If I Am Facing Deportation/Removal Proceedings, What Options Do I Have?
If you have been arrested and are facing removal proceedings by U.S. Customs and Enforcement (ICE), there are various forms of relief that may help you keep in the U.S.
If you are a U.S. Citizen you don’t have to worry about being deported because you can’t be. Sometimes people are unaware that they are in fact U.S. citizens based on a relationship to a family member. If you are a U.S. citizen you should notify the Immigration estimate closest.
One form of relief obtainable to those facing removal proceedings is cancellation of removal. You may be eligible for cancellation of removal if satisfy the following requirements:
1. long-lasting resident (green card) for at the minimum 5 years, and
2. Lived in the U.S. continuously for 7 years after having been admitted to the U.S., and
3. No aggravated felony conviction(s)
You may be eligible for cancellation of removal already if you never had a green card if:
1. You have been physically present in the U.S. for 10 years, and
2. You have maintained good moral character during that time, and
3. Your deportation would cause ‘exceptional and extremely uncommon’ hardship to your U.S. citizen or lawful
long-lasting resident spouse, parent or child
Most criminal convictions would render you ineligible for this relief because you cannot demonstrate good moral character.
There are a associate waivers obtainable to those facing removal proceedings. Under the section 212(c) waiver, if you pled guilty to a crime before April 24, 1996, your criminal conviction may be waived. In order to qualify you must satisfy the following:
1. long-lasting resident (green card), and
2. Lived in the U.S. lawfully for 7 years, and
3. Not served 5 years or more in prison for an aggravated felony
Another waiver obtainable is the section 212(h) waiver. This waiver excuses you for certain crimes if you can prove that removal from the U.S. would cause extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen or long-lasting resident spouse, child or parent.
Some other forms of relief include asylum, withholding of removal, and the Convention Against Torture. You may be eligible to apply for asylum if you fear harm in your country because of your race, religion, nationality, actual or suspected political opinion, or membership in a social group. Withholding of Removal may be obtainable to you if you can show your freedom or life would be threatened due to your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular group. Finally, you may be eligible for relief under the Convention Against Torture if you fear that you will be tortured if you return to your country.
Adjustment of position is another form of relief obtainable to those who satisfy one of the following:
1. Married a U.S. citizen, or
2. Have a U.S. citizen child over 21 years of age, or
3. Have a U.S. citizen parent
However, you may be ineligible to adjust position if you were convicted of a crime of moral turpitude, a drug crime, or two crimes where you received a sentence of 5 years or more.
You should consult with an experienced Phoenix immigration attorney in calculating whether you qualify for relief from deportation. If none of the aforementioned forms of relief apply, you may be left with the option of voluntary departure. Voluntary departure will require you to return your country.