What are the top seven ways an immigrant can get themselves deported from the United States? By the end of this video you will find out what each of these are and ways that you can protect yourself from deportation. This year, removal orders tracked almost double the amounts that were issued in 2022 and could be as high as the all time record set in the year 2006.
So it is important for you to find out how immigrants can get themselves placed in deportation and how you could protect yourself from the same situation. Also, be sure to watch until the end so you can find out what you should do if you find yourself in deportation by the U.S. government.
Let's start with some of the more obvious ways that immigrants can get themselves deported, and then let's move on to some of the more unexpected ways that you can find yourself in this situation.
The first way that immigrants can find themselves in removal proceedings is by being inadmissible or by being out of status. This might happen if you enter the country illegally, overstayed your visa, violated your visa, or you try to adjust your status without first finding out whether you qualify.
USCIS can then deny your application and notify ICE that you are out of status. Of course, the most obvious way to not make yourself inadmissible by being out of status is to not be out of status at all. But if you do find yourself out of status, or as being inadmissible, the most important thing for you to do is to have a consultation with a qualified immigration attorney with experience in dealing with these matters.
And the reason why it's important to work with an experienced attorney is to make sure they are vetting your case properly to avoid those pitfalls that may cause you to get denied, or that may cause you to file for something when you're not actually eligible, which would then still land you in hot water in the first place.
The next way that immigrants commonly find themselves in deportation proceedings is by violating their visa conditions.
This can be as simple as having a change in circumstance and failing to notify Immigration about it, like if you withdraw from school while on a student visa. It can also happen if you violate the restrictions that are specific to your visa, such as if you marry someone other than your sponsor when you are on a K-1 fiancee visa.
For example, if you came to the United States on a tourist visa, but later you are caught working while you are still on this tourist visa, then this would constitute a violation of your visa conditions and requirements and can make you inadmissible and place you in removal proceedings.
So when you come here on any sort of visa, whether it's a student visa, a tourist visa, an H-1B visa, you should always look up the list of activities that you are allowed to do and make sure you thoroughly understand the prohibited activities that you should never engage in on your visa.
The third way you could end up getting yourself in deportation is by failing to notify USCIS of a change in your address. Although this doesn't happen very frequently, it is still a requirement that you must update USCIS of any changes of your address within ten days of moving. Otherwise, failure to do so can be considered a deportable offense. And this is very surprising, believe it or not, a simple failure to update your address within ten days of moving can cause you to be placed on ICE's list.
So how can you avoid this? It's so simple. Just go ahead and complete the AR-11 Form to change your address. You can submit it online, and one thing for sure make sure you print out and save the confirmation that you have sent this. Or if you send the AR-11 by mail, make sure you keep a copy of what you sent and send it with trackable mailing services.
Next to some of the more unexpected ways that immigrants can get themselves deported, as well as my tips on what to do if you find yourself in these situations.
Before we move on, I want to let you know that we are accepting new clients. My name is Moumita Rahman and I have been practicing immigration law for the past 13 years. If you would like my help on your immigration case, call us at 212-248-7907 to schedule a case evaluation to see if we can help you move forward in your immigration journey. Based in New York, but we work with clients all over the United States.
The next way that immigrants can get themselves deported is by committing a criminal offense. This can be confusing because some criminal offenses can trigger deportation, while others cannot. And also some criminal offenses can still trigger deportation even if you have a green card.
Many people frequently think that having a green card is a failsafe protection against ever getting deported, but that is simply not the case. Having a green card only grants you permanent residency, and in fact, you have more restrictions upon you as a green card holder than you would as a U.S. citizen, so you are not in fact fully protected.
What's really important to note, though, is sometimes, even if a criminal offense is not necessarily a deportable offense itself, if you live in a certain state that is not a sanctuary state or a sanctuary city, if you are picked up for committing a crime, or if you are arrested, or put in jail, the law enforcement may end up notifying ICE of your presence in the United States and they may put you in what is called a detainer so that ICE can be allowed to come pick you up and place you in removal proceedings.
