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.

Grant of Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Resident Falsely Accused of Gang Membership

Our client’s former companion falsely accused him of being an MS-13 gang member, and of physically abusing her for many years.  The complaints she filed against him in Family and Criminal Court days after he ended their long term relationship resulted in his being picked up by ICE and placed into deportation-removal  proceedings.

At his deportation hearing, we methodically rebutted these false and vicious allegations. We introduced into evidence records from her psychiatric hospital admissions which revealed a history of physical abuse by her former husband, but made no mention of any misconduct by our client.  In fact, they showed she was depressed and suicidal since he had left her, and that her greatest fear was that he would try to gain custody of their son.

We demonstrated her refusal to seek treatment for her mental health issues had driven our client to leave her, and that since he had left, her drinking had increased, and so placed their son at risk.

Our evidence established our client had been a valued employee of the same company for ten years; that he paid his taxes; that he spent his free time caring for, his disabled son; and that his church and his religious beliefs were central to his life. A petition from his church vouched for his good moral character, and stated there was no reason to believe he had ever been involved in any misconduct or gang activity.

The Immigration Judge concluded the allegations of gang membership were untrue; the claims of abuse had no basis in fact; the charges were brought out of vindictiveness and had been dismissed; and that our client was a good person who had been unable to cope with his companion’s long-standing mental illness.

The Judge also found the medical records we submitted documented our client’s son’s severe physical and mental disabilities, and that he would suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if his father was deported.  He was granted cancellation of removal:  we saved him from deportation and he gained status as a lawful permanent resident.

An experienced criminal immigration attorney knows you can never win a case by ignoring or running from false allegations.  You must fight them head on, rebut the charges, and show the Court the truth of who your client is and why he deserves to remain in the United States. We do this to keep our clients and their families together. It is never easy, but it is always rewarding.