If you or loved ones are facing deportation, the stress might be immense. Many individuals facing deportation have not been to their home countries for many years. Others face the prospect of returning to home countries where they could face prosecution, human rights violations, or even death. Yet, other individuals have the legal right to remain in the U.S., but may be facing deportation due to technicalities or because paperwork is incomplete or inaccurate. If you are worried about being deported or if you have been issued a Notice to Appear in court, you may want to contact Joseph Cohen, an immigration attorney in San Antonio, Texas today.
The best deportation defense is one that is built before you receive a Notice to Appear and before deportation proceedings begin. In some cases, you and your loved ones may have options to prevent deportation by either adjusting your status, applying for deferred action, or applying for Green Card status to prevent deportation in the first place. Or, you may qualify to apply for protections under asylum. For many of these categories, your chances of success are better if you seek these remedies before deportation begins. This is why it is important to be proactive and to take steps now if you are concerned that you might face deportation.
What are some possible deportation defenses you may be able to use if you are facing deportation in San Antonio? Every individual’s situation is unique. Here are some possible defenses you may have available:
- Adjustment of Status. If you qualify for a Green Card through family or because you have gotten married, you may be able to receive relief from deportation. If you get married to a U.S. Citizen after deportation proceedings have begun, you may need to prove to the court that you are in a bona fide marriage to the U.S. Citizen. If you plan to use adjustment of status to defend yourself against deportation, consider speaking to Joseph Cohen today. An immigration attorney can help you provide the proof and documentation that immigration officers will want to see when determining whether your marriage or adjustment of status claim is valid.
- Fix Errors and Omissions. Sometimes individuals who have every right to be permanent residents face deportation proceedings because they forgot to submit documentation or forgot to remove conditions from their Green Card. For example, under the family-based Green Card, the permanent resident status is conditional at first and individuals must file forms after a period of time has passed to remove conditions.
- If you will face persecution due to your race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or because of your political opinion when you are returned to your home country, you may be able to apply for asylum and therefore prevent your deportation. The best way to apply for asylum is through affirmative asylum, which is when a person seeks asylum within one year of entering the U.S. However, there are situations where individuals may qualify for exemptions. If a Notice to Appear has been issued, you may need to apply for the defensive asylum process, which can be different than the affirmative asylum process. Joseph Cohen is an immigration lawyer in San Antonio, Texas who can assist you if you fear prosecution in your home country should you be deported. If you believe you will be tortured should you return to your home country, you may be able to fight your deportation in court by asking for protection under the Convention Against Torture.
- U Visas and the Violence Against Women Act. If you have been a victim of a crime, like human trafficking, or employment violations, and if you are able to assist law enforcement with the prosecution of criminals, you may be entitled to receive a U Visa, and have deportation proceedings cancelled. If you have been a victim of domestic violence, you may also have the ability to apply for relief under the Violence Against Women Act.
- DACA status. If your application for DACA is pending approval, if you have applied for DACA, or if you currently hold DACA status, you may be able to defer action on your removal proceedings.
- Cancelation of Removal. If you have been living in the U.S. for many years and are now facing deportation, you may be able to apply for a cancelation of removal. If you can show that you have been living in the U.S. for ten years, show that you have not committed any crimes and that you have a good moral character, and also show that your removal would cause undue hardship on your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family members, you may qualify for cancelation of removal. Imagine a person facing deportation proceedings who is a single mother who has U.S. citizen children, who has worked hard, paid her taxes, and who has otherwise contributed to U.S. society. In this case, this woman may have the ability to apply for a cancelation of removal because her removal would leave her children orphaned or without a caregiver.
- Voluntary Departure. At any time during your deportation, you can stop proceedings if you choose to leave the U.S. of your own free will. However, if you do this, you give up your rights to mount a deportation defense, and if you want to return to the U.S., you may need to find other means.
These are just some of the legal defenses you may have if you are facing deportation. Sometimes individuals face deportation because they have criminal records. But, if your attorney can get your criminal record expunged (if you qualify for an expungement) you may have the right to remain in the U.S. Joseph Cohen is an immigration lawyer in San Antonio, Texas who may be able to assist you if you are facing deportation. Getting a Notice to Appear or being detained by ICE can be an incredibly traumatic and difficult experience for individuals and families. Fortunately, you are not alone.