It seems as though the federal government hands down new rules each month regarding immigrants. At first, the rules pertained to undocumented immigrants, but now, they even include those who legally reside in the United States, many of whom live here in Kentucky.
On Oct. 1, a new rule went into effect that allows the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to issue Notices to Appear to immigrants legally in the country believed to be abusing the benefits available to them. As most people know, an NTA most often initiates deportation proceedings. So, under what circumstances could you find yourself facing deportation as it pertains to federal or state benefits?
Cases that apply to this new rule
USCIS maintains that its priority is to identify and deport individuals with criminal records who present national security concerns or perpetrate some sort of fraud against the federal government. Even so, that does not mean that you will not be sent an NTA under one of the following circumstances:
- If you received a denial of a petition or application that removes your legal status
- If USCIS claims it can substantiate that you perpetrated fraud or falsely represented yourself or some information you provided
- If a criminal offense led to a denial of your Application for Naturalization based on the good moral character requirement
- If USCIS believes you abused a public benefit available to you
- If USCIS accuses you of serious criminal conduct and refers your case to ICE without an NTA or an adjudication of your pending request for a benefit
- If you stand accused or convicted of a crime regardless of whether it led to a denial
The rule bolsters the desire of the Department of Homeland Security's contention that if you receive certain public benefits, you should not receive a green card or permanent residence. If you receive an NTA based on this rule, you may want to prepare to face deportation proceedings. Appearing before an immigration court can be a frightening experience for immigrants these days.
Use every tool available to you
Since it no longer matters whether you reside in the country legally, you cannot simply assure the court that all of your paperwork is in order anymore. You may find yourself fighting to remain in the country at all. You might increase your chances of rectifying the situation and remaining in Kentucky with a legal advocate by your side.