Application for asylum to USA concept with application form

Possible Deportation Defense Strategies in a Removal Proceeding

Navigating the complex landscape of deportation, also known as removal proceedings, can be a daunting experience for any individual facing the possibility of being expelled from the United States. However, understanding the possible defenses available can provide hope and a roadmap to remaining in the country.

Here are some key strategies that individuals and their legal representatives can consider when facing deportation.

1. Asylum and Refugee Status

One of the most common defenses against deportation is seeking asylum or refugee status. This defense applies to individuals who fear persecution in their home country based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

To qualify for asylum, one must demonstrate that they have a well-founded fear of persecution if they return to their home country. It's crucial to provide compelling evidence and personal testimony to support this claim.

2. Cancellation of Removal

Cancellation of removal is another defense strategy that allows certain non-citizens to apply for permanent residency. There are two types of cancellation or removal:

  • For Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs): LPRs must show that they have been lawful residents for at least five years, have continuously lived in the U.S. for seven years after being admitted, and have not been convicted of an aggravated felony.
  • For Non-Lawful Permanent Residents: These individuals must demonstrate ten years of continuous physical presence in the U.S., good moral character, and that their removal would cause exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a U.S. citizen or LPR spouse, parent, or child.

3. Adjustment of Status

If they meet certain criteria, individuals may be eligible to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident. This is typically done through family-based petitions, employment-based petitions, or other special programs such as the Diversity Visa Lottery. Ensuring that all necessary paperwork is filed correctly and timely is essential.

4. Waivers of Inadmissibility

Certain grounds of inadmissibility, such as fraud, criminal convictions, or unlawful presence, can be waived under U.S. immigration law. For example, a 212(h) waiver may be available for some criminal convictions, while a 601 waiver can be sought for certain grounds of inadmissibility related to health or crimes.

5. Voluntary Departure

In some cases, an individual may seek voluntary departure instead of deportation. This allows the person to leave the U.S. on their own accord without a formal removal order, making it easier to return legally in the future.

However, this option requires the individual to meet specific criteria and is generally only advisable when no other defenses are available.

6. Prosecutorial Discretion

Prosecutorial discretion involves requesting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to exercise their discretion in favor of the individual. This could include decisions not to pursue deportation, to terminate proceedings, or to grant deferred action.

Factors considered include the individual’s ties to the community, family relationships, and humanitarian considerations.

7. U Visas and T Visas

Victims of certain crimes, including domestic violence, human trafficking, and other serious offenses, may be eligible for U Visas or T Visas. These visas not only provide protection from deportation but also offer a pathway to permanent residency after a few years in U status.

Consult an Immigration Attorney Today

Facing deportation is a stressful and challenging situation, but understanding the various defense strategies can provide a glimmer of hope. Each case is unique, so it is crucial to consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can tailor a defense strategy specific to your circumstances.

Reach out to Sarpa Law today at (503) 755-5587 to learn more.