Unfortunately, many individuals that are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Maryland do not have legal representation. Immigrants that are not U.S. citizens can face deportation proceedings for committing minor crimes or traffic violations, even if the individual holds a visa or green card. It is imperative for such individuals to retain an experienced immigration attorney that will fight deportation proceedings.
However, it is not just individuals that do not have citizenship that can face deportation proceedings. It is a frightening reality that wrongful detention and deportation can happen to individuals that are citizens. One man born in the U.S. that has cognitive disabilities was detained by ICE officials, and then deported to Mexico.
The man did not speak Spanish, nor did he have any Mexican heritage. Eventually an attorney and the man’s family were able to get the man back to the U.S., and the man has been awarded monetary damages. However, particularly for individuals that have disabilities and are unable to accurately represent themselves, facing deportation proceedings without an attorney can be detrimental, even if the individual is a citizen.
A class-action ruling recently handed down a judgment that says that individuals with cognitive disabilities facing deportation should be appointed legal representation, but this only impacts three states, which do not include Maryland.
ICE officials can make mistakes. It is imperative for an individual facing deportation proceedings to seek experienced legal counsel to ensure that such mistakes do not result in the individual being ripped away from their family and sent away from the country.
Source: American Civil Liberties Union News and Information, “Yes, the U.S. Wrongfully Deports Its Own Citizens,” Esha Bhandari, April 25, 2013