In the case of Poles, the most common reasons for their deportation are drug and alcohol driving offenses and outstanding alimony payments.

Can a green card holder be deported? Isn’t any of us immigrants in the US at risk of deportation in a country that is drastically changing its attitude towards even legal immigration?

It is worth reading the information below to know how we should behave in the event that we are arrested by ICE or even if we are only witnesses to the detention of other people. Also, always have the immigration attorney’s phone number with you:

The main reason for deportation is immigration crime.

Immigration crime has great consequences that unfortunately most people don’t know much about. In many situations, crimes or criminal offenses end with a “visit” to the Immigration Court. Such cases usually involve people who have been convicted or even just charged with a crime and do not have regular immigration status.

Having an irregular immigration status means that a person is illegally staying in the United States on a visa, without a visa, or while sponsoring. It is also essential that even green card holders may be at risk of removal from the United States. Only US citizens are not at risk of deportation.

Classification of offenses varies, but following the example of strict immigration regulations, all cases brought before the Immigration Court most often end up in an immigration prison. Some cases also result in deportation due to an undocumented stay related to a criminal offense. It is also irrelevant whether the crime committed was 5 or 15 years ago, as most criminal offenses never expire.

Nowadays, verification of immigration status in prisoners is virtually immediate. The Immigration Police (the so-called ICE) has connections with almost every prison. Thanks to this, access to the prison records is not a problem for ICE. Immigration officers screen anyone who is placed in custody. The lack of data to confirm immigration status and/or committing an offense that may violate immigration law will allow the Immigration Service to transfer a person to an immigration prison after release from detention or serving a sentence in a regular prison. Due to overcrowding, such an experience could turn into a so-called “trip” to prisons in other states while waiting for a place to become available (most often in Florida or Texas).

An immigrant detained for unregulated immigration status who has committed a crime or misdemeanor is likely to pay a bail in order not to end up in immigration prison.

Immigration law, however, does not allow anyone who has been charged with a so-called ‘grave crime’ to leave the immigration prison on bail. Serious crimes include, but are not limited to, murder, rape, drug trafficking, armed robbery, more serious theft, forging documents or smuggling people. These crimes are classified in the United States as “aggravated assault”, and their commission may be punished with a minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year. Even if a person has never been convicted before and has been charged with a serious crime, intervention by the Immigration Police is practically guaranteed.

The next type of offenses are those that contain elements of the so-called “bad character”. These offenses are classified as various types of fraud, assault and theft, and they also complicate the chances of leaving the immigration prison on bail, but this person can apply to the Immigration Office for their appointment. In the case of a bail case, otherwise known as bond hearing, the Immigration Judge decides whether a given person will not pose a threat to the society, and that if it is required in the future, he will appear in the Immigration Court. The above and other factors significantly influence the judge’s final decision. One of these factors is the ability to defend against future deportation. If the person is unable to meet these requirements, this could mean that the deposit, if any, could be as high as $25,000.

In a situation where a person has been in the United States for at least 7 years until the commencement of the deportation procedure, has had a green card for 5 years, the offense committed by him does not count as a serious crime, and in the past he did not have a similar deportation case, this person has the opportunity to apply for the annulment of deportation. The criteria for people staying in the United States illegally are much different. The determinant of a visa-free defense against deportation is that if a person who has been in the United States for a minimum of 10 years has not committed any crime, he or she is viewed as having “good moral character” and will suffer from deportation. A family residing legally in the United States, that person may apply to prevent deportation.

The regulations are very strict, and with President Trump’s current term in office, they are now more enforced and interpreted against irregular immigrants, especially those who have found themselves in conflict with the law. Therefore, every person, even those accused of committing a crime, should contact an attorney to see if they can avoid contact with the Immigration Police and not end up in the Immigration Court or have a deportation case submitted.

We hope you found the above article helpful and provided you with new information or guidance about the law. However, we remind you that the information provided above does not constitute or replace legal advice. Each situation is different and requires individual analysis. The article will not replace a conversation with an attorney, because the information provided is very general, and the law is extremely sensitive to facts and circumstances. Please consult an immigration attorney for a specific individual analysis of your legal situation.

Note: The new Polish Diaspora Book 2019/20 with coupons, offers from hundreds of businesses in the USA and an immigrant’s guide, is now available for free at Polish companies, General of the Republic of Poland in New York, schools and churches in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut.

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