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NPZ Immigration Law Blog

Thursday, April 13, 2017

THERE HAS BEEN A RECENT INCREASE IN IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS: What Defenses Are Available to Persons Facing Deportation?

Deportation proceedings, now referred to as Removal Proceedings, can be frightening. Your entire future in the United States is on the line. If you are the breadwinner of your family, you have more at stake: the stability and safety of your family. Once deported or removed from the U.S., it is usually very difficult to return to the United States legally. This does not have to be your fate.

There are several defenses available to permanent residents, documented and undocumented immigrants facing removal and/or deportation before an immigration judge who is appointed to serve as a head of a tribunal run by the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) commonly called “Immigration Court”. Enlisting the assistance of an Immigration and Nationality Lawyer or Attorney who is specialized in removal and/or deportation proceedings can mean the difference between staying in the US or being permanently removed.

Who Faces Removal or Deportation?

Many people don’t realize how easy it is to be the subject of deportation or removal proceedings. In fact, what many people may think is “just a misdemeanor” or “just an infraction” can actually harm your US residency. Even a conviction that occurred many years ago or one for which you were put on probation can impact your US residency.

Lawful permanent residents can be removed if they are found guilty and convicted of one or more serious offenses such as drug offenses, sex offenses, theft, fraud, aggravated felony or battery. If you have any criminal actions that were brought against you it is “critical” that you seek the opinion of a qualified immigration and nationality lawyer so that you can completely understand the impact of the conviction on you u.s. immigration law status.

Temporary visa holders may be subject to removal or deportation if they violate the terms of their visa, engage in unauthorized employment, overstay their visa, are convicted of a criminal offense or commit fraud. It is important for foreign nationals who have been convicted to understand the impact of a crime because some crimes make an individual “inadmissible” and others make an individual “removable” or “deportable”.

Are There any Defenses To Deportation or Removal?

If you have received a Notice to Appear (NTA) from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and you are facing deportation or removal proceedings, the first thing you should do is consult a qualified immigration law attorney to represent you in your case. The earlier you do so the better. In some cases, the immediate assertion of strong defenses may help to quickly resolve the case.

If you are appearing before an immigration court, there may be some advantages to denying all factual allegations and charges of removability. It is important to note that it is the burden of the DHS to prove that you are removable. Even if you are indeed removable, the DHS may have provided you with a defective charging document, charged you for the wrong reasons or they may not have all the evidence required to support a removal.

If the DHS ultimately proves that an individual who has been served with the NTA should be removed, the individual who has been served with the NTA may still have a number of options. These include, but are not limited to:

• THE DEFENSE OF ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS.

This involves changing your status to that of a lawful permanent resident or green card holder. This petition can be brought by a family member or by an employer. It is usually available to people who came into the country legally but there are exceptions for non-legal entry.

• THE DEFENSE OF CANCELLATION OF REMOVAL.

Cancellation of Removal is available to permanent residents who can prove US residency for more than seven years. It is also available to non-permanent residents who can prove they have lived in the country for more than 10 years and their removal or deportation would cause undue hardship to a spouse, child or parent who is a US citizen.

• THE DEFENSE OF ASYLUM.

Available to “refugees” who can prove they will be persecuted if they are returned to their home country. Oftentimes cases before the EOIR began with affirmative claims before the Asylum Office that were subsequently denied and later can be renewed before the Immigration Judge. This qualifies them for legal status in the US.

• THE DEFENSE OF PROTECTION AGAINST TORTURE (TORTUNE CONVENTION).

This defense may be available to persons who prove they will probably be tortured by their home country government if they are returned.

• THE DEFENSE OF CANCELLATION UNDER VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT (VAWA).

This defense may be available to persons who have been in the US for more than three years and can show they were battered or subjected to cruelty by a relative or spouse who is a US citizen or permanent resident. Please note that applications for this benefit can also be affirmatively made to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.

• THE DEFENSE OF WITHHOLDING OF REMOVAL.

This defense may be available to foreign nationals who face persecution in their home countries based on race, sex, religion or political beliefs.

• THE DEFENSE OF PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION.

The government attorney may be requested to exercise his/her discretion to close a removal case. However, the elements of a claim for Prosecutorial Discretion (PD) have been under fire by the Trump Administration and have been allegedly suspended.

• THE DEFENSE OF DEFERRED ACTION.

This defense may be available to people who were brought into the country as children, studied in the country and have not lived in any other country much. This benefit is referred to as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA. It was implemented by the Obama Administration as a form of Deferred Action to Protect “Dreamers” and others.

There are other defenses available for which you may qualify. Our immigration and nationality lawyers and attorneys continue to find that people who do not consult with immigration law professionals who know about many of the referenced options do not find options to remain in the u.s. and to recognize their “American dream”. Do not be one of the people who does not ask the right immigration law questions. And while you may think that no options may exist for u.s. immigration remember that the NPZ Law Group continues to be pleased to offer Canadian Immigration Law options by the Canadian Immigration Lawyer who is in our office in Ridgewood, New Jersey.


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National in scope, the business immigration law firm of NPZ Law Group represents clients from throughout the United States and around world. Regionally, our attorneys remain committed to serving the immigration needs of businesses in the Tri-state area and the Hudson Valley, including residents of Ridgewood, Newark, and Jersey City, Burlington County, Bergen County, Camden County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Hudson County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Passaic County, Salem County, Union County, northern New Jersey, southern New Jersey, central New Jersey, NJ; New York City, Rockland County, Orange County, Westchester County, Kings County, Sullivan County, Ulster County, New York, NY; Chicago, Illinois, IL; and Toronto and Montreal, Canada. Our nationwide practice focused on quality legal representation and personal service.



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