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The Deportation or Removal Case is Never Over Until the “Asylum, Withholding of Removal, & CAT” Lady Sings

Unfortunately, under current U.S. Immigration laws, there are numerous reasons that someone who is non-citizen of the United States may find themselves placed in removal proceedings when interacting  with agencies such as Customs Border and Patrol (“CBP”), ICE, or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). The reasons range from technical reasons, to prior criminal history, improperly granted immigration benefit that a Senior USCIS officer unveils, or extended absences from the United States. Also a non-citizen (such as a Permanent Resident) could travel overseas for a brief trip, only to be surprised that he or she is not being admitted back to the United States by CBP due to a “newly” discovered problem.

The purpose of this blog article is not to discuss all the triggers that may cause a U.S. Permanent resident or non-immigrant visa holder to be suddenly placed in removal proceedings.  Rather, the focus is that if such a situation arises it is important to have experienced immigration counsel aggressively fight the matter, even where a past criminal history may exist.

If you or someone you know finds themselves in deportation or removal proceedings he or she will be asked by the Immigration official verbally or in writing whether you have a fear of returning to your home country.  It is very easy to say “no” or “yes”.  However, it is important not to state either answer unless one consults with a U.S. Immigration attorney.  In U.S. Immigration legal terms, a fear of returning to one’s home country is called “Asylum, Withholding of Removal and/or CAT”.  These are very legal definitions and not only factually driven. Under pressure, our clients, who in fact had a fear, quickly gave CBP officials an answer (without legal counsel) in hopes that the pressure of being questioned by U.S. Immigration authorities would go away.

Even if one has a criminal history, as long as the crime is NOT a Particularly Serious Crime. (“PSC”), this will not bar one’s right to fight and defend oneself in U.S. Immigration Proceedings based on fear of returning to your home country. An Immigration lawyer has to review the following PSC bars, to determine whether a particular crime could bar a non-citizen’s ability to claim Asylum or Withholding of Removal.

INA §208(a)(2)(A)(ii): This section precludes eligibility for asylum if the alien, having been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime, constitutes a danger to the community of the United States.

 INA § 208(a)(2)(B)(i): … an alien who has been convicted of an aggravated felony shall be considered to have been convicted of a particularly serious crime.

Unless a determination is made by legal counsel that one’s prior criminal history does or does not amount to a Particularly Serious Crime (“PSC”), as legally defined above, it is critical that a non-citizen with a past criminal history not deny away this very important legal relief and defense option.

If you have any questions or concerns you may contact our firm by emailing us at info@scottcclaw.com or visit us at www.scottcclaw.com where our telephone numbers are conveniently listed for your convenience.

ScottMond Law Firm



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