Some of the most serious types of crimes that can make you deportable include offenses and convictions involving drugs, sexual assault, child abuse, and serious felonies that involve violence. Also, within these types of criminal offenses, some are going to be considered completely unforgivable within immigration law and are considered aggravated felonies. And in almost a 100% of these sorts of convictions, there is really no defense available in immigration court.
That is why the best advice I have for you is, first of all, never commit a crime. But if you happen to find yourself in that situation, hire a good criminal defense attorney that has knowledge of immigration consequences.
Now, here are some types of crimes that are not considered totally unforgivable by immigration, and you may find yourself being able to ask for certain forgiveness or waivers in court when you have convictions for crimes involving moral turpitude, prostitution, theft, possession of marijuana of 30 grams or less, and simple assault, and certain property or fraud related charges. In some of these situations, you may actually be able to ask for a waiver and fight your deportation.
And my best advice, if you're in deportation for one of these types of crimes, is to hire a seasoned immigration attorney who knows how to defend you in immigration court.
Now, violating U.S. immigration laws is, of course, the easiest way to get yourself put into deportation. These include things like committing marriage fraud, committing document fraud for the purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit, falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen smuggling or being involved in human trafficking.
Now, let's talk about something that happens quite a lot, and if you happen to engage in this, this is probably one of the worst things that you could ever do. And this is if you engage in marriage fraud or asylum fraud. Typically speaking, if you ever commit marriage fraud or asylum fraud, you will cut yourself off from almost every type of immigration relief that may be available to you. And on top of that, you'll get yourself placed into deportation.
So what's my advice? Simple. Just don't commit fraud. Always be truthful and only apply for those immigration benefits with the help of a trusted attorney.
Now, the next way you can get yourself deported is by receiving public assistance within five years of entry. Everyone who applies for a green card knows that you must agree not to become a public charge on your I-485 application.
A public charge is someone who becomes dependent on the government for cash benefits or for financial support or resources, such as applying for food stamps, getting housing assistance, receiving income maintenance, and being on Medicaid. If you become a public charge within the first five years after entering the United States, U.S. immigration law says that you may be deportable.
Now, the seventh way that you might get yourself deported is by living in a conservative district. And I already touched upon this briefly when I mentioned the existence of sanctuary cities or states. In some places you may be more likely to get referred to ICE if your case gets denied, or you might be more likely to get harsher decisions depending on the judges that are in your district.
Or you might be living in a community where your neighbors might be more willing to report you to the authorities. Now, I have definitely seen with my own eyes that certain applications that I might file for clients living in New York will never be put in harm's way versus some client that might live in Texas who, if they get denied on simple marriage applications, they might get referred to ICE for deportation proceedings.
A harsh reality of our immigration system is that it depends heavily on local politics and is affected by the level of conservativeness in certain locations. Another way that we see this very clearly is where we look at denial rates of certain immigration judges in certain jurisdictions versus others. For example, here in New York or in Boston or other places like San Francisco, your case is more likely to get approved than if you were in Georgia or Texas or in some places like Florida.
And that is because a lot of these judges are much more conservative on their views in immigration. So the best way to protect yourself in those situations is to be aware of what your local climate is like when it comes to immigration and as I mentioned earlier, if you are out of status, do something to protect yourself by finding out what your options are, by speaking to an immigration attorney that you trust and who you know is experienced.
Finally, what are my tips if you do ends up finding yourself in deportation proceedings? Obviously, first look to see if there is a way for you to get a legal status or to adjust your status. Consider humanitarian options such as VAWA, T visa, or the U visa. More people qualify for these visas than you might think!
If you have been in an abusive marriage with a U.S. citizen or with the green card holder, or your employer has threatened to harm you and use your status against you, then please give us a call so we can look into your options. You may be able to get a green card without anyone else's help.
If you're still worried about making mistakes or running into problems in your immigration journey, leave me a comment and let us know what you're experiencing right now.
And if you want to protect your immigration case, it is not just enough to avoid deportation, you also have to watch what you say and do online. Watch my other video to find out how USCIS spies on immigrants and can use the information it finds online to place people in deportation. I'll put a link to that video here. Click to watch and I'll see you next time.