For many undocumented immigrants living in the Miami area deportation is their greatest fear. It is possible that some who receive a Notice to Appear before a judge may feel that their fate is sealed and that there is no possible way to remain in the United States. This is not always the case however.
Information from the Transactional Records Clearinghouse at Syracuse University indicates that individuals facing deportation, who mount a challenge, are having fairly good success. Close to half of the deportations that were contested over the course of the past year have succeeded. Since 2009, the number of undocumented immigrants who are successful in this endeavor has been growing.
The reasons behind this trend are not completely clear. They may be due, at least in part, on policy changes the Obama administration has made over the course of the past few years. In addition to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the administration also directed immigration authorities to use discretion when deciding whether immigrants, who do not pose a threat to public safety or national security, should be deported. Those changes may now be taken into consideration when judges are determining the fate of immigrants whose cases commenced prior to those directives.
As this analysis of federal prosecution records illustrates, depending on one’s situation, it may be worthwhile for an undocumented immigrant facing deportation to fight the deportation notice. Better yet, an immigrant who is not documented may find it beneficial to contact an immigration lawyer before a deportation order arrives to determine if there is a way to change their status.
Source: Miami Herald, “Report: Immigrants improve in fighting deportation,” Alicia A. Caldwell, Feb. 14, 2014