Louisiana Immigration Law Firm

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Possible Deportation Defenses

Deportation is one of the most drastic actions the U.S. government can take against a non-citizen living here in the U.S. Reasons for removal proceedings vary: sometimes they are initiated when someone with a visa status has committed a crime, other times it is because a non-citizen has violated their visa status, their visa status has expired, or it is discovered that they entered the country illegally.

Whatever the case may be, it is important to know that it can be possible to challenge a removal order and maintain a legal status in U.S. Below, let's review some of the most common deportation defenses and which circumstances they can apply to.

Adjustment of Status

In some cases, it can be possible to petition for an adjustment of status when facing a removal order. This usually means going from non-immigrant status to an immigrant status in order to be in compliance with U.S. laws. This remedy is only usually available to people who have entered the U.S. legally with a non-immigrant visa.

"Not Removable As Charged"

If you believe that the Department of Homeland Security is wrong to have named you for deportation, you can challenge that it provide reasoning and documentation for doing so. Surprisingly, DHS cannot always do this, meaning that it cannot satisfy the burden of proof needed to remove you from the country.

Wrongful Failure to Appear Accusation

Sometimes the deportation against a non-citizen is ordered when they fail to appear in immigration court. These appearances are usually enforced by Notice to Appear documents that are sent in the mail. If you did not receive your Notice to Appear or are unaware that you received it, it can be possible to argue that you did not know to appear in court and are protected from any automatic removal orders.

Asylum/Refugee Status

If you have left your country of origin due to dangerous conditions there or believe that you will be exposed to dangerous conditions or persecution if you return, you could qualify for asylum or refugee status. These remedies allow the government to recognize that some non-citizens are in danger and deserve a chance to rectify their status in the U.S. so that they are in compliance.

Voluntary Departure

Voluntary departure isn't necessarily a deportation defense, but it is to the benefit of the non-citizen. If the non-citizen recognizes that they have failed to comply with the law and should leave the U.S., they can sometimes opt for voluntary departure. This voluntary removal from the U.S. does not result in any kind of black mark on the non-citizen's record and allows them to legally return to the U.S., if they wish, after a short period of time.

These are just some of the several deportation defenses that could apply to your case. If you are facing a removal order, then it is critical that you seek counsel immediately. At Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, our skilled Lake Charles immigration lawyers have handled thousands of cases, including deportation defenses.

You do not have to face this uncertain time without knowing what your legal options are. Contact our offices today to get started.