Many people consider banishment from the United States and separation from family a more severe punishment than jail or hefty fines. Many people facing deportation have lived most of their adult lives in the United States, have created business, own property and have family members who are United States Citizens. Our firm approaches every case understanding this reality.
Every person has a unique story to tell. Every case requires preparation and presentation specifically tailored to the the client’s story. Our firm will do everything possible to meet the client’s objective. In turn, we require clients commit to fully cooperate with case preparation. Our office firmly believes that the best defense is developed with the ongoing input from out clients.
Do I have a right to a lawyer?
Yes. Every person who is subject to deportation (removal) has the right to hire a lawyer and have that lawyer represent you.
Does the government provide me a free lawyer in immigration court?
No. If you wish to exercise your right to be represented by a lawyer, you must find and hire your own lawyer. Some states have organizations that represent people in immigration court for free. However, there is no such service in Idaho.
Are there any free legal services for people who are detained?
If you are detained in an out-of-state facility, there are often free legal services provided at the facilities. For persons detained in Aurora, Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network provides legal orientations to persons. Individuals held in Florence or Eloy, Arizona may attend a legal orientation workshop from the Florence Immigrants and Refugee Rights Project.
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project visits persons detained in Tacoma, Washington.
Immigrant Legal Resource Center is a non profit that offers self help materials for clients and lawyers.
When a noncitizen is placed in removal proceedings he must go before an immigration judge. If a noncitizen does not appear to his immigration court hearings, then he will be ordered removed in his absence. This is called an in absentia removal. It is therefore important that a noncitizen attend his immigration court hearings.
The first immigration court hearing is called a master calendar hearing. At this hearing the noncitizen can ask the immigration judge for voluntary departure in lieu of receiving an order of removal. This is usually better than having an order of removal because a removal order makes you ineligible for many immigration benefits. One major requirement in order to be eligible for voluntary departure is that an individual must be able to depart at his own expense. If an individual asks for voluntary departure at the beginning of his removal hearing, the immigration judge may grant it for up to 120 days. This means that the noncitizen has up to 120 days to depart the country. If the noncitizen seeks voluntary departure at the conclusion of the proceedings, then the immigration judge may grant it for up to 60 days.
There are other forms of relief from removal proceedings.
Cancellation of Removal
If the noncitizen wishes to try and fight his removal, he can seek cancellation of removal. Cancellation of removal is available to both noncitizens who are undocumented and legal permanent residents. If you are a legal permanent resident, an application for cancellation of removal could result in the removal proceedings being terminated. If you are an undocumented individual, an application for cancellation of removal could result in the termination of the removal proceedings and in a grant of lawful permanent residence. There are different requirements for noncitizens who seek cancellation of removal if they are lawful permanent residents or if they are undocumented noncitizens. If you are in removal proceedings and wish to try and obtain cancellation of removal, you should seek the assistance of an attorney as the application is complicated and the relief is difficult to obtain.
Adjustment of Status
If a noncitizen is eligible to adjust status and is in removal proceedings, the noncitizen can seek adjustment of status through the immigration judge. Alternatively he or she can seek that the removal proceedings be terminated so that the noncitizen can adjust status through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.
If a noncitizen in removal proceedings fears returning to his home country because of fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, then that individual may want to apply for asylum before the immigration court. Asylum is very difficult to obtain, but if you are in removal proceedings and believe that you qualify for this form or relief, you should seek the assistance of an attorney.
If a noncitizen in removal proceedings has been the battered or subjected to extreme cruelty at the hands of their U.S. citizen spouse or parent, then they may be eligible to apply for adjustment of status. If you are in removal proceedings and believe that you qualify for this form or relief, you should seek the assistance of an attorney.
If a noncitizen in removal proceedings has been the victim of certain crimes in the Untied States and was helpful to law enforcement or the prosecution in the investigation or prosecution of the crime, then they may be eligible to apply for a U Visa, giving them lawful status in the United States. If you are in removal proceedings and believe that you qualify for this form or relief, you should seek the assistance of an attorney.