DEPORTATION AND REMOVAL DEFENSE

Leveraging our wide-ranging experience representing our clients before U.S. Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), and the Federal Courts, we have compiled an impressive track record for our clients and their families. Litigation strategy requires a thorough knowledge of statutory and regulatory law, leading precedent, and practical knowledge of how the system works. By optimizing our performance in each of these areas and emphasizing individualized analysis of the facts and circumstances of your case, we have managed to keep families together and to save our clients from untold hardship. We have prevented deportation and earned permanent residence for innumerable clients under the most dire of circumstances. Having defeated the Government on countless occasions, you can trust us to meticulously care for your case.
Notice to Appear
Deportation proceedings are initiated through the issuance of a Notice to Appear (“NTA”), which is the charging document that provides the alleged ground of deportability. Upon receipt of the NTA, the immigrant will be scheduled to appear in Immigration Court on the date specified on the NTA or at a date to be determined in the future. (link)
Release on Bond
Unless subject to mandatory detention, after being placed in detention by immigration authorities the Immigration Judge has broad discretion to either: (1) continue to detain a deportable immigrant, or (2) release the immigrant on bond of at least $1,500. The two central factors judges use to determine if release is warranted and what amount of bond to set are: (1) whether the immigrant is a “flight-risk” or the risk of the immigrant’s failure to appear at future hearings, and (2) whether the immigrant presents a “danger” to the community. While seemingly simple, there are many considerations in making these determinations which requires considerable evidence such as evidence of stable residence and employment, familial ties, likelihood of relief from removal, past criminality, etc. (link)
Adjustment of Status
Immigrants that are placed in removal proceedings may remain eligible to adjust status in the United States before the Immigration Court. Eligibility often arises where the immigrant entered the U.S. with a visa and is now married to a U.S. citizen. Waivers of inadmissibility (crime or immigration fraud) may also be considered by the Immigration Court. (link)
Cancellation of Removal for Lawful Permanent Residents
Lawful permanent residents (LPR) in removal proceedings may be eligible to have removal proceedings cancelled as a matter of discretion if they meet the following criteria:
  • Must have continuously resided in United States for 7 years after admission in any status before you being served the Notice to Appear or committed an offense that subjects the immigrant to deportation
  • Been an LPR for 5 years, and
  • Cannot have previously received this or similar relief under the INA, cannot have been convicted of an “aggravated felony,” and cannot be a security risk the United States
(link)
Cancellation of Removal and Adjustment of Status for Non-Permanent Residents
Certain undocumented immigrants can become U.S. permanent residents (obtain a green card) through removal proceedings if they can establish that their departure from the U.S. would result in “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to close family members that are either U.S. citizens or green card holders. The requirements are as follows:
  • Must establish physical presence in the United States for a continuous period of not less than 10 years immediately preceding service of the charging document (NTA) and up to the time of application;
  • Must be a person of good moral character for the 10 year period
  • Cannot have been convicted of an offense under certain specified sections of the INA, and
  • Must show that removal will result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the applicant's spouse, parent, or child, who is a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident
(link)
Asylum and related relief
Individuals fear persecution or serious bodily harm may be able to obtain relief from removal or apply affirmatively with immigration for protection from deportation. Immigrants may qualify for asylum or withholding of removal if they suffered persecution in the past or fear that they will suffer persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group and/or political opinion. Further, immigrants may be protected from deportation to a country where they are more likely than not to face torture. Torture is defined, in part, as severe pain or suffering (physical or mental) that is intentionally inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. Asylum, withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) is one of the most complex areas of immigration law, requiring analysis of the basis of the asserted claim, the potential application several bars and then the development of a record which corroborates the claim. (link)
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Periodically due to serious humanitarian crises such as conflicts, environmental disasters and other extraordinary conditions, foreign countries will be designated for TPS. Citizens of that country and certain stateless immigrants who last resided in the designated country may be granted TPS. TPS prevents deportation and provides beneficiaries with the opportunity to apply for work and travel authorization. The initial TPS period is between 6 and 18 months, but can be extended if immigration authorities determine that country conditions warrant it. Those seeking TPS must make their applications during specified periods as late registration is often difficult or impossible. (link)
Prosecutorial Discretion and Administrative Closure
Under certain circumstances where there is no clear relief from deportation, immigrants are able to obtain the favorable exercise of the immigration prosecutor’s (Office of Chief Counsel’s) discretion. Serious medical issues, considerable family ties, past criminality or a lack thereof, stable employment, history of tax payment, hardship and a variety of other factors may be considered by the prosecutor’s office. If they agree, the case will be administratively closed and can be reopened on the court, the prosecutor or the immigrant’s own motion. (link)
Motions to Reopen and Reconsider
After being ordered deported, immigrants may be able to have their removal proceedings reopened or reconsidered if circumstances have changed or there has been prejudicial legal error in the proceedings. There are tight deadlines for these motions requiring careful consideration and prompt action in filing the motions to the proper court. Further, untimely motions to reopen may be considered on the court’s own motion or with the agreement of the prosecutor’s office (Office of the Chief Counsel). In the latter cases, changed circumstances such as marriage to a U.S. citizen, the birth of U.S. citizen children and other circumstances must be demonstrated along with attendant hardship for these individuals upon the immigrant’s removal. (link)
Appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)
After an order of deportation from the Immigration Court has been entered, an intending immigrant may appeal that decision to the BIA within 30 days of the judge’s decision. Briefing will later be scheduled and in rare instances an oral argument will occur before the BIA. As this is the final administrative review of your requested relief from removal, it requires the utmost care in identifying legal basis for the appeal, making timely and appropriate filings with a convincing argument supported by the record. (link)
Petition for Review
When the Board of Immigration Appeals issues a final order of removal, the case may be reviewed in Federal Circuit Court through the filing of a Petition for Review. The Petition for Review must be filed within 30 days of the final order of removal. There are only certain legal basis for federal court review, requiring careful analysis attention to filing deadlines and convincing arguments in briefs and oral arguments before the court. This represents the highest level and most difficult litigation in the immigration law field. (link)
Stay of Removal
Deportation will not be automatically stayed (delayed) through the filing of a Petition for Review. Instead, a separate filing must be made requesting a stay while the federal court litigation is ongoing. To earn a stay it must be demonstrated to the Court that the immigrant is likely to prevail on their appeal. This requires an extensive legal argument. (link)