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Offenses That Can Result in an NTA to Appear in Immigration Court

Posted on in Deportation

Fairfield County deportation removal defense lawyerReceiving a Notice to Appear (NTA) before a U.S. immigration court can be frightening for a non-citizen, because it is the first step in the deportation process, also known as removal proceedings.

Not everyone who receives a Form I-862 NTA will be deported. With the help of an attorney, you may be able to argue that the charges are not serious enough to require removal or that your deportation would create an extreme hardship for a family member who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. There are many other possible defenses as well.

Still, it is important to take an NTA seriously. You must determine exactly what you are charged with and start working on a defense strategy.

New USCIS Policy

In July 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issued an updated policy on NTAs. One goal was to update the list of “high priority” cases which should result in a summons to immigration court. Another goal was to create better alignment among the various agencies involved in U.S. border security, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). USCIS, ICE, and CBP are all authorized to issue NTAs. 

Under the updated policy, USCIS officers will now issue NTAs for a wider range of cases, particularly cases where there is evidence of fraud, criminal activity, or the unlawful presence in the U.S. of someone who has been denied an immigration benefit. 

The updated policy requires an NTA to be issued to a non-citizen who is or has been involved in any of the following: 

  • Actual or suspected acts of terrorism or espionage. These national security concerns have long been a top priority for USCIS.
  • Abuse of public benefits programs, including healthcare, preschool, and food programs. Most federally-funded programs, such as Medicaid and food stamps (SNAP), have required proof of legal immigration status since 1996. Even legal immigrants must have at least five years’ residence in the U.S. to become eligible for many public benefits.
  • Substantiated instances of fraud or misrepresentation. This could include checking “yes” on a government form that asks if you are a U.S. citizen or registering to vote.
  • Criminal conduct, arrest, or conviction. The focus here is on Egregious Public Safety crimes at the felony level, such as sexual assault on a minor, child pornography, human trafficking, and firearms trafficking. 
  • Denial of an Application for Naturalization, Form N-400, on moral character grounds related to a criminal offense.
  • Unlawful presence in the U.S. following denial of an application or petition for immigration. 

Call a Stamford, CT Deportation Defense Lawyer 

If you have been served with a Notice to Appear, a New Canaan immigration attorney can help you understand what has happened, prepare arguments on your behalf, and defend you in immigration court. Attorney Hector Gonzalez-Velez knows how important it is to avoid deportation. He will do everything in his power to help your family stay together in the U.S. Contact Gonzalez Law Office, LLC at 203-323-1440 to schedule an appointment.





Fairfield County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut American Immigration Lawyers Association
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