Removal proceedings often referred to as Deportation Proceedings are administrative processes to determine whether a non-citizen should be removed from the U.S. This process is initiated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and decided by an immigration judge within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). This is perhaps one of the most complex areas of U.S. Immigration Law where individuals should highly consider obtaining legal guidance to gain a better understanding of various critical areas, especially when it comes to the nuances of deportation defense, the concept of good moral character, the potential impacts of Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT), and the severe implications of aggravated felonies as outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)

Common Defenses against Removal 

Asylum and Withholding of Removal: Claims based on fear of persecution in the home country on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Withholding of removal has a higher standard of proof but does not lead to permanent residency. 

Cancellation of Removal: Available to both Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) and certain non-permanent residents. LPRs must demonstrate seven years of continuous residence in the U.S. and five years as a permanent resident, among other criteria. Non-LPRs must show exceptional hardship to U.S. citizen or LPR immediate family members, among other requirements. 

Adjustment of Status: An opportunity to apply for lawful permanent residency during proceedings, particularly if circumstances have changed, such as marriage to a U.S. citizen. 

Protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT): For individuals who can demonstrate that they are likely to be tortured if returned to their home country, regardless of the reason for the torture or the perpetrator.

Citizenship Claim: An individual in removal proceedings may have those proceedings if they are able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Immigration Judge that they have a valid claim to U.S. Citizenship such as obtaining derivative citizenship.

Strategic Considerations in Removal Proceedings

Evidence and Documentation: Building a strong case involves gathering substantial evidence, including affidavits, expert witness testimony, country conditions reports, and personal documents. The burden of proof is on the respondent to demonstrate eligibility for relief. 

Legal Representation: The complexity of immigration law and the high stakes involved make it crucial for individuals facing removal to seek experienced legal representation. Unlike criminal proceedings, respondents in immigration court do not have the right to appointed counsel, although they are allowed to retain an attorney at their own expense. 

Voluntary Departure: In some cases, where defense against removal might be unlikely to succeed, seeking voluntary departure can be a strategic move. This allows the individual to leave the U.S. at their own expense within a specified period, avoiding the penalties associated with formal removal, such as bars to reentry. 

Appeals: If the immigration judge's decision is unfavorable, the respondent has the right to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and potentially to a federal circuit court of appeals. Timelines for appeals are strict, usually requiring notice of appeal within 30 days of the decision.

Complete our Immigration Intake Form or Call CLG at 888-332-3136 to learn more about our services. 

As mentioned above, Removal (Deportation) Proceedings are perhaps one of the most complex areas of U.S. Immigration Law where individuals should highly consider obtaining legal guidance to gain a better understanding of their rights and discuss available options. There are a myraid of different issues to consider when in removal proceedings that can impact case outcomes. These include, criminal convictions and whether they are classified as an aggravated felony or Crime Involving Moral Turptitude (CIMT), a little unknown factor considered in many immigration cases is Good Moral Character. These issues may present bars to obtain immigration benefits in removal proceedings (defensively) or before USCIS. These issues are covered in more detail on a separate page. However, if you have any concerns, want to schedule a consultation or need urgent representation. Complete our Immigration Intake Form or Call us at 888-332-3136