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Undocumented Immigrants and the Cost Of Deportation

illegal-immigrationSpeaker of the House John Boehner announced this week that there will be no formal talks held this year addressing the immigration reform passed by the Senate over the summer. Under the proposed immigration reform, the Senate bill would tighten border security and provide a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally.

With immigration reform legislation on hold, US criminal policy may have already disqualified thousands of nonviolent deportees.

The US government now brings federal criminal charges against undocumented immigrants at an exponentially higher rate than it did 10 years ago, according to a Human Reports Watch Human Rights Watch released in May of 2013. In addition, the report provides the following statistics:

¨      Between 2002 and 2012, the number of people charged with felony illegal reentry increased fivefold

¨      The number charged with misdemeanor illegal entry annually jumped fifteenfold

¨      Those being charged with crimes now tend to have less serious criminal histories — including 27 percent who have no prior criminal history.

Human Rights Watch argues the federal criminalization of unauthorized immigration carries a huge human and financial cost. Immigrants’ rights groups and aid organizations say an increasing percentage of the border crossers they meet have already been deported at least once, often trying again and again to reunite with families back in the US. Misdemeanor charges quickly escalate to felony charges, which can mean decades in prison for repeat attempts.

Undocumented Immigrants in USA

An “alien” is defined as any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States. It includes both immigrants (Lawful Permanent Residents) and non-immigrants.  An alien is considered “deportable” when the alien is legally present in the United States pursuant to a prior admission.  An alien who seeks entry into the United States or who is already present in the country illegally falls under the general category of “inadmissible.” “Readmissibility” refers to the situation in which the alien leaves the United States and seeks to re-enter. Undocumented immigrant is a foreign-born person who doesn’t have a legal right to be or remain in the United States. An illegal alien is a person who is physically located in a country or area where he or she is not legally permitted to be. People may choose to become illegal aliens when seeking work, fleeing poverty or any other number of reasons. While a tourist without proper clearance can be considered an illegal alien, the term is almost always used for people who intend to work or take up residence in a country. Overstaying a visa often results in fines or other light punitive measures, but is typically not met with the same level of punishment reserved for people with the intent to work or live illegally in the country. In either situation, though, there is a likelihood of deportation.

According to DHS (Department of Homeland Security), there are 10.8 million undocumented immigrants in United States. 8.64 million of those are subject to forcible deportation. 2.16 million is the estimated number of undocumented immigrants that would leave United states before making contact with authorities.

The Cost Of Mass Deportation (5-Year Period)

  • $85 Billion-The cost of continuing enforcement over
  • $200 Billion-Total cost to find, arrest and detain, legally process and transport the undocumented population
  • $285 Billion-Total cost to deport the undocumented immigrant population. The cost also includes continued border interdiction and interior enforcement efforts

Source-American Progress.org

Immigrants Charged With Crime

If you are not a United States citizen, and you are charged with a crime, the immigration consequences of a conviction could prove to be far more severe than the penal consequences.  Because of severe immigration consequences of many criminal convictions or even pleas resulting in dismissal, most jurisdictions recognize that effective criminal defense of a non-citizen often goes well beyond the typical criminal defense.   The effective defense of a non-citizen requires a defense on the criminal charges as well as a defense against possible adverse immigration consequences.

An alien who is arrested or convicted of a crime could be subject to a removal hearing affecting the alien’s right to remain in the United States. A removal hearing is a civil proceeding with two phases.  During the first phase, the court determines whether the alien is deportable/inadmissible.  If so, the court determines during the second phase whether the alien will be granted either relief or protection from removal.

If you are faced with criminal charges and you are not a citizen of the United States, contact a criminal defense attorney notifying him/her of your immigration status at your first consultation meeting.

West Palm Beach Criminal Attorney, Andrew D. Stine, has represented many undocumented or illegal persons in the Federal Courts throughout the District Courts of Florida. Attorney Stine defended one of the first human trafficking cases presented in the Federal Courts of Florida. Under the human trafficking statue Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew D. Stine argued that the accused was not guilty of the criminal act of trafficking in humans; because he was in a familial relationship with the individuals he was accused of transporting from Guatemala to Indiantown, Fl. The sentencing argument was successful and reduced the exposure of imprisonment for the criminal human trafficker by many years. Federal criminal Law is much different than State Law. When you or a loved one is facing issues of deportation because you are in America illegally or undocumented, you best hire a lawyer with Federal Criminal Immigration Law experience. If you do not hire and experienced Federal Criminal immigration Lawyer, like Florida’s Attorney Andrew D. Stine, then not only is deportation a real likelihood but so imprisonment. Hire Stine or do the Time!

Immigration and Criminal Charges in Florida

The law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A. in West Palm Beach, is committed to representing legal and illegal immigrants facing criminal charges and possible deportation. The most important thing in all immigration criminal cases is to act early. Our defense team uses pretrial intervention to prevent a case from going through trial. We negotiate with prosecutors for a reduced sentence and work out deals to have our clients enter programs and complete community service instead of serving time in jail. Being proactive in an immigration criminal case often makes the difference between deportation and remaining in the United States.

Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at 561-832-1170. Se habla español.

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