It is fairly common knowledge that the ruling of a criminal court judge
or a civil court judge can be appealed if the disfavored party thinks
a technical error corrupted the judge’s decision. Does the same
chance to appeal exist within an
immigration law court? If an immigration judge (IJ) has ordered your
removal or deportation, can you appeal to turn that decision around?
When You Can Appeal an IJ’s Ruling
In most immigration law cases, you actually can file for an appeal against
the immigration judge’s ruling, even if your time in the country
is literally running out. You cannot appeal if you already waived your
right to file for an appeal – read all of your court documents carefully
before signing anything – or if the window to file expires; you
may have also been coerced into waiving your appeal if you verbally agreed
that the judge’s ruling was “final” while still standing
in the courtroom. Since a deportation proceeding can conclude in a matter
of weeks, you should assume your window to appeal is even briefer and
get to work right away. In fact, immigration judge rulings have a 30-day
time limit for appeals by default.
If you can appeal your claim still, you will most likely need to file it
to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). This group is not technically
a higher court, like a Supreme or Superior Court, but it serves essentially
the same purpose, only for immigration cases. You can either ask the BIA
to review and “reconsider” your case for mistakes that went
against your favor, or you can petition to have the case entirely reopened.
If the BIA reopens your case, you can actually submit new evidence to
be weighed. Once the BIA gives its opinion on the matter, though, the
case is closed again, for better or for worse.
Why You Might Not Want to Appeal
In some unusual circumstances, appealing an immigration judge’s decision
might not be exactly what you want to do. It seems unusual but something
accepting the removal process is beneficial.
You might not want to file for an appeal to the BIA if:
- You do not have the finances to pursue an appeal.
- You are held in detention and desperately want out – filing for an
appeal will keep you in detention until the BIA reviews or reconsiders
- Someone who made your legal permanent resident status valid has left your
life, such as a spouse that has subsequently divorced you.
Going through a removal case – or any immigration law dispute –
can be a difficult prospect if you are not well-versed in the nature of
legalese and regulations. Choosing to appeal a decision and knowing how
to build your appeal case can be even more complex. Improve your odds
of success and take stress out of the equation by working with Ashley
Foret Dees, LLC and our Louisiana immigration law attorneys for help.
We are proud to say that we have successfully managed cases for thousands
of immigration clients.
Let us review your case and determine how or if you should appeal.
Contact us online today.