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:


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.


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 deport