Removal and Deportation Defense

Immigration Attorney in New York City

Removal and Deportation Defense

Deportation from the United States is the harshest punishment you could suffer for violating United States immigration laws and criminal laws. Many non-citizens all-too-often do not realize that even a minor infraction or a conviction, even if it occurred decades ago, could trigger deportation or removal proceedings. In many cases, you stand to suffer harsher immigration consequences than criminal consequences for a conviction. For example, if you had a conviction for which you received probation, if placed in removal proceedings on the basis of that conviction, you could be subject to indefinite mandatory detention in immigration custody far away from your home and family, and may ultimately be ineligible for a waiver of deportation, even if you have been a green card holder for decades and decades.

Relief from Deportation or Removal

In many cases, you may be eligible for relief from removal. In some cases, you may not. This is why it is critical that you talk with an experienced criminal immigration attorney if you believe something in your past could trigger removal proceedings or if you have been served with a document called Notice to Appear and are currently in removal proceedings. If you can talk with an immigration lawyer before you are placed in removal proceedings, you will have a better idea of what options and deportation help are available to you and your family. But the sooner you talk with an immigration attorney, the better your chances are for presenting your case in the most favorable light.

NOTE: If you are not a United States citizen, it is wise to consult experienced criminal immigration attorneys BEFORE pleading guilty or accepting any plea agreements! What you plea guilty to will determine whether the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will begin removal proceedings against you and whether you will be eligible for any relief from being deported. Please feel free to contact me immediately if you or someone you know and love is about to plea guilty to any criminal offense anywhere in the United States!

Will I be deported?

While there are many crimes that could form the basis for deportation, the most common are:

  • Drug offenses (possession or sale);
  • Sex offenses (including convictions for sexual abuse of a minor or endangering the welfare of a child);
  • Fraud convictions (including credit card fraud and visa or passport fraud);
  • Theft offenses (including burglary and robbery)
  • Aggravated felonies (including murder, rape, and drug trafficking)
  • Crimes involving moral turpitude (including petit larceny)
  • Domestic violence (including stalking)
  • Weapons possession (including possession of a firearm)

If you have ever been convicted of any of the crimes listed above-or any other crime-it is in your best interest to speak with a criminal immigration attorney. While you may believe your conviction was “just a violation” or “just a misdemeanor,” it may still affect your immigration status and your ability to work and stay.

How can I Stop Deportation?

If you are subject to deportation or removal, depending on the specific facts of your case, you may be eligible for relief from deportation in forms of waivers of deportation or other forms of discretionary and/or mandatory relief. Some of these forms of deportation relief include but are not limited to:

  • Cancellation of deportation or removal (for green card holders and non-green card holders)
  • Waivers under former INA § 212(c) (only a narrow class of people are eligible for this)
  • Waivers under INA § 212(h) and INA § 212(i)
  • Suspension of deportation (virtually eliminated but still available to few)
  • Voluntary departure
  • Adjustment of Status
  • Asylum, Withholding of removal, and protection under Article 3 of United Nations Convention Against Torture

How Do I Win My Deportation Case?

Just because you may be eligible to apply for deportation relief does not guarantee that you will win. Be wary of anyone who says he or she can “guarantee” that you will win. An immigration judge has to consider many things before deciding whether you deserve to stay in this county.

Most common factors the immigration judges look at in considering various deportation waiver applications and in deciding whether you deserve to stay here include, but are not limited to:

  • How long you have lived in the United States with or without a green card (the longer you have been there, the better for you)
  • Who in your immediate family (usually a spouse, parent, or a child) is a U.S. citizen of a green card holder (more citizen and green card holder family members mean you have an established family here)
  • Your employment history (the fact that you are and have been working shows you are not a public liability to someone)
  • History of tax payment

Tip: You should always pay taxes regardless of whether you are here legally or not. If you do not have a social security number and cannot obtain one, you must obtain and use an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). Click here to learn how to obtain a tax identification number so you can pay your taxes!)

  • The nature and extent of your involvement in the community (church, volunteer work, etc.)
  • The nature and extent of your history of violation of the immigration laws (being present illegally or working without authorization, etc.)
  • The nature and extent of your criminal history, if you have any (convictions, jail sentence, etc.)
  • The extent of your rehabilitation, if you have a criminal history (single incident, pattern of criminal behavior, etc.)
  • Hardships suffered by your United States citizen or lawful permanent resident family members if you were deported (their ability or inability to relocate with you, etc.)
  • Any negative factors (this will depend on your case)
  • Any positive factors (this will depend on your case)

Upon “looking into your life” and going through all the evidence and testimony you and the government lawyer submit, the immigration just is required to weigh and balance all of your negative factors and positive equities. If the good outweighs the bad, it is very likely that an immigration judge would grant you a waiver of deportation so that you can stay in the United States. However, if the immigration judge finds that the negative factors in your case, mostly, the nature and extent of any criminal history, outweigh all of your positive equities, you are likely to lose your case in immigration court.

And remember, even if you win, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement can appeal the immigration judge’s decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals, just like you can appeal if you lose. It is very rare that a deportation or removal case simply ends in immigration court with outright victory. Majority of the times, cases wind up on appeal, then go through motions, and a significant amount wind up in federal court litigation.

Detention Based on Deportation Issues

Section 236(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act lists broad categories of noncitizens who are subject to mandatory detention based on their removability under specific criminal and security related provisions, including, among others, INA § 212(a)(2) and INA § 237(a)(2)(A)(ii), (A)(iii), and (B), (C), and (D). On April 29, 2003, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision in Demore v. Kim, 123 S. Ct. 1708 (2003). The Court held that under INA § 236(c), the government may detain classes of lawful permanent residents without conducting individualized bond hearings to determine whether they pose a flight risk or danger to the community.

