Defense from Removal or Deportation

Removal Proceedings

When the U.S. government wants to “remove” (formerly “deport”) someone from the U.S., the individual in removal proceedings normally has the right to fight their removal in the Immigration Court.  There are many defenses to removal, including applying for adjustment of status, Cancellation of Removal, asylum, relief under the Convention Against Torture, and other defenses depending on the particular grounds of removability alleged by the government.

One of the most common forms of relief from removal that is requested in the Immigration Court is called “Cancellation of Removal and Adjustment of Status for Certain Non-Permanent Residents,” and is commonly referred to simply as “cancellation of removal.”  (There is another form of cancellation of removal available for people who already have their Lawful Permanent Resident status but who may be removable due to having been convicted of a crime, or for other reasons, and another form available to certain victims of domestic violence.)  In order to qualify to request cancellation of removal, the respondent in removal proceedings must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least ten years prior to the initiation of removal proceedings, and must have a “qualifying relative,” who in this context must be a Lawful Permanent Resident or U.S. Citizen spouse, parent, or child under 21.  Applying for cancellation of removal can make you eligible for a work permit.  Although it is difficult to win cancellation of removal, it is a good option for fighting removal proceedings for many people.

There are many other defenses to removal that may apply depending on your particular case and the particular reason the government alleges you are removable from the U.S.