Removal defense (formerly called “deportation defense”) involves representing and advocating for immigrants facing removal or deportation from the United States. For many immigrants, the process involves appearing before an immigration judge in immigration court. While most immigrants cannot afford to have an attorney represent them in court, legal representation is sadly the single most important factor in determining whether someone will win—or lose—their case.
Why would I be removable from the United States?
Reasons for Deportation or Removal
Generally, persons are found to be removable from the United States for one of the following reasons:
- They have entered the country without permission
- They have entered the country with permission but have violated the terms of their initial entry
- They are permanent residents but have committed a crime that makes them removable
- They are permanent residents but have violated their permanent residency in other ways
What happens if I am found to be removable?
Removal proceedings are initiated by a charging document called a Notice to Appear. This document is issued by the enforcement arm of the Department of Homeland Security and alleges the various charges of removal.
Being charged with removal does not automatically mean removal (or deportation) from the United States. There are many defenses to removal that our attorneys have successfully applied to our clients.
Do I have the right to challenge my removal?
The Right to Challenge Removal
Persons facing removal from the United States are generally afforded a right to challenge their removal. Those challenges are heard before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (or Immigration Court), where persons are brought before an immigration judge to face charges that they are removable from the United States.
Defenses to removal include but are not limited to:
- Defensive Asylum. If you can establish a fear of persecution if returned to your home country, you are eligible to apply for this relief.
- Cancellation of Removal for Permanent Residents. If you have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years, resided continuously in the USA for at least 7 years, and have not committed a disqualifying crime, you are eligible to apply for this relief.
- Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents. If you have resided continuously in the United States for 10 years, have not committed a disqualifying crime, are a person of good moral character, and can show extremely exceptional and unusual hardship to a qualifying relative, you may be eligible for this relief.
- Adjustment of Status. If you are the Beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition, you may apply to adjust your status to that of a permanent resident in immigration court.
- Case Termination. If we can establish that removal proceedings should not have been commenced against you, proceedings may be terminated altogether.
We Can Help You with Removal Defense
At Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law, we represent people in removal proceedings who are non-detained and detained. In the detained context, we also represent people in bond hearings to request their release from custody pending the completion of their removal proceedings.
Our Resources for Removal Defense
Additional Outside Resources
The Arrive Podcast
With 1 to 2 new episodes each month, the Arrive Podcast can help you stay updated on the US immigration matters that matter the most to you.
Our US Immigration Videos
Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law regularly creates video content about the current state of a certain aspect of US immigration law, and how it applies to Canadians living and working in the United States today.