Only individuals who were released from criminal custody (meaning physical custody) after October 8, 1998 are subject to mandatory detention. Under the Board of Immigration Appeals decision Matter of West, 22 I. & N. Dec. 1405 (BIA 2000), this includes individuals who are released from physical custody following a criminal arrest, regardless of whether the person is sentenced to incarceration.

Individuals subject to mandatory detention will not be released on a bond pending their removal case, and they will have to fight their deportation case while remaining detained. This, of course, is a very difficult situation for both the detained individual and his or her family members.

However, whether an individual is even subject to mandatory detention is an ongoing issue of great importance and debate. If you are concerned about whether you or someone you know and love would be subject to mandatory detention if detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, please contact our immigration attorney in New York for a consultation to discuss your situation in detail.

Competent Legal Representation is Key

There is rarely a case that is so clear cut “winnable” or “hopeless.” It is always in your best interest to find competent legal representation, so that your case can be properly presented. Many times, cases are lost because of poor submission of documentary evidence to support a deportation relief application.

If you wish to consult an immigration attorney about your case in immigration court, at the Board of Immigration Appeals, or in federal court, please contact Ruchi Thaker, an experienced immigration lawyer in New York, to schedule a consultation.


Mr. C (Charlotte, NC)

“First of all, I have never met a more reliable, polite, punctual and effective attorney than Ruchi. The reason why she is so effective is that she does ALL the WORK that you hire her for by herself. She is a true PROFESSIONAL in all aspects if the word. When you call her office, Ruchi will personally answer the phone instead of letting interns or receptionists talk to you. We all know how receptionists can give us the run-around. My case was closed and I was facing removal and even deportation because of all kinds of omissions and errors in my case and that some of my previous attorneys missed responses and other things. However, everything changed once I spoke to Ruchi. She told me that she can fix everything and get me on a path to get my green card after I had gone through a real painful experience. She told me exactly what to do every step of the way and she followed through with that promise and 9 months later I got my green card! When it was time that I was eligible to naturalize and be a US citizen, I thought of no other attorney than Ruchi. I contacted her, and again she gave me instructions on what to do and 9 months later again, I was naturalized as a US citizen! What is even so beautiful about Ruchi is that she agreed to travel to be with me at my citizenship interview. This gave me the confidence that I needed and I recommend her to anyone needing immigration or naturalization services. If she takes your case, you will be happy.”

Rita Krishan (New York)

“My husband has been living in this country for 20 years without any legal status. When I met him I tried to help him achieve an status but we asked so many lawyers but they all shut us down. The only response we got from others was if we had money or that there is no way we can get my husband a legal status. After a while we found Ruchi Thaker and saw great reviews about her and when we had her as a official lawyer every good comment about Ruchi people made were true. His case was very difficult and Ruchi had first tried to understand the case and wanted to find the strings that un-knotted the knot, and she did. When we went to her office we had no idea that she would be the person to give my husband a legal status here in the U.S. Ruchi Thaker is a very hardworking and straight to the point kind of person. If she thinks she can do it. One thing i loved about Ruchi was that she gave off positive energy and that let you talk to her with no hesitation. With her Help all the obstacles we had gone through had gone by kind of smoothly. She had always kept me informed on what was going on and what process we would be up to, what left etc, but even when she wasn’t in the office her e-mail was always open to me and would really from her heart want you to achieve what you wanted to achieve. I strongly say with no doubt that she is fantastic lawyer who will try to solve your problem. Thank You Once Again From the Bottom of My heart!!!”

Jose E. (New York, NY)

“I am so happy I found Ms. Ruchi!! she save me from deportation! I had a big problem when I made mistake and got conviction. I was scared be sent back to my contry (dominican republic) because my family all in america!! but ms. Ruchi say to me that I can ask judge to forgive mistake in court to keep my greencard. i was scared to go to court but Ms. Ruchi came to all my hearings and did everything right by giving judge all papers to show that i am a good person overall and my family all in usa so to give me chance to stay here. ms. Ruchi ask me questions about my life so i can answer them in court and the government lawyer didn’t ask too many question. judge was happy with how my case was put together and she forgive me! i know i can’t do this without ms. Ruchi!!! my family also very happy with her. if you are worried about deportation, call Ms. Ruchi right away. she will tell you truth about your case! I am going to go back to her when i can file for citizenship! thank you Ms. Ruchi for everything you do for me and family!”

B. Diaw

“Thank you Ruchi!!! Dear Ruchi, Words are not enough to describe our elation when we received the permanent residency card in the mail! Oh my gosh! Within weeks we have already planned a trip to my hubbys country. My mother in law and I will be meeting face to face for the first time in almost three years! What a blessing your services have been to us and to our families. Facing the reality of possible deportation was truly challenging, but your knowledge, care, thorough follow up, referrals, suggestions, guidance, focus, professionalism, and positive encouragement made it much easier to hope for the best during a very difficult time in our lives. Our questions were well answered, your involvement and follow-up was top notch, and we are glad we hired your firm to assist us with such an important matter. We shopped around for legal representation, but your no nonsense approach to the reality of our possibilities (residency or deportation) as well as your thoughtful options was one of the main determining factors in our choosing this firm. You made it clear what was needed for us to have the best chance of winning our case. And we won!!! We are very satisfied with the quality of service of your firm, and hope that many more families get the opportunity to share in our joy if ever faced with the same reality. Thank you for all that you have done for us. We highly recommend your service to all that are reading this.”