Just as Justin Beiber’s (who is not a US born citizen and only holds an O-1 Visa), who has had numerous run ins with the law and has not been deported,  many Americans question the fairness of our U.S. deportation regulations and the current administrations processing of deportation, especially when thousands of less famous immigrants face the threat of deportation for far less serious infractions every day.  Those who are concerned about these favoritism issues, mainly reside in states that border Mexico. However, more and more individuals in other states are beginning to jump on the band wagon of being concerned. In 2013, under Obama’s administration, the U.S. deported a record 435,000 individuals, with over 2/3rd’s of them being less fortunate individuals from Mexico, and with most of them having immediate family members who were in the U.S. as U.S. Citizens and who were charged with far lesser crimes that Justin Beiber. In 2014, again, under Obama’s Administration, the number of individuals being deported was 414,481, far exceeding any number of deportations during the Bush administration.

Criminal Conviction Deportations is on the DECREASE!

Another concern: Under the Obama Administration, there was a significant decrease in the deportation of immigrants with criminal convictions – from 199,000 in 2013 to 168,000 in 2014. That 16% drop is just the second decline on record. Understandably this is a serious concern of legally present individuals in the U.S. and who are now asking: what is going to be done to secure our country from illegally present criminals and those individuals who entered our country illegally or have remained in our country without legal permission?

Changes in Policy: Stipulated Removal and Voluntary Removal

One reason for the decline in the removal of individuals from the U.S., was the shift in Obama’s policy that quietly went away in states like Arizona and other western states such as California. Federal officials, DHS and ICE, began to step away from the policy known as stipulated removal. Under this policy, illegal immigrants who waved their right to have their case heard before a judge could be quickly be deported without further adjudication. This policy was quietly overturned when an appellate court ruled that the government had violated the immigrants right to a fair trial (when an individual who is not a U.S. Citizen, legally has no constitutional rights) and the case was not appealed. Under that new policy, only those immigrants represented by a deportation attorney may opt for rapid voluntary or stipulated removal.

Not Challenging states such as New Mexico’s Driver’s License Policy

Illegally present individuals, remaining in this country, being able to obtain a driver’s license and other legal identity documents, is only part of the concern that U.S. Citizens have in supporting the movement that illegally present individuals in this country should to be taken into custody, especially those who are convicted criminals.  However, in states such as New Mexico, this is not a requirement and illegally present individuals can obtain a drivers license.  According to 2017 Google: “twelve states including New Mexico, (Washington, DC) District of Columbia and Puerto Rico all have laws on their books that allow illegal individuals to obtain a driver’s license or some type of driving permit.

On the other hand, in states such as Texas and Arizona they can no longer obtain or renew their driver’s license without having proof of their legal right to be in this country. For instance: a 2012 an Executive Order issued by the Governor of Arizona effectively denied a driver’s license and work related benefits to immigrants who did not have the appropriate documentation to work or remain in the country.  Unfortunately, illegally present individuals find ways to go around these laws, by going to the states that do allow for them to be issued ID’s, and then after being issued the IDs, they return to the states that did not allow the IDs to be issued, living there, opening accounts and driving as if they had the legal right to so.

Presidential Policy

Despite the Obama administration’s promise of immigration reform and to limit the number of deportations, the numbers of deportations spoke a drastically different story.  Under the current administration, over 2.4 million immigrants were deported in a 5 year span. That number nearly equals the preceding administration’s 8 year total of 2 million deported immigrants. Looking deeper at who was deported is also interesting. In addition to this, Obama was not able to gain the support of Congress to change our immigration laws. Now the U.S. Citizens of this country are demanding that our current immigration laws be enforced.

When To Seek Legal Advice

Deportation is a complex and ever-changing process. Only qualified immigration attorneys know why and how you can be deported. Immigration attorneys who do not practice in immigration court usually do not understand deportation law and the defense of a NTA (Notice to Appear). Therefore if you are facing deportation, it is vital that you seek the advice of an experienced deportation attorney who can investigate your options and move to protect what ever rights you may have under the law, such as due process. Also, before you agree to sign a document admitting or agreeing to be removed, you should seek the advice of a qualified deportation immigration attorney.

If you need an attorney who can assist you in answering your deportation questions, contact one of our experienced representatives at Goldstein & Scopellite, PC by emailing us or by calling 214-351-9100. Thank you.

  • Pima County Bar Association
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association
  • American Academy of Trial Attorneys
  • State Bar of Arizona
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