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Deportation Defense Attorney In Colorado Springs

Deportation, otherwise known as “removal”, is the process of the U.S. government forcing an immigrant to return to his or her country. The removal process can be complicated, overwhelming and devastating, both for the immigrant and his or her family and friends. Often people are deported back to places where they have not lived in many years, and are separated from their families with little chance of ever being reunited.

But there are defenses and legal rights available to people in deportation. Perhaps more than any other time in the life of an immigrant, it is absolutely critical that a person in deportation speak with a qualified immigration attorney to learn what those rights and defenses might be.

Each deportation case is different, so whether you qualify for a particular category will depend upon your individual circumstances. The following is a list of some of the most common types of defenses available in deportation cases:

Adjustment of Status
You may qualify to adjust your status to that of a permanent resident through a family member who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or through potential employment in the United States. In some situations, the ability to adjust your status can be used as a defense in your deportation case.

If you are married to a U.S. citizen, or if you have a son or daughter who is over 21 years old, or if you are a minor son or daughter of a U.S. citizen, you may be able to qualify for immediate adjustment to permanent resident status. If you have any relatives who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, you should discuss those relationships with your attorney immediately.

Cancellation of Removal
If you are in deportation and qualify for Cancellation of Removal, your deportation will be cancelled. If you are not already a Permanent Resident (Green Card holder), you may qualify through Cancellation of Removal to become one. If you are already a Permanent Resident, to qualify for Cancellation of Removal, you would have to show:

  1. You have resided in the U.S. continuously for seven (7) years after having been admitted in any status
  2. You have been a permanent resident for five (5) years
  3. You have not been convicted of an aggravated felony
  4. You deserve the Judge’s favorable discretion

If you are not a Permanent Resident, to qualify for Cancellation of Removal, you would have to show:

  1. You have resided in the U.S. continuously for ten (10) years
  2. You are a person of good moral character, meaning that you do not have a significant criminal history, and are an honest person
  3. Your removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a qualifying relative who is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, and who is residing in the U.S. This is a very difficult standard to prove, so it is important to discuss thoroughly with an attorney.

 

Asylum
You may qualify for asylum if you can show that you have a credible fear of returning to your home country because of past persecution, or because you have a well-founded fear of future persecution. If you qualify for asylum, you can ask the Court to terminate your deportation case.

To qualify for asylum, you must show:

  1. You have suffered persecution in the past in your home country, or that you have a well founded fear of persecution in the future
  2. That the persecution you suffered or will suffer is because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group
  3. You would not be protected from that persecution in your home country

You must apply for Asylum within one year of entering the United States. There are only a few exceptions to this rule, such as if there have been recent significant changes in the circumstances of your home country that would now qualify you for asylum.
While asylum may be used as a defense to deportation, you do not have to be in deportation proceedings to apply for asylum. If you qualify for asylum, you will be able to live and work in the United States, and will be able to apply for permanent residence one year after receiving asylum status. Asylum is very complicated, and should be discussed thoroughly with an attorney.

Withholding of Removal
Withholding of Removal is similar to asylum, but does not provide as many benefits or a permanent status. To qualify for withholding of removal, you must show that if you were deported to your home country, there is a clear probability that you would suffer persecution based on your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. You may only apply for withholding of removal if you are in deportation proceedings.

Many people who do not meet the one-year filing requirement for asylum may qualify for withholding of removal. If you are granted withholding of removal, you will not be deported and will be able to work in the U.S., but you will not be able apply for adjustment of status to a permanent resident.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Under a relatively government program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), certain immigrants who were brought to the U.S. in their youth may qualify for a work permit and temporary protection from deportation. To qualify for DACA, you must show:

  1. You arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16
  2. You are currently at least 15 years old, but not older than 30
  3. You have resided in the U.S. for at least five years
  4. You are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have earned your GED, or
  5. You have no felonies on your criminal record, and have no more than two total crimes of any sort on your criminal record

If you qualify for DACA, you can request that the Court terminate your deportation proceedings. You will not be granted permanent residence or citizenship, but you will have temporary protection from deportation for two years, with the possibility of a two-year extension at the end of that period.

Prosecutorial Discretion
The government attorneys who are prosecuting your case have the ability to agree to administratively close your case if they feel that continuing with the case does not meet ICE’s enforcement priorities. We are able to make an official request that the attorneys consider the case for closure, which they can do through Prosecutorial Discretion.

They are supposed to base the decision on whether to close the case on 19 factors provided by the Director of ICE, including your criminal record, immigration record, ties to the community, education, and length of time in the United States.

The decision to grant prosecutorial discretion is left to the government attorney, not the judge. If you are granted prosecutorial discretion, your deportation case will be closed. However, you will not be given any type of status, and you will not be able to obtain a work permit or driver’s license.

Voluntary Departure
If you do not qualify for any other forms of relief, you may request that the Court grant voluntary departure. If the Court agrees, it will generally grant you a certain time period to leave the country (up to 120 days), and you will be able to do so on your own rather than under an official order of forced deportation from the Immigration Court.

You also will not be subject to a punishment of 10 years of inadmissibility to the U.S. that generally follows a deportation, although you can be subject to other legal bars from re-entry. To be clear, to qualify for Voluntary Departure, you have to request it from the Court. If you choose to leave on your own before your court hearings, an order of deportation will likely still be entered against you in your absence.

These are some of the more common types of defenses and relief available to someone in deportation proceedings. Whether you are successful in requesting this relief depends on the evidence you provide to present in the case, and whether the Judge and/or ICE attorney decides to grant the relief requested. Therefore, it is important that you discuss your case thoroughly with a qualified attorney, and speak openly and honestly about all of the facts surrounding your case.

The deportation process can be complicated and difficult to navigate without a professional on your side fighting for your rights. The immigration attorneys at Deere Law, LLC have extensive experience helping family members understand and take advantage of U.S. immigration laws to stay together, or to be reunited.

Call us today at (719) 633-3377, or email us, to find out why the immigration attorney Josh Deere at Deere Law, LLC has received an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell® in Immigration Law; a Superb, 10 out of 10 rating in Immigration Law, and a “Client’s Choice” award from Avvo, a national lawyer rating service; and a Colorado Springs’ TOP ATTORNEYS award by Colorado Springs Style Magazine.