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REMOVAL: The process of forcibly deporting a person from the United States.

There are many ways in which non-citizens can end up in removal proceedings. It is important to know that you have the right to be represented in removal proceedings. Most deportations are caused by convictions of a criminal offense, and it is extremely important to seek the help of an immigration attorney if you have been arrested, and if you are not a United States citizen. An immigration attorney such as myself can advise your criminal attorney of the consequences of entering pleadings, and you need to understand that, for instance, a plea of "no contest" is considered a "conviction" for immigration purposes. Citizens of the United States cannot be deported. Another way ICE can start removal proceedings against you is if you are found in the United States without proper immigration documentation.Unfortunately, most immigrants end up in removal proceedings through their own fault. If you want to apply for an immigration benefit, such as a visa, a change of status, or U.S. citizenship, and you have at any time in your life, anywhere in the world, been arrested, cited, charged with, or convicted of anything, I strongly recommend that you contact an immigration attorney to discuss the potential risks of filing the application. Remember, that the immigration officer who is assigned to your case will have access to your criminal file, regardless of whether or not your records were sealed, and regardless of how long ago your arrest and conviction were. If you are contacted by an officer from the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.), or an officer of the Borderpatrol (C.B.P.), it is important that you remain calm, and, as soon as you can, contact an immigration lawyer. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY, just as if you were arrested by the police.

Recently, it has become more and more important that you contact an attorney who knows and understands immigration law fast, because in reality I.C.E. will do almost anything to keep you from obtaining legal representation once they have arrested you, or have picked you up from detention.

The first clue people often get that they are a target of I.C.E. is when they are arrested and placed in jail. Most jails now notify I.C.E. of your immigration status, and if you can't prove that you are an American Citizen, I.C.E. will place a "hold" or a "detainer" on you. That means that you cannot be released from jail unless I.C.E. says you can, even if you post bond.

In 1996, the immigration laws of the United States were drastically overhauled. Many types of relief from removal became unavailable, or were drastically restricted. And at the same time the list of crimes that could potentially get an immigrant removed from the United States became longer. With very few exceptions, any conviction for an aggravated felony will make you removable from the United States without any relief in Immigration Court, and without the possibility to come back at any time in the future! If you have been charged with a crime, I encourage you to schedule a consultation with me to determine if your charges may make you removable. However, because I represent many survivors of domestic violence, i do not represent immigrants charged with or convicted of domestic violence, rape or child abuse charges.

There are probably well over 11,000,000 undocumented immigrants in the United States. Many come here with a visa, and remain longer than they are allowed. Others, such as citizens of Canada or Western Europe, are permitted to enter without a visa. Many others arrive without having been inspected. And many immigrants arrive at our borders in fear for their lives, claiming asylum.

My practice is committed to every person who wants to come here or stay here, and who needs help. My many travels through all five continents have given me a clear understanding of some of the living conditions in your home countries, and as an immigrant, i understand why you want to come here, to this United States, the greatest nation in the world. Many immigrants have to go through the process of removal before they can (continue) to live and work here. I want to help you realize your dream.