Guide To Deportation & Removal Defense in Houston, TX
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made 143,470 administrative arrests in 2017. About 92% of those arrested were convicted of a crime or had pending criminal charges. A review of the ICE statistics over the years indicates that criminal convictions account for more than half of deportations. However, those facing deportation after arrest or an illegal border crossing may have a chance to avoid it provided that they are supported by an expert immigration attorney.
Migrants detained in Houston have the right to defend themselves through an immigration lawyer and seek freedom from detention.
Who Is At The Risk of ICE Detention, Removal Proceeding
The ICE can arrest, detain, and start removal proceeding against an undocumented person residing in Texas, if
- he is criminally convicted
- he is facing criminal offense charges
- his actions are similar to a chargeable criminal offense
- he is party to fraudulent or willful misrepresentation involving a government agency
- he is accused of abusing a public benefit program
- he is a risk to public safety and national security
- he is subject to the final removal order but ignores his legal obligation to leave the United States.
What To Do If Detained
Immigration authorities follow multiple methods to track and arrest migrants subject to removal proceedings or deportation. It may include workplace raids, highway stops, or even during visits to immigration offices. In Houston, people arrested by ICE officials are sent to the contract detention facility in the city or any other detention center or county jail approved to house such inmates. Foreigners who served their criminal sentences are also transferred to these detention centers.
As soon as one is detained or faces the potential risk of detention, it is in his best interest to consult a Houston immigration lawyer with a proven track record. The attorney can figure out if the detained person is eligible for bond and start to build his defense.
The first thing a Houston immigration attorney considers is if the detained person is eligible for posting a bond. It is the best way to get released from the detention while the removal proceeding is underway. The money for the bond should be deposited by a lawful Texas resident with valid identity and immigration proof. Known as “obligor,” he is responsible to ensure that the migrant detainee presents himself before authorities whenever required.
The bond is payable to the Department of Homeland Security and should be in the form of a cashier’s check or postal order. People without serious criminal charges or a previous history of detention stand a good chance to seek release by posting a bond. Immigration history also plays a part in the eligibility. However, the amount for a bond is set by immigration authorities. An immigration attorney determines if you are entitled to it and file a motion for a bond hearing or a reduced bond appeal.
Seeking LPR Cancellation
Talk to a Houston immigration attorney about various cancellation provisions you are eligible for.
- A lawful permanent resident (LPR) staying in Texas continuously five years or more can file a motion for cancellation of removal following criminal convictions and seek a second chance. This is applicable to persons who have valid immigration documents and not charged with an aggravated felony.
- A person lawfully living in the United States for 10 years or more and with a good moral character can petition for cancellation of deportation proceeding citing potential exceptional and unusual hardship to family members, who are lawful permanent residents or US citizens.
Waiver of Deportation Proceeding
There are a number of grounds where waivers are available. A waiver ends the removal proceeding and you get a chance to live in the United States. A judge takes into consideration your past record, conditions in your home country, immigration violations, and gravity of criminal charges against you while contemplating granting a waiver.
The Adjustment of Status allows one to get a waiver from removal proceeding citing his family’s lawful immigration and green card qualification. Victims of domestic violence committed by a US citizen or lawful resident can also seek waiver against deportation. With an able Houston immigration attorney representing your case, you may appeal for withholding of removal citing your eligibility for asylum or protection against persecution or torture at home.
Another option is “U” visa. A person is entitled to this visa and subsequent permanent resident status if he or she has helped authorities in the investigation and prosecution of other criminals.
If any of your loved ones facing deportation and you want an experienced and reliable immigration attorney in Houston, contact Zavala Texas Law (832) 819-3723.