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Fighting deportation in Florida

When an immigrant in Florida receives notice of deportation proceedings, a great deal is at stake. Deportation from the United States, particularly for a person who has been here for years and may have a family, is a traumatic and life-altering event. Once a person is deported, he can be barred from ever returning to the U.S., even for a short visit.

Deportation, also known as removal, can be ordered for any alien who has committed certain criminal offenses or violated U.S. immigration law. Immigration law violations that can lead to deportation include falsifying documents regarding entry to the country, engaging in immigration marriage fraud, aiding another person to illegally enter the country or engaging in activity endangering public safety.

Aliens facing deportation proceedings have certain rights, including the right to an attorney and the right to contest the deportation. The proceedings begin when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement serves the alien with a Notice to Appear, which sets forth the reasons for deportation. The alien then appears at an initial hearing. If the alien needs time to get a lawyer, another hearing is scheduled at a later date.

Once the alien has an attorney, the judge will determine whether the allegations in the NTA are true. If the judge determines they are, the alien can be deported unless he or she qualifies for relief from deportation. If the alien qualifies for relief and applies for it, a hearing is held at which the alien can testify and call witnesses. The judge will then decide whether the alien will be deported.

Fighting deportation requires an aggressive and skilled defense. With so much at stake, a person facing deportation proceedings can benefit from consulting an experienced deportation defense lawyer.

Source: Findlaw, "Deportation," accessed July 10, 2016

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