Administrative Removal can be used to obtain an order of removal against almost any non-citizen, non-lawful permanent resident who has been convicted of an aggravated felony. Administrative removal can even be used against a condition lawful permanent resident, unless and until that person has the conditions of their permanent residency removed.
The administrative removal process almost always takes place without an Immigration Judge. If an Immigration Officer, who works for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), believes that you qualify for administrative removal, then you will likely be detained and receive an order of removal without ever seeing an Immigration Judge.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently issued a publish decision regarding administrative removal in the case of Malu v. U.S. Att’y Gen., 2014 WL 4073115. In that case, a non-citizen was subjected to administrative removal after ICE officers determined that she was an aggravated felon and she was not a lawful permanent resident. ICE issued an order of removal against Ms. Malu, and she petitioned to the Court of Appeals saying that she was not an aggravated felon.
The U.S. Court of Appeals denied her petition (in part) because she failed to contest her aggravated felony designation with the ICE officers during her initial administrative removal processing. The Court determined that unless she made the argument at the initial stages of the administrative removal process, she waived her right to make that argument in the future.
It is important to remember that whether you are detained or not, your ability to defend yourself against administrative removal is limited by time and the law. Your possibilities for relief from removal are limited, however it is possible that you are eligible for asylum, withholding of removal or protection under Article III of the Convention Against Torture.
If immigration officers serve you with papers saying that you are an aggravated felon and are subject to administrative removal you should contact an experienced immigration attorney immediately to discuss your options.
If you have a fear of returning to your country of citizenship or last habitual residence, it is important to tell this to the immigration officers immediately and tell every immigration officer you speak to that you have a fear of persecution or torture upon removal. Immigration officers will either refer your case to an asylum officer, or send you to see an Immigration Judge to discuss your fear.
If you believe that you are not an aggravated felon, or that you are a lawful permanent resident, or a U.S. citizen, tell the ICE officers immediately and often.
The experienced immigration attorneys at Shorstein, Lasnetski and Gihon can try to help you defend against any method of removal that ICE uses against you, call us today.