What Are the Most Common Defenses in Deportation Proceedings?

What Are the Most Common Defenses in Deportation Proceedings?


Few things cause as much stress for any immigrant as finding out that they’ve been targeted for deportation. Yet the news is not all bad.

In most cases, deportation proceedings will not happen instantly. You have time to contact an immigration attorney who can begin launching a cancellation of removal case on your behalf.

There are four defenses that the attorney can bring on your behalf.

For Non-Lawful Permanent Residents

This defense works if you are an undocumented resident who can meet one of four criteria.

  • You’ve lived in the United States continuously, meaning you’ve been physically present, for ten or more years. 
  • You’ve demonstrated “good moral character.” This can mean, among other things, that you have not been convicted of any crimes.
  • Your spouse, parent, or child is a United States citizen and lives here in the United States.
  • Your spouse, parent, or child has suffered or will suffer extreme or unusual hardship if you are forced to leave the country.

Note that the “extreme hardship” standard is not an easy standard to meet. You will have to provide the court with a great deal of proof. However, if your attorney can successfully make your case for you then you’ll win the right to stay in the country permanently. You’ll be granted a green card and your status should never come into question again. 

You Have a Petitioner

If your spouse is a United States citizen, your parent is, or you have a child over the age of 21 who is, then any of these people may be able to petition for an adjustment of status on your behalf. 

The adjustment of status process works much the same way as it would have worked if you’d tried to apply for a green card through a sponsor in the first place. Your family will fill out form I-130, the Petition for an Alien Relative.

You’re the Victim of a Certain Type of Crime

Victims of a long list of serious crimes may be eligible for U-1 nonimmigrant status, which can be transformed into a green card after 3 years of living in the United States in good standing.

You can find the list of qualifying criminal activities here.

To receive the visa you must generally cooperate with authorities to help them investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of the crime.

You’re Seeking Asylum

You can use an application for asylum as a defense against removal if you can prove that you’ve been persecuted for your race, political opinion, religion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group.

You’ll have to prove you’ve been persecuted in the past and prove that you have good reason to prove future persecution. Still, if your defense is successful you can get both a work permit and a green card.

There is hope, if you get the right attorney.

The moment you are in danger of getting deported you need to reach out to an experienced immigration attorney. 

Contact John Hykel Law to get help today.

See also:

Why an Immigration Attorney Is Your Best Bet

What to Do if ICE Shows Up at Your House

Challenging Credible Fear Interview and Bond Hearing Delays

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