I have represented numerous Legal Permanent Residents in Deportation Proceedings. Being in Deportation Proceedings is often very scary when you are a Legal Permanent Resident because most LPRs have a lot at stake. My LPR clients often ask me what they should and shouldn’t do while they are in deportation proceedings. I’ve put together a list of the Do’s and Don’ts that I feel are very helpful to those who find themselves in similar situations:
DO: Be open and honest with your attorney about your criminal history. It is very important for your attorney to know every single detail about your criminal history so they can prepare for any issues that may be brought by the government attorney at trial. Not bring honest with your attorney can ultimately result in you losing your case at trial and losing your green card.
DON’T: Lie to the judge or to the government attorney when they question you on the stand. Judges and government attorneys are very skilled at knowing when an individual is lying. Getting caught in a lie by a judge can result in an adverse credibility finding which could cause you to lose your case.
DO: Prepare a letter detailing your “life story” and fax it your attorney. I often go over this letter with clients and prepare a final version to present to the court. Discuss when you came here to the U.S, what led to your criminal history, how you have or will rehabilitate, and why you deserve to stay in the U.S.
DON’T: Lose hope. Being in Deportation Proceedings is scary and it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that you have a chance of winning your case. Legal Permanent Residents often times have a better chance of winning their Deportation cases than Non-Legal Permanent Residents.
DO: Try your best to rehabilitate if you already haven’t done so. If you are in ICE detention, there are still ways you can prove rehabilitation. I’ve had clients complete substance abuse programs, get baptized, and volunteer to do work assignments while in ICE detention. This helped immensely in their cases. For those out on ICE bond, there are also lots of ways to prove rehabilitation which your Immigration Attorney will go over with you.
DON’T: Get into any more trouble after you’re caught by ICE. You’re already in enough trouble with ICE due to your past criminal history and you do not need to make your case any worse. Immigration judges view criminal history very unfavorably. Be smart and stay out of trouble.
DO: Hire an Immigration Attorney to represent you. Legal Permanent Residents have a lot to lose in these cases. Most Legal Permanents Residents have significant property and family ties to the U.S. and being deported from the U.S. would be devastating to them and their families. Don’t risk losing your green card. Hire an Immigration Attorney to represent you.
If you or someone you know if a Legal Permanent Resident in Deportation Proceedings, please do not hesitate to contact us at 972-369-2662. We would be happy to discuss how we can help fight to keep your green card.