Illegal reentry is a serious matter. The federal government prosecutes individuals with a prior removal order, under 8 USC 1326, if they reenter the United States after being previously removed. This will lead to your prosecution in federal court, and subsequent removal from the United States. The charge for illegally reentering the United States is a felony charge and could lead to a sentence of at least two years and removal from the United States. The statute enhances the sentence depending on prior prosecutions, several criminal convictions, or a conviction for an aggravated felony under INA §101(a)(43).
What Constitutes Illegal Reentry?
Congress, in order to dissuade people from entering the United States after being removed, criminalized illegal reentry to the United States. The government will prosecute the following individuals of illegal reentry:
- Individuals who have been denied reentry to the United States;
- Individuals who have been excluded from the United States;
- Individuals who have been deported from the United States;
- Individuals who have been removed from the United States; or
- Individuals who have departed the United States previously with an outstanding order of exclusion, deportation, or removal.
These individuals would be charged with illegal reentry if they try to return to the United States in an undocumented way or are found in the United States after such reentry.
Why Should You Hire An Immigration Attorney to Defend You?
One of the defenses to this charge if a collateral attack on the underlying prior removal order. In many instances, especially with old removal orders, the immigrant’s rights to due process might have been violated. These violations would be detrimental to defending the charge in federal court. An immigration attorney would be able to find these problems with the underlying removal proceedings.
Another avenue to defending the charge would be to move to reopen the removal proceedings. A Motion to Reopen would be possible if the underlying statute leading to removal has been deemed unconstitutional. For example, an immigrant who has been previously removed for committing a “crime of violence” might be able to argue that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dimaya changed the definition of such crime and the underlying removal order should be dismissed. Such reopening should lead to the dismissal of the illegal reentry charge.
Hire the American Dream Law Office to Defend You in Your Case
Attorney Ahmad Yakzan has represented numerous individuals in removal proceedings and would be more than happy to assist you in your illegal reentry case. Call us today or use the form below to contact us for a consultation.