Saturday, December 14, 2013

Aggravated Felonies in Removal Proceedings - Left with (almost) no relief

I recently spoke to a detained non-citizen who is being charged with removability from the United States in the Batavia Immigration Court at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility. He is charged on his "Notice to Appear" with having been convicted of an Aggravated Felony and therefore, he is removable from the United States.

So, what exactly is an Aggravated Felony?

It neither has to be a felony, nor does it have to be particularly "aggravated." It is a statutory definition that contains some serious crimes including murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, and drug trafficking crimes. It also contains some less serious crimes such as bribery, forgery or counterfeiting, or even failing to appear for sentencing. An “aggravated felony” is essentially any crime that Congress decided to label as such.

Non-citizens who have been convicted of "aggravated felonies" can be deported potentially without a removal hearing, can be held under "mandatory detention" with no bond while they wait for their case to be decided, are ineligible for asylum, cancellation of removal, or certain waivers of inadmissibility, and are ineligible for voluntary departure. They are also subject to a lifetime ban from re-entering the U.S. after deportation.

The only hope for someone convicted of an aggravated felony is to 1) use post-conviction relief to vacate the conviction and try to minimize the immigration impact of any new conviction, or 2) to apply for withholding of removal, if your home country's conditions are severe enough to make a case.

If you or a loved one has been convicted of an aggravated felony and are currently in removal proceedings, please call Mr. Borowski at 716-418-7431 to discuss your situation. Mr. Borowski represents clients in the Buffalo Immigration Court, Batavia Immigration Court and can handle cases for detained immigrants being held in the Pike County Prison in Pennsylvania, Moshannon Valley Correctional Center in Philipsburg, PA, York County Prison in York, PA, Lackawanna County Prison in Pennsylvania, Clinton County Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania, Orange County Correctional Facility in Goshen, New York.  Mr. Borowski is also able to handle removal cases in Ohio and Michigan.


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