A person’s life can be significantly changed as a result of deportation proceedings. The difference between being deported and prevailing in deportation proceedings can mean everything to a person. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to try to avoid deportation.
First, if a person is being detained by the Department of Homeland Security, obtaining an immigration bond can be the first step to avoiding deportation. Many people who are being detained are eligible to be released.
Second, if a person is facing deportation as a result of a conviction, it might be possible to get the conviction vacated by filing a petition in the criminal court where the conviction occurred.
Third, some people in deportation proceedings are eligible to apply for adjustment of status (permanent residence). For example, if a person is married to a U.S. citizen, that person might be eligible to apply for adjustment of status in deportation proceedings.
Fourth, many people in deportation proceedings are eligible to apply for cancellation of removal. For example, battered spouses or people who have lived in the U.S. for a long time might be eligible to apply for cancellation of removal.
Fifth, a person who faces persecution in his or her native country can apply for asylum and/or withholding of removal.
Sixth, some people in deportation proceedings are eligible to apply for a waiver. For example, fraud and/or crimes might be able to be waived if it can be shown that deportation would cause a qualifying relative to suffer extreme hardship.
Seventh, some individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children and who attended school in the U.S. can seek to have their deportation proceedings administratively closed as a result of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Eighth, the Department of Homeland Security has designated a number of countries for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) because of unsafe conditions in those countries. A person who has been granted TPS has a defense to deportation.
Ninth, the Department of Homeland Security can be asked to exercise prosecutorial discretion to dismiss the deportation proceedings as a result of humanitarian factors or other circumstances in the case.
Tenth, if a person has been ordered deported, it might be possible to file a motion to reopen the deportation proceedings. For example, a motion to reopen to apply for asylum based on changed country conditions can sometimes be filed many years after a person has been ordered deported.
In light of the various ways a person can try to avoid deportation, it is helpful to have an attorney experienced in these methods.