Coming to the United States was likely not something you decided impulsively. The immigration process is notoriously slow and complex and you may have waited months or years before obtaining approval for your visa or green card. Once here, you may have found a place to live in Colorado, looked for work and perhaps made some special friends.
You may think that your legal status in the U.S. protects you from deportation. However, this is not necessarily the case. In fact, even if you are a naturalized citizen, you may place your status at risk through certain behaviors. Removal from this country is a legal process, however, and like all legal matters, you have rights and would do well to seek assistance in protecting them if you are in danger of deportation.
What are some reasons for removal?
Because the U.S. government is concerned about the security of its citizens, the immigration laws are stringent and rigidly enforced. Entering the country without going through the proper channels is one of the most common reasons for deportation.
Occasionally, a non-citizen will face removal, and the government will impose certain conditions on his or her return. For example, if you are in this situation, you may have to wait a certain number of years before seeking re-entry. Coming back into the country in violation of those conditions may not only risk removal, but may result in fines and prison time.
Other common reasons for deportation from the U.S. include these:
- If you neglect to file for the removal of conditions on your permanent resident status
- If you help others enter the country illegally
- If you marry with the fraudulent intentions of gaining residency in the U.S.
- If you lied on your application for entry into the U.S.
- If you vote unlawfully
Conviction for certain criminal acts may result in your removal from the country, including those that place the safety and welfare of others at stake. Of course, you can expect that acts or threats of terrorism may have a negative result, but other crimes that may be misdemeanors in federal or state courts are treated more seriously in immigration law.
Once you receive a notice that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to begin removal proceedings, you will have time to obtain an attorney. You will have the opportunity to apply for any form of deportation relief for which you are eligible. Your attorney can help you do this and work with you to prepare a defense strategy with the goal of preventing you from losing your status and facing removal from the country.