San Jose Deportation Defense Lawyers for Immigration Court Proceedings
If you have received a Notice to Appear (“NTA”) in Immigration Court that charges you with being inadmissible or deportable, you need a trustworthy and skilled immigration attorney to successfully secure your rights to remain in the U.S.
At Olmos & Barhoum, LLP, we help clients throughout San Jose, San Francisco, Northern California, and the Central Coast to fight deportation and keep their families together. Our attorneys specialize in complex relief strategies for clients from Central and Latin America, the Middle East, India, China, and other parts of the world. We have won many challenging cases in the San Francisco Immigration Court thanks to our skill in assessing the best possible strategies for clients and strongly presenting the merits of each case.
If you are placed in immigration court proceedings, you need the best strategy for deportation relief that only a skilled and experienced attorney can provide. Our team of immigration attorneys work together with clients to put forward the strongest case possible to defend against deportation.
Strategies for Deportation Defense
An experienced immigration lawyer knows various ways of defending you from deportation. Some of the most common strategies for deportation defense in the Immigration Court are:
- Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”): If you fear returning to your home country because you or a family member were harmed in the past, or you are afraid of the dangerous conditions in your country, you may qualify for relief from deportation based on asylum or a related application.
- Cancellation of Removal for Permanent Residents, i.e. Green Card Holders: If you have lawful permanent residency status (i.e. a Green Card) in the U.S. and are placed in removal proceedings, you may be eligible to avoid deportation and retain your permanent residency if you meet the following conditions: 1) you have held lawful permanent residency status for at least 5 years at the time of filing the application; 2) you have lived in the U.S. for at least 7 years since being admitted in any legal status; and 3) you have not been convicted of a serious crime.
- Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents and Undocumented Individuals: If you do not possess permanent residency status or any legal status in the U.S. and are placed in removal proceedings, you may be eligible to avoid deportation and obtain lawful permanent residency status if you meet the following conditions: 1) you have lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years at the time that you were placed in removal proceedings; 2) your qualifying relative (U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, child, or parent) would suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if you were deported; and 3) you are a person of good moral character and have not been convicted of a serious crime.
- Cancellation of Removal for abused spouses or abused children: If you were subjected to battery or extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent, or are the parent of a child who was abused by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident parent, you may be eligible to avoid deportation and obtain lawful permanent residency status if: 1) you have been living in the U.S. for at least 3 years at the time of filing the application; 2) you are a person of good moral character and have not been convicted of a serious crime; and 3) you, your child, or your parent would suffer extreme hardship if you were deported.
- U-Visa for victims of violent crimes: If you were the victim of a violent crime in the U.S., such as domestic violence, rape, assault with a deadly weapon, or another serious crime from which you suffered substantial physical or psychological injury, you may be eligible for U nonimmigrant status if 1) you reported such crime to the police, and 2) you were cooperative in the investigation and prosecution of the crime. After residing in the U.S. with a U-visa for 3 years, you are eligible to apply for lawful permanent residency status, i.e. a Green Card.
- Adjustment of Status: If you have a U.S. citizen spouse, or a U.S. citizen son/daughter over the age of 21, or if a qualifying family member filed a petition for you before a certain date, the Immigration Judge may be able to adjust your status to lawful permanent residence. This will depend on how you last entered the U.S. and other factors.
- Bond Redetermination Hearings: If you are in immigration custody due to an ICE hold, we can request that the Immigration Judge release you from custody by arguing that you are not subject to mandatory detention and do not pose a flight risk or danger to the community and national security. Being out of custody during your proceeding will also make it easier to prepare your case and present the strongest case possible at your merits hearing.
- Prosecutorial Discretion: If you do not have a strong form of relief against deportation but you are a person of good moral character with no criminal history and possess positive factors in your case, we can ask the Government to allow you to remain in the U.S. without risk of being deported under the Prosecutorial Discretion Program. Although this option will not legalize your status, your removal proceedings case will be administratively closed and you will not have further hearings in the Immigration Court. Under certain circumstances, you may continue to be authorized to work in the U.S. after your case is closed.
- Voluntary Departure: If you do not qualify for any form of deportation relief or cannot be considered for a favorable exercise of Prosecutorial Discretion, you can apply to depart the U.S. voluntarily at your own expense under certain circumstances. This option is always better than being deported from the country, as an individual who departs the U.S. with an outstanding deportation order will be barred from returning for 10 years.
- Others: There also different types of waiver applications that can allow a client to remain in the country despite having violated certain immigration laws. Common waivers to defend against deportation are 212(h), 212(c), and 237(a)(1)(H) waivers for individuals who have committed certain crimes or misrepresented information in order to procure an immigration benefit.
In order to determine the best option for your particular case, please contact us for a free case evaluation or to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.