A skilled immigration attorney can avoid his client’s deportation for an aggravated felony conviction by proving his client is actually a U.S. citizen, and so is not in fact subject to deportation. Many individuals placed in deportation proceedings by ICE mistakenly believe they are permanent residents, and fear their criminal conviction will subject them to deportation. In many instances, the Notice to Appear, the charging document filed against them in Immigration Court, alleges their conviction is classified as an “aggravated felony”. An aggravated felony conviction renders permanent residents ineligible for most forms of relief, and in most cases will result in deportation.
If you were born in the U.S., it is easy to demonstrate you are a U.S. citizen. However, if a child is not born in the U.S., but has a U.S. citizen parent, or a parent who naturalized when the client was still a minor, a complex inquiry must be performed to determine if the person is actually a U.S. citizen. In certain instances a child born outside the U.S. may acquire U.S. citizenship at the time of their birth, based upon their parent or parents’ status as a U.S. citizen; in other instances, the person may derive U.S. citizenship when a parent or parents naturalize, if the child was a minor at that time, without anyone even realizing it.
At the Terezakis Law Firm, we carefully analyze the immigration history of each of our clients placed into removal proceedings, to determine whether or not they are actually U.S. citizens. Although ICE is required to do this, they often do not check carefully and sometimes mistakenly detain and try to deport someone who is actually a U.S. citizen. An Immigration Judge recently granted our motion to terminate our client’s removal proceedings after we demonstrated he had acquired status as a U.S. citizen through his parents, and so was not in fact subject to deportation, despite his criminal conviction. As a result, our client, a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, no longer lives under the threat of deportation, and can live his life in peace here in the United States.