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Will I Be Deported if Someone Reports Me to Immigration?

Corbaci Law, P.C. April 12, 2023

Book with words Immigration Law and glassesMassachusetts is a vibrant, welcoming state. According to the latest data, roughly one in every six (17.6%) Massachusetts resident is foreign-born. With such a diverse population come issues related to immigration. That is why newcomers must get the support they need, when they need it. 

At Corbaci Law, P.C., we focus on helping newcomers understand their rights under immigration law. We know what it’s like to be an immigrant, too. Our mission is to go the extra mile to help clients in Woburn, Massachusetts protect their rights. We proudly help our Boston, Marlborough, and Framingham clients deal with complaints and deportation matters with skilled legal counsel and experience. 

Understanding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

One of the first questions our clients ask is, “What is ICE?” After all, many folks shudder at the sounds of the word “ICE.”  

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a federal law enforcement agency in the United States responsible for enforcing immigration and customs laws. ICE is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and was established in 2003 as a result of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. 

The main mission of ICE is to identify, investigate, and remove undocumented immigrants from the United States and prevent the illegal movement of goods across U.S. borders. The agency has two main components: Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). ERO is responsible for identifying, apprehending, and removing folks crossing the border from the United States. HSI handles the illegal movement of goods (i.e., drugs and weapons) across the border. 

Please bear in mind that not all immigration cases are handled equally. Immigration complaints and deportation are handled under “prosecutorial discretion.” Prosecutorial discretion in immigration cases refers to the authority of immigration officials and prosecutors to make decisions about how to prioritize and allocate resources for immigration enforcement and removal proceedings. This discretion includes deciding which cases to pursue, which individuals to detain, and whether to initiate removal proceedings or grant relief from deportation. 

The exercise of prosecutorial discretion in immigration cases is often based on various factors, such as: 

  • the individual’s criminal history 

  • ties to the community 

  • family circumstances 

  • whether the individual poses a threat to national security or public safety  

This approach is intended to help prioritize resources and focus on those individuals who pose the greatest risk to the United States. Therefore, charged individuals need to demonstrate why they belong in their communities, effectively nulling the reasons for possible deportation. 

What to Do If ICE Approaches You

If an ICE agent approaches an individual, it is important to remember that they have certain rights, regardless of immigration status. Here are some things folks can do to protect themselves: 

  • Remain calm and do not run away or resist. Doing so could escalate the situation and make it more difficult. 

  • Ask the ICE agent if they have a warrant signed by a judge. If they do not have a warrant, no one is required to open the door or speak with them. 

  • If the ICE agent has a warrant, ask to see it before interacting with them. Make sure a judge signs the warrant, has your correct name and address, and authorizes the agent to search the premises or carry out an arrest. 

  • Everyone has the right to remain silent. They do not have to answer questions about their immigration status, birthplace, or how they entered the country. Folks can simply say, “I choose to remain silent.” 

  • Individuals have the right to speak to an attorney. They can tell the ICE agent the attorney’s name and phone number if they have an attorney. If they do not have an attorney, they can ask for a list of pro bono legal service providers or contact a trusted immigration lawyer. 

  • People have the right to refuse to sign any documents without first speaking to an attorney. 

  • In case of arrest, they have the right to contact their respective consulate or embassy

Above all, charged individuals should contact a professional immigration attorney to get the right legal counsel and representation when needed. 

Appealing a Deportation Order in Massachusetts

People facing deportation from Massachusetts may be able to appeal their deportation order by taking the following steps: 

  • Filing a Notice of Appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) within 30 days of the date of the deportation order. 

  • Filing a brief with the BIA explaining why the deportation order should be overturned. The brief should include legal arguments and any evidence that supports the case. 

  • Once your brief is filed, the BIA will schedule a hearing to review the case. At the hearing, charged individuals will have the opportunity to argue their case and present evidence. 

  • It is highly recommended to seek the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney when appealing a deportation order. An immigration lawyer can help navigate the complex legal process and increase the chances of success. 

Other relief forms may include adjustment of status, asylum, or the order’s cancelation. An experienced immigration attorney can help determine whether these options are feasible. 

Hiring a Strong and Reliable Attorney for Help 

At Corbaci Law, P.C., we fight for everyone’s rights. We don’t back down until we get the job done. Call today to speak with a professional immigration attorney that’s got your back. Don’t delay. The clock is ticking!