Deportation Defense & Immigration Court Appeals
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Deportation and Removal Proceedings
Immigration violations, as well as criminal convictions, can result in the initiation of deportation or removal proceedings. Deportation and exclusion proceedings have been combined into a single proceeding called a "removal" proceeding. There are five broad categories or grounds for deportation. They include:
- Entering the country without proper authority
- Status violators who violate the terms of their admission or work without permission
- Persons with a broad range of criminal convictions
- Persons who are members of certain prohibited organizations
- Certain people who become public charges within five years of entering the U.S.
- People whose asylum applications have been denied or referred to an Immigration Judge. Aliens subject to deportation, removal or exclusion can seek relief or protection through a number of forms of relief including asylum, withholding of removal, adjustment of status, cancellation of removal, suspension of deportation, voluntary departure and waivers of inadmissibility.
If an alien is detained by Immigration & Customs Enforcement a request for a Bond Hearing can be made with an Immigration Judge so long as the alien is not subject to mandatory detention.
Relief from Removal
The following are the most common forms of relief available to an Alien in Removal Proceedings.
- Asylum/Withholding of Removal/Relief under Convention Against Torture
- Adjustment of Status
- Cancellation of Removal
- Voluntary Departure
- Waivers of Inadmissibility
Aliens can seek asylum within the United States if they meet the following requirements:
- They have a well founded fear of persecution in their country of origin on account of race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinion
- They meet the legal definition of "refugee"
- They have not been convicted of an aggravated felony
- Even if an alien has a criminal conviction, the alien can apply for withholding of removal or seek protection under Article 3 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
Aliens who are admitted and inspected or paroled into the United States may apply to adjust their status to permanent residence. Granting the adjustment is discretionary, and the application must be made to the immigration judge if removal proceedings have already begun.
Cancellation of Removal
Aliens who are lawful permanent residents or nonpermanent residents and who are subject to removal may apply for cancellation of removal so long as certain eligibility requirements are met. The relief is discretionary. If relief is granted, the removal order will not be effective and the alien will henceforth be a lawful permanent resident.
Suspension of Deportation
A suspension of deportation is similar to the cancellation of removal and applies only to aliens who apply under § 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) or under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA). If the relief is granted, the alien's status is changed to that of lawful permanent resident.
Eligible aliens subject to removal may request voluntary departure in order to avoid the restrictions to reentry that apply under formal removal or deportation orders. Voluntary departure must be requested during initial removal proceedings. The failure to depart voluntarily within the time allowed will subject the alien to severe penalties.
Waivers of Inadmissibility
Aliens subject to removal under grounds of inadmissibility may request a waiver in most circumstances. Many waivers are limited to a single ground of inadmissibility. Where a waiver is permitted, the alien must meet the eligibility requirements for each ground of inadmissibility.