Going through proceedings in Immigration Court can be a very difficult, complicated, and stressful process, not only for you, but for your whole family as well. Especially since no two situations are exactly the same, developing a removal defense against deportation is very fact specific to your particular situation and history.
Don’t wait until the last minute to consult with an immigration lawyer if you are in removal proceedings in Immigration Court. In addition to investigating your case in detail and discussing what options may be available to you, there is a lot of preparation and paperwork to be filed with the Immigration Court.
Removal defense is a very complicated process that a good immigration lawyer can help you get through.
Below are some of the strategies that a lawyer can pursue in order to stop your deportation, and in some cases, to get a green card or become a citizen. This is just an example of some strategies your lawyer might follow in Immigration Court on your behalf, and there is no guarantee that each of the following will apply to your particular situation. Often times, the case will require a full trial before an Immigration Judge!
- If you are detained in jail, a lawyer can try to get you released on bond, supervision, or own recognizance, if you are eligible.
- Your lawyer may be able to show that the United States was wrong to initiate removal proceedings–basically, that they have no grounds to deport you. Depending on the particular law that the charge of removability against you is based on, your lawyer may be able to show that you were charged by the government for the wrong reasons, or that they don’t have the correct paperwork to prove the charges to deport you. If successful, the lawyer can ask the judge to dismiss the case.
- Similarly, the government will not be able to sustain its case if they obtained the evidence against you unlawfully. Based on the Constitution and other due process grounds, your lawyer can file a motion to suppress the evidence in your case.
- If you have a very sympathetic case with overwhelming positive equities–due to your situation or your family’s situation–you may be able to request a favorable exercise of “prosecutorial discretion” from the government. Then, your case can be terminated or administratively closed.
- Your lawyer may be able to show that you would be persecuted or tortured by your home country’s government if you are forced to return, based on past persecution or a credible fear of future persecution. Your lawyer can help you ask the judge for a grant of political asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture. If granted, you will be allowed to stay, obtain employment authorization, or in some cases, become a permanent resident in the future.
- Your lawyer will be able to discuss and identify what other types of relief to removal that you will be eligible to pursue, and the strategies for presenting an effective case. Some examples of relief may be: adjustment of status (obtaining permanent residency), naturalization (obtaining U.S. citizenship), refiling of a denied petition, post-conviction relief, cancellation of removal, administrative closure, suspension of deportation, or voluntary departure. Immigration waivers are often submitted in the course of the proceedings as well.
You may be deported right away if you have a prior removal order, unless you take immediate action.
If you got a removal order or a grant of voluntary departure in the past but failed to depart, you may be deported right away when the government executes the removal order.
Sometimes, you may not know that you even had a removal order because you missed your court date, or you misunderstood what was going on in court. In cases like these, your lawyer may be able to file an application for the government to stay the removal or deportation. In many cases, the lawyer may reopen the prior proceedings in Immigration Court and seek a new form of relief on your behalf.