San Antonio, TX – If you’re an undocumented alien and were recently placed in removal proceedings, your fate will be decided at the immigration hearing. This will take place in Immigration Court, where the judge gets to decide whether to issue a deportation order or allow you to stay in the US.
The prospect is daunting and many of the immigrants awaiting a hearing wonder whether they’d be better off skipping town and getting lost.
While this may seem like a good idea, it’s only a short-term solution and it comes with certain risks. Many people mistakenly assume the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or the Department of Homeland Security will forget about them. They won’t. Your name will be in the system and if they catch up with you, you will face the consequences.
Here are a few reasons why skipping an immigration hearing is not in your best interests.
You risk an automatic removal order
Don’t imagine that if you’re a no-show at the hearing, the judge will put your file aside and move on to the next case. The hearing will still take place and the authorities will get to make their case. The judge will probably issue an automatic removal order and you won’t even know about it. If you get arrested by immigration authorities or the local police, a simple search will reveal the pending deportation order. You won’t get any court hearings. You’ll be on the next plane to your country of origin. Also, an automatic removal order makes you ineligible for a US visa for the next 10 years.
You may miss your chance to become a lawful resident
Once you’re placed in removal proceedings, you may think there’s nothing you can do. However, you should consult with an experienced deportation lawyer in San Antonio. It’s not too late to apply for adjustment of status or seek asylum. Seasoned lawyers have several defense strategies up their sleeve. Talk to a good lawyer right away as you don’t have much time. Your first hearing may be only a few weeks away and by that time your attorneys must study your case, decide on the best strategy they can use, and start gathering the documents required.
For instance, your lawyers can ask for a cancellation of removal if you can prove you’ve been living in the US for the past 10 years, are of a good moral character and your deportation would cause unusual hardship to your spouse, children, or parents who are lawful permanent residents.
You cannot negotiate a Voluntary Departure
Obviously, you don’t want to leave the US, but negotiating a Voluntary Departure at least allows you to return to Texas legally at a later date. Immigration attorneys will advise you to negotiate a voluntary departure only if there’s no legal way to defend you at the immigration hearing. You can state your intention to leave the country at the first hearing in Immigration Court so you don’t get a removal order on your record.
If you want to know whether you qualify for a Green Card or if you were placed in removal proceedings, get in touch with a seasoned lawyer at the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen in San Antonio and let them help you stay in the US and obtain legal status.
Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen
206 East Locust Street
San Antonio, TX 78212
Phone: (210) 769-3273
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