If you are hoping for Cancellation of Removal as an immigrant living in California, deportation defense can make the difference between success and failure. Without removal defense, you have to negotiate the immigration system on your own, leaving you more vulnerable to deportation (AKA removal).
You may not understand everything about removal defense and the subtleties of immigration law to help yourself, and you may also have language barriers that impede your comprehension of the process. It’s best to consult with a legal professional to strengthen your case and make sure every avenue has been exhausted.
Are you or a loved one worried about removal and hoping to have it cancelled? Looking into removal defense? Contact Yemi Getachew Immigration Law Office today to learn more about your options regarding remaining in the United States. Call our San Jose offices at 408-292-7995, or use our online form to request a consultation.
Cancellation Of Removal May Be What You Need
What happens if you have lived in the United States for a long time and you are faced with possible deportation away from your family members who really need you? Cancellation of Removal may be available for a person who has been in the United States for a period of 10 years, can demonstrate good moral character and whose deportation would result in exceptional and unusual hardship to their United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent or child.
The key to success in these cases is the time spent in preparing documentation and evidence to prove the high exceptional hardship standard. Yemi Getachew Immigration Law Office, P.C., takes the time to explore all the areas that constitute hardship and prepares a well-documented application. For decades, our team has focused exclusively on immigration, including the defense of non-citizens threatened with removal. Our clients live all over the Bay Area and Northern California.
What Should You Expect With a Removal Case?
If you are facing deportation, your case will be presided over by an immigration judge in what is known as a removal hearing. The hearing will take place in one of six California immigration courts. A lawyer from ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement, formerly INS), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, will make a case to the judge for your removal.
The ICE attorney cannot simply request your deportation for no reason. They have to make a legitimate case and offer facts as to why you should be removed (see the next section below). Your immigration attorney presenting a removal defense will then offer reasons why you should instead be allowed to stay (see “Why May Removal Be Cancelled in Some Cases,” below).
What Are Some Common Reasons Cited for Removal?
There are many common reasons used by the Department of Homeland Security to try to justify an immigrant’s removal:
- You did not obtain proper legal permission to be in the country.
- Your visa has expired, and you have overstayed your permission to be here.
- You are working when you don’t have permission to work or have otherwise violated the terms of your visa.
- You have brought other immigrants into the country illegally (smuggling).
- On your visa or citizenship paperwork, you provided false documentation or misrepresented yourself, or a person who prepared your paperwork misrepresented you.
- You have committed certain crimes (including having been convicted of crimes as a legal permanent resident).
The United States is particularly strict about crimes committed by immigrants and permanent residents, but if the crime is considered less serious, it may not always result in removal.
What Are Your Rights in Deportation Proceedings?
In the United States, you have a right to a fair hearing in deportation proceedings. You may have an attorney, although you are not given the right to a free attorney, as in criminal court. You must be told the evidence against you that DHS is using to justify your removal. You are allowed to present evidence in argument against the DHS lawyer. You can appeal a judgment against you if you so desire, taking your case to a higher court.
Your immigration attorney is there beside you throughout the deportation hearing to ensure your rights are protected. If the judge rules you need to be removed from the United States, your immigration attorney can request relief from removal. If you appeal your case, which can take months or years, your attorney will likely request that you be allowed to remain in the country until the appeal is heard. It’s possible you may be able to work during that period.
Why May Removal Be Cancelled in Some Cases?
There are many reasons a removal can be cancelled in California immigration court. If you are a permanent resident, the following may apply:
- You have been a permanent resident for five years or more.
- Once admitted to the United States, you have lived here for seven years uninterrupted.
- You have not been convicted of an aggravated felony.
Sometimes the definition of an “aggravated felony” can be a legal gray area. Your immigration attorney will work to try to remove the aggravated felony classification from any crimes you have committed.
If you are a non-permanent resident, including visa holders and sometimes even aliens with no lawful status, removal may be cancelled if you meet these four criteria:
- You have been physically located on United States soil for at least 10 years.
- You are found to be of good moral character.
- You have not been convicted of any offenses listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
- Your removal would constitute a hardship for a family member, including a child, parent, or spouse who is a green card holder or US citizen.
In some cases, the Violence Against Women Act may be used to cancel removal. An alien who has been a victim of domestic violence may apply for this protection if they meet the following conditions:
- She or he has suffered extreme cruelty or been battered by a parent, child, or spouse who is or was a legal permanent resident or US citizen.
- She or he has been continually on US soil for at least three years.
- She or he is of good moral character.
- She or he is not considered inadmissible by having committed certain crimes.
- Removal would result in extreme hardship for her or him, or would cause hardship for a child or parent.
There are other strategies your immigration attorney might use to prevent deportation, such as arguing that the government has failed to prove its charges or asking for a waiver based on humanitarian or asylum reasons.
Worried About A Criminal Conviction In San Jose, California?
What about when you find yourself with a criminal conviction and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement wants to take your green card away? For lawful permanent residents who have committed a crime, Cancellation of Removal for Lawful Permanent Residents may be an avenue to retain their status.
This process has eligibility requirements and requires clear proof of rehabilitation and positive equities for the applicant. Our lawyers will interview you in regard to your history and relationships, and help document the steps you already have taken toward rehabilitation. Our success in this area is primarily due to being able to show that the client is genuinely remorseful, understands the impact of their action on their families and is deserving of a second chance.
Learn About Your Removal Defense Options And Contact Yemi Getachew Immigration Law Offices In San Jose Today!
The sooner you seek help with your deportation defense, the better. You want to give your immigration attorney plenty of time to learn about your case and prepare an argument to cancel your removal if possible.
You don’t want to attend a removal hearing without legal assistance. You want to make sure your rights are protected every step of the way and that every reason to cancel your deportation has been considered and argued. An experienced immigration attorney will know of legal strategies that you are not aware of.
Do you need legal help for your removal defense or the deportation of a loved one in the San Jose area? We are here to help you at Yemi Getachew Immigration Law Office. Call us today at 408-292-7995, or request a consultation by contacting us online.