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Know your rights: tips to avoid possible removal and deportation actions

In our Jan. 8 blog post, we discussed the recent raids conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the government's continued attempts to deport individuals from violence-ravaged Central American countries who are seeking asylum in the U.S. While some people may previously believe that only hardened criminals or those who enter the U.S. illegally have to worry about being deported, ICE's recent actions prove otherwise as the targets were primarily women and children.

In truth, any individual who was not born in the U.S. or who has not gone through the process to legally become a U.S. citizen can face removal and deportation. It's important, therefore, to understand what types of actions may violate U.S. immigration laws and the terms of your current immigration status and put you at risk of being deported.

For example, if you are married to a U.S. citizen, but not a U.S. citizen yourself; you may face immigration issues if you subsequently divorce your U.S. spouse. Additionally, individuals who are in the U.S. on an employee-sponsored work visa may face problems if they quit or change jobs, allow a visa to lapse or fail to update or renew other required documentation. Other activities that may constitute a violation of your immigration status include seemingly minor traffic violations and misdemeanor crimes.

To avoid immigration problems and possible removal proceedings and deportation actions; individuals who have questions or concerns about their immigration status and U.S. immigration laws should consult an attorney. An attorney can answer questions, provide advice and assist in ensuring an individual is compliant with immigration laws. Additionally, in cases where an individual is facing possible deportation, an attorney can fight on one's behalf in court.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Deportation Defense under 1996 Immigration Laws," Jan. 20, 2015

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