The criminal justice system in the United States is intended to deter individuals from engaging in dangerous and socially detrimental behavior and to punish those who do break the law. When a citizen of the country breaks a criminal law, they may be subject to trial and punishment based on what they allegedly did. States like Kentucky have criminal laws on their books; federal criminal laws also exist.
Deportation and removal are serious legal proceedings that come from an extensive body of immigration law. When a person has been determined to be in the United States illegally, they may be removed and sent back to their country of citizenship. Individuals living in Kentucky and who fear that they may be subject to removal proceedings should know that certain remedies may be available to them to stop the removal process.
Individuals who live in the United States for at least one year and who do not have legal status in the country may be deported. Upon their deportation they may be subject to a 10-year ban on re-entry and may only then, after a decade has passed, apply for legal status to come back. Individuals in Kentucky who fear deportation and the 10-year ban may be eligible for a 601 waiver, which allows a person to adjust their legal status when they would face an extreme hardship if they were deported.
There are different paths that individuals may take to be granted legal status in the United States and it is important that they seek legal counsel to understand their rights and opportunities for pursuing these options. One way that a person may try to solidify their status in the country is through seeking asylum. Asylum can be granted to a person if they can prove that they have been persecuted in their homeland and that their safety is threatened. Asylum may be sought by individuals who have reached U.S. soil.
A matter of weeks ago, President Donald Trump announced that federal government officials would step up efforts to expedite the deportation of thousands of individuals who have been alleged to be living in the United States illegally. The federal government has worked to pass legislation to improve conditions for men, women and children who cross the United States border for entry into the country, but as of this week President Trump plans to move ahead with the plan to execute mass deportations.
The men and women who serve in the United States military dedicate their lives to ensuring that the rest of their compatriots are safe and secure. Throughout Kentucky countless individuals have left their families to travel great distances in an effort to protect the nation and its people. What readers may not know is that not all of those who have served have been citizens of this country.
Sometimes mistakes are made, and a non-citizen in Kentucky or elsewhere in the nation commits a crime. However, particularly if the crime they are convicted of is a felony (or even certain misdemeanors), the consequences could go far beyond the fines and jail time that citizens would expect -- the person may face deportation and removal. Whether this happens depends on the person's status, what crime was committed and the specific facts of the person's case.
Undocumented immigrants in Kentucky and elsewhere are at constant risk of being caught and deported. However, the deportation and removal process can require a lengthy detention period and the immigrant will not get to choose where in their home country they will be deported. Moreover, it may be years before they can reapply to enter the U.S. As recent numbers show, many immigrants in such situations are choosing to voluntarily leave the country.
Is it lawful for the government to detain immigrants who have committed a crime without a bond hearing, even if the immigrant is in the country lawfully? And if so, when should the government be able to detain these individuals? These issues went before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Court's ruling could have a significant effect on some immigrants who are facing deportation and removal after having committed a crime.
Should an immigrant who has been convicted of a crime and served their sentence be forced to face the possibility of deportation at any point following his or her release from incarceration? This question on deportation and removal was recently argued in the U.S. Supreme Court.