If you are currently undergoing these proceedings, you must stay up to date on the latest developments in immigration law. Also, we recommend that you seek legal assistance. Be reminded that immigration law is susceptible to change, and laws and regulations may have changed since the time of this writing. Therefore, consult with a knowledgeable immigration attorney for the most up-to-date guidance.

 

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