If your visa expires, will they come get you?
Okay, so that’s what I’m saying. That if you have a criminal background, they’re probably going to be looking for you, depending on how serious a crime, but there’s a myriad of ways to actually go in and get in trouble with removal if you’re out of status.
What are the common grounds for deportation or removal from the United States?
I have a page on my website that lists all of them actually. There is a bunch of them. When we talk about those grounds, we’re talking about two things, inadmissibility and deportability. Inadmissibility means you can’t come here into the United States. Even if you’re here in the United States, you still sometimes have to prove that you’re admissible to the United States, which I know doesn’t make a lot of sense. So, if you’re switching to an immigrant visa you have to prove that you’re still admissible, even though you’re here in the United States. In case law it’s very different depending on the Circuit. Both inadmissibility and deportability have a lot of common grounds. Really the little things, the little minutia, but house care and grounds. So, for example, HIV. HIV used to be one of the grounds that made you inadmissible into the United States. So, if you HIV/AIDS then you would not be given a green card. House card grounds, economic grounds, if you show that you’re going to be a public charge, then that would be another way for you not be able to be admissible to the United States. Criminal grounds. If you come here to the United States and commit the crime, depending on what kind of crime it is then you won’t have a problem either staying or adjusting your status. For example, controlled substance crimes are very tricky because it depends on the statute and all of that stuff. So that’s another ground of you not being able to stay in the United States and makes you either deportable or inadmissible, depending on your status. Okay, the criminal grounds also include committing what’s called a crime involved moral turpitude, which is something that really there is no definition for, but it’s something that just shocks the conscious. So that would be CIMT ground, doing two of those would actually be an aggravated felony and makes you inadmissible and deportable. Controlled substance law in the United States, like I said. Even if you get in trouble for drugs here in the United States or outside the United States, then you will be inadmissible to the United States. Multiple criminal convictions is another one, drug trafficking. Drug trafficking, it’s very interesting because trafficking, for example, in Florida, Florida defines trafficking as possession, so you’re not really selling it. So, for example, the Florida statute is not classified in the statute. Let’s see, commercialist, prostitution commercialized by immunity from prosecution. So for example if you came here and said, “I’m a member of the royal family in the UK, I cannot be prosecuted,” or “I’m on an A visa or on a visa that doesn’t allow prosecution in the United States,” or you’re a member of NATO or the United Nations, that’s another inadmissibility ground. Violation of religious freedom, like if you stopped someone from exercising their religion. Human trafficking is another big one and money laundering. Money laundering if you’re talking about more than $10,000 then you would be the aggravated felony ground, which would be very serious. Let me go back to that question. Sorry. So, these are the common grounds and honestly just being out of status is another ground for you to be removed. So that’s some of them.
What happens in the beginning stages of deportation or removal proceedings?
So, if you get served with a notice to appear, the removal proceedings do not start until ICE takes that notice to appear and actually deposits it with immigration court of jurisdiction over your address. So, for example if you get caught in Miami you either end up in front of the Miami immigration court or if you’re really in serious trouble and ICE catches you, you’re in front of a detained docket. So once the notice to appear is deposited with the immigration court, that’s when the removal proceedings start. Then they have to give you a notice of hearing for you to go to the immigration court and say, “Okay, on this date I appeared in front you and actually wanted to escape for. I’m here for my hearing in front of immigration,” and that’s a big issue now, is the hearing time on that notice to appear real or not real. I don’t think that’s actually relevant to what we’re talking about today. So once you get that notice to appear you need to go to that hearing and there are two kinds of hearing in removal proceedings, the master calendar, which you showed up and everybody’s there or an individual hearing, which is pretty much a trial and if you’re an in individual hearing that’s when you’re applying for the applications for relief of removal in the United States. So, you’re going to a trial. They’re usually between two and I’ve seen them last the whole week. So once the removal proceedings get initiated, you’re supposed to go in front of the judge. So, they’re initiated by the depositing that notice to appear in front of the immigration court.
What happens at a hearing and can anything be done if bond is not possible?
Okay. So, if you’re detained the first thing that has to happen is for ICE to determine if you qualify for a bond or not and nine times out of 10, they say, “No, you’re not.” I’ve seen them do it for very simple overstate and they say, “No, you’re not going to get a bond.” So, you can renew that bond application in front of the immigration judge at your first hearing usually. So, you ask, “They messed up, they don’t want to give me a bond,” or “They don’t want to give me some sort of alternative to a bond. Then you need to redetermine and give me a bond because they screwed up. They made a mistake. They didn’t actually give me a bond.” So, you can renew that bond application in front of an immigration judge. There is a bunch of things that happens for you to get denied an immigration bond. One of them is not having contacts in the United States, so you’re a simple overstay, you don’t qualify for anything. So, you’re a flight risk if you don’t have any connections to the United States. A criminal ground, like an aggravated felony will make you what’s called under mandatory detention means that you’re not getting bonding by statute, you’re not allowed to. Then in those circumstances, if you’re subject to mandatory detention, your attorney is going in front of the immigration judge and saying, “Well, he’s not an aggravated felon.” So for example, I had one a couple of years ago where the person was fraudulently cashing insurance checks for more than $10,000 and he was charged under a federal statute and I argued that the federal statute itself is not an aggravated felony. The judge doesn’t like my argument, but that’s one thing you could do. In the first hearing for people that are under mandatory detention it’s called a Joseph Hearing under Matter of Joseph. So you tell the judge, you make your argument and if the judge allows that person to leave, then he leaves, he posts the bond and then everything is good. If he’s out of detention he goes to the non-detaining docket, so he’s showing up in Orlando in the Tampa Bay area instead of going to Miami. If the bond is still denied then you can appeal that denial to the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Board of Immigration Appeals actually has kind of an expedited process so you could go through that. Another way to do it is to go to federal court. For example, if you’ve been detained for more than six months in the Ninth Circuit you automatically get another hearing to review your bond determination but the Supreme Court has actually ruled that the six month is not something that’s actually in the statute. So federal courts have said six months, some of them said change of circumstances. The Ninth Circuit was doing them after every six months, you get an automatic bond redetermination where the Supreme Court said that there’s nothing in the statute that gives you that six month. So that’s what happens under mandatory detention, you’re not allowed to leave and you have to wait in which the individual hearing to happen to see if they’re going to give you relief. That’s the one thing that I was thinking about and I forgot. If you have a change of circumstance, for example you get married to a US citizen, you can apply for the bond. If you have a change of circumstances in the United States you can renew your bond. So just because it was denied once doesn’t mean that you cannot keep renewing it.
What happens in a removal proceeding?
Well, it really depends on why in your removal… Again, we talked about that detained versus non detained and it depends on what kind of hearing you have. So, if it’s a massive calendar hearing, usually it’s like a status report in state court, you’re going in for three to five minutes in front of the judge saying, “This is what we’re going to do. This is what we need to do.” Then he will give you either a new date or tell you to file something by a deadline or something like that. If it’s an individual, you’re applying for relief from removal usually as an individual and you have a full-blown trial. You have your witnesses, the government sometimes bring witnesses, you have evidence, you have to do all of these things and you can go to trial and at the end of it the judge either gives you a relief from removal or it actually gets denied and then you can appeal that decision to Board of Immigration Appeals.
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