Lawful Permanent Residents can have their green cards confiscated and be referred to Immigration Court for Removal/Deportation for commission of a crime.
This issue arises when an LPR travels outside the U.S. and seeks reentry; applies for an new benefit such as Naturalization; or is arrested and ICE looks at his or her past criminal records.
Illegal Aliens, those who have entered without inspection, EWI’s and those who are on visa overstays can be detained by ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS, Dept. of Homeland Security or local police. Unless one has U.S. citizen family members and has been continuously present in the U.S. for 10 years or more, they have no legal remedy to fight removal from the United States. A deportation can be for up to 10 years.
The role of an Immigration lawyer who also has experience in criminal defense is to identify a relief form deportation or removal, obtain a bond, attend an immigration court master/bond hearing and attempt to keep the person in the U.S. as long as necessary to defend their permanent residence or deportation. Often the lawyer must seek a dismissal of an old criminal conviction or arrest prior to filing a petition or waiver to allow a person to remain in the U.S.
The primary remedy to prevent deportation is cancellation of removal. Since these cases are so difficult to win: “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to qualifying relatives, the only remedy to obtaining permanent residence is thru an I 601 waiver of inadmissibility.