In our last post, we explored various ways of potentially avoiding deportation before removal proceedings are underway. In this post, we will continue discussing defenses to deportation that may be more applicable in the event that you or a loved one has already been through a removal hearing.
One of the most common ways to avoid removal is to appeal the judge's ruling for deportation. When you file an appeal, the ruling will be reviewed by the Board of Immigration Appeals. You will not have to present your case again; the BIA will look over everything that has already happened and make a decision about whether the lower court's decision was correct. If they reach a different decision, you may be able to avoid deportation.
As stated in this article on the U.S. Department of Justice website, cancellation of removal can be pursued even if the removal order is based on a criminal conviction. In some cases, a person can avoid deportation if they are able to establish that they have "good moral character" and have engaged in far more positive acts that should outweigh a criminal indiscretion. However, people convicted of certain crimes, like those involving drugs, typically are not eligible.
It is crucial to understand that all the options we have discussed in these past two posts are not available to every person in every situation. There are specific requirements that must be met. There is also a clock ticking. Pursuing an appeal or judicial review must be done within a certain time frame. Failure to do meet these deadlines could make it impossible to try and avoid removal.
Whether you are fearful that you may soon face removal orders or have already gone through a hearing, you need to understand that you have options and you don't have to deal with this difficult situation alone. Working with an attorney can help protect yourselves and your loved ones and hopefully stay together in the U.S.