If you or a loved one is not a citizen of the U.S., you may very well be concerned about the possibility of being deported. Any person who is here without the proper permission can be detained by immigration officials and face removal. Even if you are a lawful permanent resident, you could be deported if you commit certain crimes.
Deportation is therefore a very real concern for non-citizens in this country and their families. However, it is important to understand that even if you or a loved one is detained, there are still ways to avoid removal.
In some situations, it can be possible to work with your attorney to defend against removal. This can often require a successful defense against the crime for which a person has been charged followed by a petition to halt deportation actions.
Unfortunately, as noted in this article in the Los Angeles Times, while a person is awaiting a court's decision on a case, he or she may be stuck in legal limbo for quite some time. In some cases, people spend months or even years in detention facilities while their case works its way through the system. It is true that some people face immediate removal, but in many cases, there is a significant amount of time between the time a person is initially taken into custody by officials and the time they learn whether they will be deported or not.
It should be noted here that a person who is detained does not necessarily need to await removal proceedings while in detention. There are situations in which people are eligible to post bond and stay at home or with loved ones while the legal system is in motion.
Because the threat of deportation is so frightening, it can be crucial that you have support if you or a loved one is in this situation. An attorney experienced in immigration laws and the rights of immigrants can help people assess the situation, seek releases on bond and pursue a cancellation of removal, if possible.