If Your Petition Is Approved, What Happens Next?
The petition, the I-130, is just the first step in the process. Depending on the beneficiary, the next step is either filing an I-485 (which can actually be filed at the same time as the I-130 but won’t necessarily be approved at the same time), or the case is transferred to the MBC, and then it goes through the process described earlier. If the case requires any waivers, those have to be decided before the visa can actually be granted, so adjudication of any waiver requests will be an intermediate step between the I-130 and the actual final decision.
What Is The Most Common Reason For A Deportation Or Removal From The United States? Is There A Difference Between The Two?
The most common reason depends on who is president at the time. Democrats like to deport people for having criminal records; Republicans like to deport people for being here illegally. Being in one category or the other doesn’t guarantee that you’re safe because it’s sort of opportunistic. You’re still, by law, at risk of deportation either way, but it’s a matter of where ICE tends to prioritize using its resources. Typically, when a Democrat is president, ICE will make more of an effort to look in jails and find people who have criminal records to make them removable; and when a Republican is president, they’ll make more of effort to find people who are here illegally.
In terms of the way people use the terms nowadays, there may be a difference between deportation and removal. As a legal matter, any proceeding that’s initiated today would be a removal proceeding. The law used to call it deportation, but it’s the same thing. It’s the government trying to kick you out of the country.
How Might Someone Know If They Are In Danger Of Being Deported Or Being Investigated?
If you are in the country illegally either because you entered without authorization or because you overstayed your visa, then you’re always at some risk of deportation. If you have a criminal record, it really depends on the record, and you need to talk to an attorney about the specifics because certain categories of crime make you deportable even if you have a green card. Broadly speaking, those categories are controlled substance offenses, crimes involving moral turpitude, aggravated felonies, and domestic violence offenses (plus some firearms offenses). A domestic violence offense tends to also be considered either a crime involving moral turpitude or an aggravated felony or both.
Be careful about taking these terms too seriously; this is why I say you really need to talk to a lawyer about it because the term “aggravated felony”, for example, covers a lot of crimes that under state law are misdemeanors but are designated as aggravated felonies under federal law. Just because the judge told you that the crime you were convicted of is a misdemeanor, doesn’t mean that will be true in immigration. Also, continuance without a finding or anything that involves any kind of admission that you did something wrong could count as a conviction for immigration purposes. If you’re worried about the possibility of deportation and you have a criminal record, consult with an attorney. That way, you can at least get a sense whether it’s something you need to worry about.
There’s not really any way to know if you’re under investigation or not. Filing any kind of petition or application with immigration could trigger an investigation. That’s why I recommend not filing a weak application—it could result in someone who is removable coming to the attention of the authorities. If you get arrested on any kind of criminal charge, that is also more likely to bring you to the attention of the authorities. There’s no foolproof way to avoid coming to their attention. It’s often just a matter of luck.
What Are My Rights If ICE Comes To My Home Or Shows Up In A Public Place? Do I Have The Right To Contact My Attorney? What Information Do I Have To Divulge?
In a public place, you have a right to leave, unless ICE tells you that you don’t and that you’re under arrest. In your home, you don’t have to let them in unless they have a warrant from a judge. They often don’t have a warrant from a judge; instead, they’ll have a so-called administrative warrant, and that’s not the same thing. If you are a target, it may not make a difference whether you let them in or not because, eventually, they will find a way to get you, whether you’re on the way to work or at work or whatever. Not letting them in would be more of a protection for other people in your home who you’re worried they might find out about. If you are the target and you’re the only person who’s at risk, then it’s often better to just cooperate. They’re going to arrest you eventually anyway; just don’t give them any information and ask to contact an attorney. You do have a right to an attorney.
You have to divulge any information; you should not lie to them. Anything untrue you say can be used against you later, and anything truthful that you admit to that’s bad can be used against you later. Generally, it’s best not to answer any of the questions.
Then, you are entitled to a bond hearing in front of a judge, though the burden of proof is unfortunate. In a criminal case, the burden of proof is on the government, so they have to prove that you’re a flight risk or a danger to the community to keep you in jail while you’re waiting for trial. But with ICE, it’s kind of the opposite. You have to prove that you’re not a flight risk or a danger to the community. In Boston, there’s actually a federal court ruling that says that standard is illegal and that the burden is supposed to be on the government, but in reality, that decision hasn’t changed a whole lot about the way the immigration judges have interpreted the law.
For more information on Deportation & Removal Law in Massachusetts, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (617) 297-7502 today.