Receiving a notice to appear for removal proceedings is frightening for immigrants who live in New York. When people are facing the possibility of deportation from the U.S., they might believe their situations are hopeless and believe that they will be removed if they do not voluntarily leave. However, it is possible to defend against removal with the help of an experienced New York deportation lawyer at Oltarsh & Associates. Here is some information from our firm about how to stop a deportation.
What Are Removal Proceedings?
Removal proceedings are hearings during which immigration judges determine whether an immigrant is removable or if he or she qualifies to remain in the U.S. A removal proceeding will be initiated when the government learns that an immigrant with valid status has done something disqualifying or that an undocumented immigrant is present without current lawful status.
Before removal proceedings can be held, an immigration official must first serve the individual with a notice to appear. This notice will include the alleged grounds for removal, information about the type of proceeding, the immigrant’s right to retain a New York immigration lawyer, and what the consequences are for failing to appear.
Immigration prosecutors have the burden of proving the grounds for removal contained in the notice to appear. However, if the immigrant fails to appear, the removal request will likely be granted by default.
The first hearing of removal proceedings is called a master calendar hearing. At this hearing, the respondent can deny or admit the allegations in the notice to appear. He or she also can submit applications for relief from removal at this hearing, including applications for adjustment of status, applications for asylum, and applications for the cancellation of removal. Retaining a New York immigration lawyer from Oltarsh & Associates before the master calendar hearing might help an immigrant facing deportation to submit relevant applications for relief and any supplemental evidence or documentation before the second hearing.
The second hearing is called the merits hearing. It is a longer hearing during which the government and the deportation defense attorney can offer testimony, present relevant evidence, and make legal arguments. The judge will review the testimony, arguments, and evidence to decide whether to grant any applications for relief that are pending.
How a Deportation Might be Stopped
There are several ways a deportation defense attorney at Oltarsh & Associates might help to stop removal. Some of these are listed below.
Adjustment of Status
People who are in removal proceedings but who are eligible to adjust their statuses might stop deportation by applying for an adjustment of status. For example, someone who is married to a U.S. citizen could potentially have their status adjusted and remain in the U.S.
Waivers under Section 212
Immigrants who have criminal convictions older than 15 years might be eligible for a waiver under the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 212. This type of waiver might be available when an immigrant’s close family member would suffer extreme hardship if the immigrant is removed or if the family member had to join the immigrant in his or her home country. Waivers also might be granted to people who have been the victims of domestic violence committed by lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens. Those with convictions that occurred before April 1, 1997, might also be eligible for a Section 212 waiver. Other waivers might be available. One of our immigration lawyers can explain whether you might be eligible for a waiver.
Cancellation of Removal
If you have a green card, another type of relief that you might be eligible for is a cancellation of removal. Lawful permanent residents who have had green cards for five or more years and who have remained in the U.S. for seven or more years after admission might be eligible for cancellation. They also cannot have any convictions of aggravated felonies and cannot have previously received a cancellation of removal.
If you do not have a green card, you might be eligible for cancellation of removal if you have lived in the U.S. for 10 or more years, have not been convicted of a deportable offense, and have shown good moral character. You must also be able to show that your removal would cause a U.S. citizen relative to experience undue hardship.
Another type of relief from removal is asylum. If you would face persecution in your home country based on your political views, religion, race, membership in a social group, or citizenship, you might be eligible for asylum. In most cases, however, you must apply for asylum within a year of your entry into the U.S.
Immigrants who are not qualified for relief from removal can ask to be allowed to voluntarily depart. This can help to avoid other harsh consequences, including bars to admissibility in the future for multiple years if they are deported from the U.S.
Get Help from a New York Deportation Lawyer
In addition to seeking relief from removal, there are other ways to defend against deportation. An experienced immigration lawyer will work to hold the government to its burden of proof and carefully assess the situation to identify all potential defenses. The attorneys at Oltarsh & Associates are highly experienced immigration attorneys. Call us today to request an appointment at (212) 944-9420.